Playing with paint

Playing with paint
abstract art

27 February 2014

Work in Progress Views and Memories

During my absence from blogging I finally got round to doing some work on the latest project for the Art Quilting Group.   The theme is "Botanica".  Although if you look that word up in the dictionary it has a different meaning to the group's intentions  of the word to describe the theme.

To start with I went hell for leather on the piece but once the background was done the wheels fell off the trolley and it went into the "wait and see" pile.

Somewhere along the way I recently  some motivation grabbed me,  and although it is still a work in progress, thought I would share what I have done so far.

The unfinished mushroom cap in the front is something I am still pondering on.....whether  to use fabric, or make some needlelace piece to fit the shape.  Am also trying to decide on the colour.  At the moment I am leaning towards blue.

The cap on the mushroom on the left is made from some nice textured velved and for the underneath I have used a piece I had pleated on my smocking machine.  It had been done so long ago, that when I removed the threads the pleats remained.  The stem is a raised stemstitch  band.

The yellow cap I worked on a piece of dublin linen that I had dyed in a mix of tumeric and balsamic vinegar with some rusty nails added to the mix.  The stitches are four sided stitch, buttonhole wheels and buttonhole bars, with some french knots. The stem on this one is just vertical  rows of chain stitch.

I intend adding some grasses at the base of the mushroom stems, and probably whatever else takes my fancy, so this has a little way to go.  

sometimes of an afternoon when I am sitting in my sewing room stitching, this is the view that confronts me.   All these little tots playing and exercising in the park at the back of my unit.  I love the sound of their laughter and to see the fun they are having.
Dont you just love the view from my window

Because I have been in a bit of a reminiscent mood, I am going to finish off with a photo of one of my older pieces of work, which many will have seen.
I spent some happy hours with lovely friends while I was working on this and it has some wonderful memories for me of those times


  1. this botanical piece is lovely Shirley, I think needle lace would look good on the one you have not completed. Good to read in so much detail about it too. The children playing outside will keep you young! nothing like the sound of happy children. Your piece of work from years ago is really beautiful

  2. I love the piece you are working on and look forward to seeing it when it's complete.

    WOWEE!! That last photo of an older piece of yours is quite stunning. I love the colors and look at all of the work that went into that piece. Oh my! Such a lovely job and accomplishment.

    I'm such a novice. You inspire me to keep learning and doing.


  3. Hello My friend Shirley.
    I love your forest of mushrooms. I would use a Needlelace stitch on one of the mushrooms. All the mushrooms are very pretty and the underneath part of the brownish red one is incredibly wonderful. Perfect indeed.

    I absolutely LOVE the view out your window. I agree it is very very wonderful to hear the sounds of children playing and having fun.. You are lucky to have such a nice view.

    Your under water stitchery is incredible beautiful..and you should have it out to see all the time. It is a work of art indeed. Take care My friend and I look forward to seeing what happens to the Mushroom forest. Hugs Judy

  4. Hello Shirley!!!!!
    The mushroom piece is totally amazing and wonderful!!! Where in the world do you come up with concoctions like tumeric, rusty nails and balsamic vinegar??? I betr that smelled really BAD! I can't stand the smell of rust, but then again, it sure made a lovely color!!! WOWZERS! I love the color it made! Of course I remember your ppiece down below as your blog banner, wasn't it??? Gorgeous!

    Did you hear that HEN (Hand Embroidery Network) was in danger of closing down? We all got an email that Sarah, who runs (and pays for it) may have to shut it down if there wasn't more activity!!! I shot my 2 more Frozen pillowcase additions on there, and I could not believe the pages of sudden activity...I hope it will keep up as I would hate to lose such a huge embroidery resource!!!

    Well, gotta run to an appointment. Have a wonderful day, Shirley! I look at all the goodies in my bedroom (laces, etc.) from my dear long distance friend, and wonder when will I have more time to play with them! I'm gonna have to just make time!!!

    Loads of love across the pond...Julie

  5. your work in progress looks beautiful, cant wait to see the real piece. That is also a lovely view from your window.

  6. The mushiness are truly amazing my friend. It is a little work of art. I love your sewing space and the view from your window xxx

  7. That last photo - OH MY what a gorgeous piece of work!!
    I'll have to come peek around here more often. : )

  8. Hi Shirley, Lovely mushrooms, I especially adore the one on the left with the pleated underside. And that is a beautiful view you have out your window!

  9. I don't know of a better sound to hear than the laughter of little children! How nice to listen to that, and see them playing during your stitching time.
    the mushrooms look wonderful! I look forward to seeing your progress and what you decide. Love, love love the finished piece from time back full of happy memories!!

  10. Your botanica mushroom piece looks terrific and I love all that you've done on it so far. What wonderful stitching you've done on the yellow mushroom cap and your dyeing technique sounds really neat. The sound of children's laughter can be so infectious and how can it not make one feel a bit happier. So nice that you can hear them while you stitch.

  11. Hi Shirley! I just found your blog because the photo of your toadstool piece caught my eye. I LOVE it! I have a thing for toadstools myself, and I look forward to seeing this progress.