If my Ladies Who Lunch group are reading this STOP NOW and DON'T LOOK, ya hear??!!
In January 2005, our little lunch group decided to have a fabric book round robin
(hate to admit that I was the one who came up with the bright idea)
15 of us decided to take part, we would work on it all year, each of us making 15 pages, then we'd exchange pages in December at our xmas party.
Except that like all good plans - in December no-one was ready, so we decided to have a Christmas in July 2006 party and exchange pages then.
So what am I doing? 17 months since the birth of the bright idea and one month away from the party..... making pages of course.
My problem is I keep changing my mind about them, I don't want it to be a mish mash of unrelated pages, I want to keep a theme running through all the pages.
I started off with a crazy quilt theme like these:
but after making 3 of them I decided they weren't *me*
then I tried something like this
but couldn't think of enough to keep the *play* theme alive through 15 pages, and I would have gone barmy buttonholing around 15 sets of letters
next was one of my favourite techniques - squishing little pieces of fabric around while stuffing wadding under them and free machining over the lot -
At first I thought of doing a different one for each lady according to the area they lived, this was one of the beaches.
this was for one of the gardeners
then I just started on landscapes generally:
you guessed it...
I went off that idea
I started messing with painting on the fabric, this wasn't as easy as I thought, it is so hard to get a *flow* happening with the paint, I couldn't do nice sweeping brushstrokes as you do on paper, the fabric *grabbed* the paint, which is why artists gesso their canvas first, but I didn't want to finish up with a stiff hard canvas surface, I wanted a soft paged book.
These were the first attempts:
so at last I think I have a theme and a technique I'm happy with, I have a definite "Lunching Ladies" idea happening.
Here's the process:
The pages are painted, padded with wadding, backed with another piece of thin fabric then free machined embroidered around the outlines. (the thin backing fabric is so the wadding will not catch in the machine)
Then I add beads, sequins and hand embroidery - the stitches (french knots with 5 twists) are done in thick crochet cotton and are really hard to pull through the layers of paint and wadding, I've been using pliers to pull the needle through each stitch, which is really hard on the hands.
Once all the surface decoration is finished, then I'll add a separate backing and binding.