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Scraps, Squares, Stitches

I am addicted to these little stitched squares!  This most recent bunch has turned out very well, I like all of them.  I am still amazed at how scraps can be transformed into little treasures.

In this set of four, I played with making stitch flowers by filling in petal shapes with combinations of stitches, and then tried out a monochrome color palette:

More trials with monochrome, and then I jumped back into multicolor mayhem:

These little squares are a great way to audition color combinations. Think of them as preliminary sketches for larger pieces.  I absolutely love the layers of textures that I combined in the square on the lower left here:

I wonder if the square I make for a given day reflects my mood at the time.  I’ll have to pay more attention to that.

 

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Inspiration and Influences, Part One

I’m certain that I have a series about the people, places and things that influence and inspire my artwork on my old Blogspot blog, but I need to begin again here.  I’ve hinted here earlier at one thing that inspired me to start making boxes, but there is more to my boxes than a Steinbeck quote.

While traveling two-lane by-ways and backroads, I have cultivated a fascination with run-down, abandoned buildings.  There are so many untold stories hidden in the crumbling walls, fallen fences, twisted signs and rusted metal.

Ice cream shop, Belle Valley, OH

 

Drive-in movie ruins, near Barnesville, OH

 

Over the years, I have collected many photographs from my travels of all sorts of weathered and forgotten structures, from the farm lanes of Southeast Ohio to the windswept deserts along Route 66.

Root cellar, Quaker City, OH

 

Broken windows, crumbling brick, gaps in wood planks, precarious listing to one side, patched holes, bent framing… the wear and tear of old buildings is visual poetry to me.  It wasn’t until I had completed several of my small fabric boxes that I realized I was subconsciously capturing architectural decay in them.

The boxes began where other projects ended.  The first boxes that I made used scraps from other fabric collages, and my decision to embellish each side independent of the others further conveys the spirit of dilapidated structures.  The process of pulling the box sides up and hand stitching them creates subtle warping, twisting and bending, completing my interpretation of things that are run down.  I love making them, and I like to think of them as little shrines to the past.

 

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A Surprise Sampler

Every time that I learn a new stitch, I try it out first on some bit of scrap fabric.  Over the past year, a 9 x 10” piece of fabric for test stitching has been floating around my hand stitching nook.  It resurfaced a few days ago, and I almost tossed it out.  Here it is:

After having it sitting on top of a pile of projects for a few days, I think I will hang on to it.  I am really enjoying the sampler look of it, while at the same time it shows the randomness that was inherent in its creation.  Adding to the long list of things that I want to make, I’d love to do a small series of pieces with many sections of different hand stitches.  I could have a lot of fun with this.