Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tracey's threads

I was listening to Front Row on BBC Radio 4 yesterday evening and they had an interview with Tracey Emin.

'Everyone I Ever Slept With 1963 - 1995'

Love her or not, she certainly provokes thought. In the run-up to her forthcoming exhibition at The White Cube Gallery in Whitechapel, London, she spoke of her new work and her return to sewing as a method of expression.
'I do not expect to be a mother' (2002)
She sees it as a way of expression during difficult times where we all have to fall back on more creative ways. Perhaps Tracey Emin, more than any other modern artist, epitomises this in her work over the years. The tent, the blankets and the chair. A skill which many see as a 'craft' can be used to effect and inspire.
Strangely enough it energised me to rush off to the sewing-machine today!
'There's alot of money in chairs'

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Lotta Jansdotter

There are many reasons why I wish I could divide my time between the UK and USA and Lotta Jansdotter might come somewhere in my shopping list whilst back there. I remember a lovely freebie from Selvedge magazine some years ago was a notebook or some such thing from Lotta's gorgeous range of print textiles.

I could just blah on about her and I'm sure you won't find it hard to gather lots of lovely images on the web so I'll leave you time to do that. I really just want to alert you to her style.

My Sewing Bee is really a library of my sewing pets (never hates) which we can pick up and be inspired.

The best place to begin is at Lotta's own web site where you can get a feel for her very happy style. Being Finnish, she has that Scandanavian sensibility that I so love, from the colours to the simplicity, it's effortless.

If you're keen to pick up some ideas and run with them yourself, then you can with her book, Lotta Prints. You'll be able to shine both with the sponge and the needle!!! "Textile lovers rejoice! Lotta Jansdotter's new book is full of printing methods for everything from your tote bag to your table runner. She explains each process in detail with beautifully styled how-tos, tips for working with different materials, and a showcase of crafts made with each technique." –Linda Permann, founding craft and decorating editor, Adorn magazine (Sadly no longer in print).

If you want to learn more of her talent, then you could do no better than 'attend' and interview in her studio, courtesy of Etsy.

What better way to spend a happy half-hour. Then go and get the sewing machine out and some paints!!!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Lucie Summersville - printed fabric

'i'm a small town girl who likes to print on fabric and paper. i'm married to my childhood sweetheart and we've got two fabulous little boys. life is sweet.'

How is that for a biog!!! But I think Lucie could also add she's creating something that alot of people appreciate and admire. That's amazing!! I certainly know I do.

I'm scheming at the moment that I want to make sewing kits that are really something to cherish with little vintage items, pins, needlecases, threads, darning wool etc and all beautifully set off in a roomy case made with Lucie's fabric. Very funky.

I found Lucie's designs through Etsy and she's the featured seller at the moment so others have spotted her as well. I really urge you to read her interview on the front page of Etsy. The fabrics conjure up many images for me. Childhood book illustrations. The great designs of Lucienne Day from the 40's and 50's (some of my favourite design periods). The simplicity and clarity of Scandanavian design. Is that enough to be going on with?

I love the categories in her Etsy shop, attach, carry, display, sew. So simple yet so effective.

I ordered my fabrics and squeeked with delight when I opened them. Tied with ribbon, a little written tag and gift button with Lucie's signature fabric. It's Christmas already!

I'm still pondering on how to design my kits. I want to really use my fabric wisely and then hurry to buy some more!!

Lucie is, of course, a multi-tasker like alot of us and also writes a lovely colourful blog, blu-shed so you can check in there for a bit of summer sunshine on a blustery day.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Welcome to Sewing Bee - Sewing Rooms

Some of you may already visit my other incarnation as chaincreative, the crochet blog. I love looking into the world of crochet; it's design and creativity, and I hope to bring the same view to sewing.

I've been sewing since I was a child and my mum taught me to always respect my work and never give it less than all my attention and care.

For the first post I thought I would take a quick peek at the power-house for much of this careful work! The sewing room. I'm very lucky to have such a room. Somewhere to stack all my fabrics, stash all the threads and bobbins and the space to cut and stitch. A wee bit crammed but at least I know where everything is!!! I based the rooms colours on the beautiful painted houses in Arles in the south of France. It always makes me feel particularly calm!

Not everyone is so lucky but I know that any space with peace and time can fulfill the same function. I spotted a few other such lovely rooms on flikr and wondered if anyone out there has a room to share.
These lovely rooms are from blossomhill cottons and wildlivekids. I love the jars of buttons! Just so...sherbety!