I mentioned when I was writing about the North Cornwall Wallhanging that I didn’t work on the blocks during our last holiday. I wanted to journal that holiday differently, in a way that sampled lots of textile techniques on a small scale.
So I decided to create a Holiday Challenge.
I packed my sewing bag with a handful of fabric scraps in a wide range of weights, types and colours, my favourite Stef Francis stranded silks which would give me about every colour I could wish for and various odds and ends of beads, ribbons and thread etc. that already live in the bag.
Each day I planned to create a small textile piece based on something that had inspired me that day. I could only use what I had in my bag or found objects (although I did buy a couple of bits later on) that I had picked up at the time. Another reason for keeping the pieces small was that they could hopefully be finished in a day.
Guidelines, not rules. Once things become too rigid it can take away a lot of the fun but I love the challenge of having boundaries to be creative within. I broke all the guidelines by the end but I loved both creating the pieces and the end result.
Day 1: Travelling down to Marazion. (2.5 inches by 2.5 inches.)
The sea glass came from our late afternoon walk on Marazion beach once we’d unpacked. Hand-dyed flannel background, silk thread and beads to tone.
Day 2: Marazion Beach Day. (3 inches by 2.5 inches.)
There had to be a beach day sooner rather than later. Sunlight on the waves of Mount’s Bay…
Scrap of permanently crinkled dress fabric with back stitched lines in silk thread following the creases. French knots in silk and silver thread.
Day 3: National Maritime Museum, Falmouth. (3 inches by 3.5 inches.)
Phase One of the Weather Contingency Plan initiated: The National Maritime Museum Cornwall. I loved the compass roses.
Central moon image was stamped and embossed on a scrap of calico then layered on hand dyed flannel. Button hole in space dyed perle, thick deep blue pure silk thread couched with Kreinik gold braid, straight stitches and ‘N’ in Gloriana stranded silk.
Day 4: Geevor Tin Mine and Museum. (2 inches by 3 inches.)
It rained again.
Phase Two of the Weather Contingency Plan initiated: Geevor Tin Mine.
There are panning beds in the mine where you can sift tiny flakes of semi-precious stones and fool’s gold (iron pyrites) from a mixture of sand and water. The fools’ gold in the middle came from the panning beds, surrounded with french knots and beads to make a vein of ore. Around the ‘ore’, space dyed cord and stranded silk couched down with Kreinik gold braid on a scrap of mottled brown batik cotton..
I really enjoyed the buzz of going out each morning and not knowing what I was going to see to inspire me, nor what it would lead me to create that day.