Art in the Garden Commission

For the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

An exciting start to 2020

In early January, I applied to take part in the project ‘Art in the Garden’ at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage with the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust. I was delighted to discover that I had been successful, and I will be making an A3 free-motion embroidery inspired by the grounds. It’s such a beautiful place and so inspiring.

What does free-motion embroidery mean?

It is a method of creating artwork by ‘drawing with thread’ using a sewing machine. This is done by dropping the metal feed dogs that feed the fabric through the machine. I put the fabric in an embroidery hoop and with an embroidery foot, sew whilst freely moving the fabric to create the design. I only use two stitches – straight or zigzag stitch. There is a lot of re-threading the machine with different colours.

Making the Embroidery

The completion date for my work is in mid-June. I will visit the Cottage weekly/fortnightly on Fridays, to make studies of the garden. I will use these in my studio as a reference for the embroidery. Like the garden, my embroidery will grow each week.

The story so far…

I’m deciding whether to use water-soluble fabric for the flowers. The photograph below is of my first sketchbook page. The sample that is all thread is a lot darker and I think that the colour changed when the fabric was dissolved because in the original photograph while it was still on the fabric, the flower is a lot lighter. I may try another sample with soluble fabric and just try dissolving the edges.

Goals for this week

To begin painting the cottage on the base fabric.

Flower on soluble fabric before the fabric was dissolved. Notice the difference between this one and it in the sketchbook?

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