Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop - Fire Horse Textiles

Hello from me, Julia of Fire Horse Textiles on the Around The World Blog Hop!

Thank you to
Teresa of Crafty Bags for her invitation to join The Hop. Take a look at Teresa's blog to see her wonderful creations, from bags and purses to quilts and knitwear, many of her unique and wonderful creations feature recycled fabrics and yarns. Teresa's fascinating Hop post is here.
So, on to the Hop post questions:-

1. What am I working on?

I am currently working on some 'lavender pebbles' for my Folksy and Etsy shops. They are a set of three differently sized, organically-shaped scented sachets, made from funky, repurposed fabric, accented with colourful buttons! I am also spending a lot of time thinking about the packaging and presentation of the items, to make them suitable as 'ready to go' gifts.
A long-term project that I am working on is a 'tumbling blocks' quilt for me and my husband, Rob. I started it many years ago, but took it up again recently to finish the hand quilting. So far every stitch of it has been hand sewn, but I will probably add the binding by machine.

Another thing I have been experimenting with is embroidered faces for dolls/figures. This is an area I would love to move into. I find that there is something very endearing about handmade dolls. There is so much of the maker's personality in each one. Here is the first prototype - as you can see, I need to work on the transition between body and head!:-

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I try to incorporate recycled content into a lot of my work (but of course many others do that, too). I'm often inspired by nature, but what I make sometimes ends up looking quite abstract. I tend to work with bright colours and strong contrasts, such as this rag rug wall hanging, "Fire and Water":-
Although I enjoy using traditional techniques like patchwork, embroidery, rag rug making etc, I try to put a modern twist on my designs, either through colour use; in the fabrics used; or in the combination of materials used.

These patchwork wall hangings were inspired by the Gees Bend Quilters in the USA, but I made my own templates for the first design, then experimented with a different construction method for the second.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I have always made things, since I was a child. It is just a part of my personality. Whether it was making little woven mats, arranging vases of wild flowers, making collages from found objects, or making giant 'installations' in our home (one that comes to mind was my idea to make a giant spider's web over the whole of our lounge and dining room using the contents of my Mum's knitting wool stash. Needless to say, it did not go down too well with my Mum, but I was quite pleased with the effect!).
4. How does my writing/creating process work?

An idea usually pops into my head and I think about it for weeks or months, wondering which medium I will make it in (as a quilt, rag rug, painting or collage, for example). Eventually, I start to experiment and draw out a few ideas, make and throw away quite a lot of things that don't work, and sometimes come up with something that I'm happy with. I treat every new project as a piece of art (although to a lot of people, what I do is probably equated more with craft). I like to sit on the border, where art meets craft!
Sometimes the idea comes from the material itself, like the beautiful floaty and colourful dress that I used to make the lavender pebbles shown above.
For my last quilt, I wanted to use up a lot of the small pieces of fabric that I had accumulated over the years, so I set myself the task of only using these pieces from my 'scrap' jars. Sometimes setting boundaries is helpful when coming up with an idea.
I have done commission work in the past, but I try to avoid that, as I prefer to work on my next new idea rather than re-visiting what I have already done. I like to make just one, or a very small number of each item to keep the freshness and excitement in a project.
Thank you for dropping by, and don't forget to look out for the next stop on the Around The World Blog Hop, which will be with ...
Their beautiful lino prints depict a joyful mixture of cats, dogs and farm animals, wildlife, architecture and landscapes. Keep up to date with their work in progress and inspirations on the Studio Tails Blog, where you will also find the next Hop article next week.

Have a creative week everyone!
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