I am still working on this large Laura Ashley wall piece, although there are other things I should be getting on with. As I mentioned in a previous post, I lost all interest in this piece and so I am rather surprised to find myself enjoying finishing it off so much. I have two more of the Regency panels to go and then a very small Marie Antoinette and then I will have to get it all together which is going to be fun as it will be very heavy.
I am really pleased with these two panels, the one above and this one:
The colours, which have not come out well in these photographs, go together really nicely. Almost everything, as usual, is scrap and was destined for landfill. The beautiful machine embroidered silk, for example is a tiny scrap from a sample book:
I couldn’t bear to throw that away even though it is just a scrap.
These panels are supposed to evoke these ‘simple’ muslin gowns of the Regency period – seen here with the fashionable paisley shawl accessory, necessary because the dresses were pretty flimsy in the un-central-heated mansions seen in the background here:
All these panels have some Laura Ashley fabric, although the further I get into the project the more I am using silk scraps. The Laura Ashley piece here is some very tightly woven, fine grade furnishing fabric printed with olives. I decided that the ladies in these panels would at the very least have heard about olives from their dissolute brothers on the Grand Tour, even if they didn’t eat them. I couldn’t be bothered to do the food historian bit to find out if olives were commonly eaten in the eighteenth century. I apologise!
The scraps for these two panels were attached to the thin cotton wadding with decorative machine stitching which I did with the tank-like Singer machine that my mother gave me because she could no longer lift it. Some of the stitches are perfect for doing a sort of pseudo-crazy quilt.
I’m afraid I use spray glue to keep everything in place and then do as much construction stitching as I can on the machine before doing the embellishments by hand. I have no idea what the long-term effects of the spray glue will be, but I expect to be past caring in the nursing home when I find out.
I used some beads I bought on a weekend away in Brighton to finish off the quilts like the three little flower charms in the above panel which were exactly what I needed, and the key here:
Again, you can see a little bit of the luscious embroidered silk, also from a discarded sample book.
These beads are from a broken necklace, and I love the way they look like little walnuts or even brains:
Finally, I don’t really like the craze for buttons as jewellery. Buttons are utilitarian things, unless they are the really special ones, and no amount of stringing them seems to me to create art from plain plastic in primary colours. But, I do like mother of pearl and I like it, like all my embellishments, massed, so here are some ordinary round buttons, sewn on with pearl beads:
I really like the difference in tone of the mother of pearl.
The Brighton Bead shop the beads came from was KerrieBerrie
3 thoughts on “What I finished off at the weekend”
the ackerman panels are lovely, but the colour palette is very subdued so I can see how you might end up needing a break from it (its never abandoning a project, its taking a break to refresh oneself)
I’m not a fan of button jewelery either, esp since it always uses such dull buttons (even if they are in primary colours). I think if it was made using some of the antique pressed glass buttons set in silver it could get interesting, but stringing a load of plastic buttons on a string looks a bit primary school
I love the colors and textures. The key is a nice touch.
Gosh this work is stunning/ beautiful – a weekend spent on random acts of beauty Jxx