Wednesday, May 04, 2011


They say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but I am determined to prove them wrong.
I have been trying out some techniques that I really have not used since I was about five years of age. I can remember sitting in our classroom in our Little Danson Park school back in England during "activity time." I loved to choose the sewing activity. We were provided with a basket of felt pieces, big darning needles, wool, and - I suppose - there were scissors, which must have been reasonably sharp to cut the rather thick felt. We were allowed to make what we liked, with what were probably rather coarse stitches. There was no worry about neat seams!
Well, I have to tell you that I am once again embarking on a journey where I will embrace raw edges!!

 I have not worked with raw edges since my first real sewing lesson, in Year 3, where creativity went out the window, and neat stitches and tidy seams became the order of the day. I will confess that I was not so very good at sewing in the practical areas in Primary schools, and used to make up for it by "swatting" up the theory of things like the 5 main groups of fibres, and terms like warp and weft.
It really is a wonder that I eventually learned to love fabrics and threads, and made them my chosen form of creative expression after an early love affair with painting.
Now I am definitely not an anal person, but I do believe that my creations should show good workmanship and stand up to wear and tear. Leaving raw edges exposed does not come easily to me, but I have told myself that it really doesn't matter if the raw edges are at the back or the front of a piece - they still have to stand up to wear and tear!
For my first foray into this new freedom, I have been producung some collaged cards.
 Now I know why pre-schoolers have such fun gluing on bits and pieces of "this and that" in random fashion. This first effort was such fun - although the only actual glue I used was the doublesided tape to adhere the collage to the card. I decided to use black thread in my sewing machine. No point in trying to disguise the stitching - you may as well go the whole hog and make the stitching honestly obvious.
 I was recently given quantities of embroiderers' linen, which made an ideal background. I fringed the pieces. Come to think of it, fringeing was the nearest thing we ever came to raw edges in our formal sewing lessons!
 Then I went to town with bits and pieces of all sorts of things - vintage images printed out on the computer, scraps and snippets of interesting fabrics and silk paper, buttons, braids, silk fibres, and - of course - bits of lace
 The first one I made had a big red heart

And I knew I was going to be tempted tp put a big red heart into all my future efforts - a temptation I only partially resisted. What's wrong with big red hearts, anyway??
I had a supply of suitable cards on hand, purchased at a good price from a Jumble sale stall two or three years ago, from someone whose cardmaking phase had passed.
Now I probably have enough "bits and pieces of this and that" to enable me to ptoduce several thousand of these cards without running out of anything except cardstock.
I suppose it is because cards are somewhat ephemeral in their nature that gave me courage to to get rough and raw with them. But hopefully some of the recipients would like them enough to keep them out of the garbage bin for a little while, anyway.
I have yet to "test the market" with this style. But meanwhile I have plans to try out the raw edges on a little fabric book, where I can just take sheer delight in the fabrics and threads and embellishments themselves, without having to worry about tucking all the hanging bits out of the way!!


Anonymous said...

Very nice I like the cards. I have a problem with letting loose the control and doing random things as well. It is freeing though once you get into it.

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