Swaying Wheat and Dyeing Results Are In

A swaying wheat fabric postcard made on hand marbled evolon, wheat kernels fused using a soldering iron and backed using a metallicky cookie bag.  I'm almost out of candy and granola bar wrappers so last night at our stitchery guild meeting I asked everyone to please save me some wrappers.

Left over piece from my Swaying Wheat Postcard which I made into an artist trading card.

Solar dyeing using dahalia flowers

Very poor solar dyeing results using dahlia flowers.  The cloth was very nice and pinkish when I took it out of the jar that it had been sitting in for almost 2 weeks but when I rinsed it the colour all went down the drain.  Nothing ventured nothing gained though and I'll use the cloth for another dyeing experiment.

Solar dyeing with marigolds

The marigold solar dyeing on this piece of evolon turned out much better and I am quite happy with the results.

Result of rust dyeing

My first try at rust dying turned out very well! Using an old Edwards coffee can I soaked my piece of cotton in vinegar and wrapped the cloth around the can.  I spritzed it with a mix of 1/2 water 1/2 vinegar and this was the result in 1 day.  I soaked it in salty water to stop the rust process and then washed it in soapy water.

Solar dyeing with goldenrod

One cannot tell from the photo but the goldenrod solar dyeing cloth and thread did become a nice yellow though not as dark as the marigold.

These pieces will all go into my small fabric stash and I know I will enjoy using them sometime down the road. 

Have a wonderful Autumn day,

Marie-Renée Otis, artist in residence in Paris, 
Fellow of the Council of Arts and Letters of Quebec 
The Eleventh Week

Didier Guillemain Jewelry Designer

In the Passage du Grand-Cerf street there is also the workshop of one of the famous artisans of Paris: Didier Guillemain’s boutique.

In the Artisans de Paris guide book, that I affectionate, it is mentioned Guillemain’s father was a blacksmith and his uncle a diamond dealer. What an excellent heredity for becoming a jewel designer.

Didier Guillemain’s jewelry is characterized by the mix of gold metal and titanium. Titanium must be weld only by laser technique. Gold and titanium are also incompatible. Guillemain’s designing solution is to create nested pieces. Ingenious.

To tell the truth, I didn’t really meet Mr. Guillemain. His boutique was closed for renovation.

But... I did go to his premises. Does my effort count as a real visit?

A gold and titanium ring by Didier Guillemain

Open house at Radoslav Genev’s Studio

Recently, I visited the paint artist Radoslav Genev, another tenant at La cité internationnale des arts (where I live). This was at the very end of his Parisian journey, he went back home, in Sofia, Bulgaria, only two days later.

Radoslav made many sketches of Paris’ scenes with felt pens and pastel, showing through those pieces his talent as a colorist. In his painting, Radoslav expresses his interpretation of famous scenes: the Eiffel Tour, the church of Notre-Dame, the bridges over the Seine river, the Sacré-Coeur, the cemetery of Père Lachaise, etc.

For his open house, Radoslav was accompanied by his interpreter (he only speaks Bulgarian) and he suffers of impaired hearing. He can almost hear nothing. Nevertheless he draws so beautifully that he doesn’t need any word to understand our appreciation of his work.


Jardins des plantes in Paris, by Radoslav Genev

Radoslav beside one of his Parisian paintings

Door 1, Church St-Pierre, by Radoslav Genev

Michelle Bordas, Glare Glass

I’ve just come back from Place de la Bastille, an important  crossroad, I wanted to meet nearby Michelle Bordas, pearl of glass maker. She makes those glass marbles for jewelry by heating them with the blowtorch technique.

First, I sent her an email. She didn’t answer. Even so, I took the chance to go to her workshop. This lady had such an interesting life.

Till the 13e century, on the island of Murano (near Venice, famous for its high quality of glass), if someone revealed the secret of glass making, one was liable of death penalty. Some handcraft traditions are still harsh. It took ten years for Michelle Bordas to have access, little by little, to the knowledge of fabrication of this particular technique of glass pearl. She learned mainly from Italian glass blowers. They were reticent to transmit their knowledge to a woman.

Near Place de la Bastille, I found the courtyard Damoye, a peaceful and narrow square bordered by a twenty of little workshops: restorers of old posters and artisanal paper designers replace nowadays the cabinetmakers, carpenters and ironworkers of yesteryear.

But where is Mrs. Bordas' workshop?

Unfortunately for me, she left the courtyard Demoye two years ago, without leaving an address.

Bracelet by Michelle Bordas 

Meeting Madame Maïté Tanguy

Madame Maïté Tanguy is a beautiful and accomplished artist. For her, the life and the hand weaving craft are united. In short, she has a holistic approach of philosophy, spirituality and art. Gratefulness is one of her main moral values. When I left her workshop I kept the impression that I learned a lot and I morally matured, in a certain way. This is rarely the case when we meet new people, isn’t it?

I first met Mrs. Tanguy at the event La neuvième triennale des mini-textiles du musée d’Angers (The ninth triennial of tiny textile pieces of Angers). We were both participating as artists and I noticed her work: a seafood weaved piece. In the aftermath, her name attracted my attention in other exhibitions in France.

But I didn’t know her life before being a textile artist, the numerous years while she wove fabrics for famous Haute Couture designers. She performs many duties at the same time: she still creates exclusive fabrics for designers from Paris and USA; she teaches hand weaving; and she creates work of Art. Phew! I’m not surprised she didn’t go on vacation last Summer. But she is homesick of Britany, her home country. Just listening at what she has to deliver in short notice, one is puzzled by how she will accomplish this feat.

I am so lucky to have the privilege of visiting great creators like her in their workshops. 

She literally lives in her workshop, among threads in all colors, books about Art and many hand weaving looms, boxes and boxes, samples and, of course, her beautiful pieces of Art. There is no more room left.

A magnificent mess where only Madame Tanguycan find herself.

Hand weaving, Les jardins de l’amour, by Maïté Tanguy

The photo research and the translation are made by Lucie Daigneault

Ooh I thought I'd devote this blog to talk about the embroideries I've been working on and what I've finished recently since my last blog devoted to this subject. I tend to work on several things at once and in the evening while watching TV, I work on whatever seems to catch my fancy. So, here goes...

As stated in my last blog, I am involved in two Stitch-A-Longs, a Fiberluscious Six Flower Pincushion and Blackwork Journey's Save a Stitch. So far, only one flower has been provided for the pincushion and I've finished that and am waiting for the third lesson to be posted. Blackwork Journey's Save a Stitch project is coming along nicely and I've finished the first four lessons and am working on the fifth. 

(The picture shows the first lesson completed and the second lesson started.)

 Luckily, the posts for this project are up to 17 and I can move along at my own pace without waiting.

Fiberluscious Six Flower Pincushion

Recently, I finished a cross stitch picture, Lady of the Threads from Lavender and Lace. Since this project has been in the works for at least 15 years, I'm glad that one of my many UFOs is done! I have also been working periodically on another UFO, Microstitchery's Sense of Taste, adapted from a Cluny Tapestry of the same name. It's done on 40 count silk gauze using one strand of DMC embroidery floss. I love doing it, but have to admit that the frequent change of colours can be annoying.

Lady of the Threads from Lavender and Lace

I also recently finished one of the two EAC free on-line classes, Crazy Quilting without the Patches. I don't know what I'm going to do with this embroidery; giant needlebook, journal cover, etc., but I love it and found doing the embroidery so relaxing. No counting, just deciding which stitches to use and where to put the beads and charms.

Crazy Quilting without the Patches

I haven't started the Wessex Embroidery project yet, but it's definitely on the "to do" list. I also haven't started the Blackwork Zentangle Journal class I signed up for through EGA. Somehow, I just haven't had time to play with painting and until you've done that, the embroidery can't be done. One of these days...

I have also finished one of the fundraising kits for Seminar 2015, the Goldwork Pendant. I loved it so much I bought two kits at Seminar, one in each of the two colourways. Once I'd finished the pendant, I liked it so much, I decided to make earrings to match. I ordered the pearl purl and bright check purl from Tanja Berlin (the pendant is her design) and I am working on the earrings now. I'll post a picture in my next blog.

During the day, I like to take out my sewing machine for an hour or two and I was playing around with fabric to make a scissors holder in between sewing the wedding bags. I was so impressed with the finished result, that I made several and have already give a couple of them away as gifts.

Six wedding bags are done and three actually have the recipient's initials sewn on the bag in birthstone Rose Montee jewels. Even though I say so myself, they do look super.

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and is enjoying having the kids back in school, except for here in BC where the teachers are on strike. Lucky kids to get an extra long summer vacation, not so lucky for parents who have to find daycare.

Until next time,

Linda Brenner

Nordic Needle’s Shamrock Challenge

Nordic Needle challenged their newsletter readers awhile back with a  “Show  Us Your Green” Shamrock Challenge.  Five items were designed, stitched and sent in, two of which were from EAC members.  Congratulations Kim Beamish and Jenny Wolter!

Shamrock Challenge submitted by Kim Beamish

This first one is an original needlebook and scissor fob designed and stitched by Kim Beamish.

ATC submitted for Shamrock Challenge - Jenny Wolter

Jenny Wolter designed and stitched this Artist Trading Card  on canvas.

Isn’t it wonderful that 40% 
of the response to this challenge 
came from EAC members? 

 Both of these entries illustrate the talents of EAC members in both designing and stitching!

Why not rise up 
to meet the next stitching challenge 
that comes your way? 

EAC offers at least one challenge every year.  This year at Seminar we were challenged to make an article from the new EAC fabric.  You have until April, 2015, to get your item made and sent in so no excuses!  

You can read the details of this challenge either by visiting the EAC website at:  http://eac.ca/challenges.html or on the poster below:

submitted by Kerry Leslie

As harvest nears on the prairies I've been stitching wheat lately.  For these wheat kernels I fused a few of layers of organza together and stitched them down on dyed and stamped fabric to make a fabric postcard.

 I recycled a granola bar wrapper to make these wheat kernels and again stitched them down on dyed and stamped fabric for another fabric postcard.

Playing with organza, I fused snippets of pieces down onto black felt and then stitched a row of wheat using the wheat ear stitch.

 Lazy daisy stitches for the kernels which I made into an atc.

I should have started this in July but here I'm trying my hand at some solar dyeing.  I mixed a 1/4 tsp of alum and an 1/8 tsp into this gallon jar which I 1/2 filled with warm water.  I added a piece of ready to dye cotton and some white DMC thread and filled the jar with wild goldenrod flowers.  I then topped it off with some more water.  I'm stirring it every day and will see what happens after 10 days.  It rained for a couple of days and it's been cool so I might have to wait longer than 10.

I also started a jar using marigold flowers

and a jar with dahlia flowers.  Both have a piece of white cotton fabric and white thread.  Just have to wait and see what happens now.

Have a lovely summer day everyone,
Jeannette Luther
Find out more at the Embroiderers' Association of Canada website.
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About EAC

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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.

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