11 August 2013

printed (1)

I'm entering what I affectionately call "exhibit season". (Is it just me or does there seem to be an exceptional number of show deadlines in the autumn?) I have a solo show in October and then the Earth Stories quilt  and an Invitational to send work in for.

I was messing around with a new series idea a few weeks ago, was positive I had nailed it. And then when I tried to repeat the trial piece that I liked so well, it kept flopping. Might mean the trial piece was a fluke. Not sure. Only thing I know is that this is not the time to pause and ponder it. So I set it aside and decided I would make some more Remnants Collages as planned. (I do like me a good collage.)

Then yesterday, the studio smacked me in the head with an idea and I dropped everything else I was working on to obey.

You see, I've been working toward becoming comfortable with machine stitching. I want to make a new series that is more quilt like and while I'll stop being a hand stitcher when you pry my needles and perle cotton from cold dead hands, I do admit that I was feeling lured.

Now I'm going to say something and I'm sure I'm going to get some "Not true!" shouts at the computer screen - machine stitching is quicker. It's quicker because of the way I stitch my work - straight stitches, graphic, simple. So a line of straight stitch on a machine goes a hell of a lot faster then a row of straight stitch by hand.

Would it be quicker if I was thread painting? Nope. And all you lovely artists out there that do that kind of machine work have my admiration. But for the way I use stitch in my work? Light years faster.

So here is where I was at: if I can learn to use machine stitching in a way that I'm comfortable with and that suits my work, then I could produce more work, quicker and larger. Period. That's what really sparked my quest for a new series because honestly, I'm weary of producing such a low volume of artwork every year. I have so many ideas, I want. to. make. more.

And yesterday in the studio I did it:

Printed (1)
19.5" wide x 18.5" high
Lynn Krawczyk

I don't know about you but I always like the detail shots better then the overall ones. So here's a close up:

I don't know how to express how this makes me feel. Scared and excited all at the same time. Never thought I'd see machine stitching marching across my work. But somehow I feel it goes, maybe because it's a whole cloth printed piece of fabric. The focus is on the printing, the stitching is merely a layer.

It's a small piece, I wanted to see if it would work the way my vision grabbed me. And I'm happy to say that it did. It might seem insignificant, after all, quilters are burning up their machines every day.

But this is a huge step for me. One that still feels uncomfortable in a lot of ways but I've decided to just feel weird and keep going.

Gotta love the weird. :)


Leann said...

I love the machine stitching. And that "quicker" thing, that just might be why the sewing machine was invented.

Robbie said...

It works!!! It's great!!! I'm like you...I love my hand work and it does take time...but it's so relaxing and almost like mediation for me. My machine quilting works in certain situations and not so much in others and at times a combo works just right!! Just go with what works...love what you do!!!

Gerrie said...

This is the kind of stitching I do on my non-representational work. I think it is perfect. I love this piece.

Lisa Chin said...

I love the look of both hand and machine stitching and I really do like the "quickness" of the machine stitching. I would love to see you do both hand AND machine on your pieces! If you do just a little hand stitching with the machine stitching you might get done faster and the look that you love! I really LOVE this piece. The printing is fabulous and the quilting is great too.

Eileen Cox said...

Don't stress by over thinking this. The machine is just another tool in your arsenal. And you can very successfully integrate hand AND machine stitching in the same pieces, depending on what you want to accomplish.

Lynda said...

Love it! I too love that the machine stitching is faster but love the "handmade" look the hand stitching makes. I agree with Lisa - a combination of both would look great.

Regina B Dunn said...

The machine stitching does show and it does add a layer of texture. Maybe soon you'll start to change the color of thread and use it to add to the design, too. But your hand stitching always has such character so I wouldn't give that up entirely. It's fun to have both in a piece.

Sea Air Arts - Deb H said...

I agree with the others. The machine stitching is very effective and looks great. You can still add a small bit of hand stitching to your piece. Treat it like it is, a touch of rare and precious gilding to add a hint of special-ness and contrast to the work. The contrast in textures between machine and hand stitching are a good thing!

artful embellishments said...

Lynn your work is so amazing. I love the colors in this quilt. I am so impressed with your ability to keep adding techniques into your art! You are such an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Congrats for making this beauty! It is very pretty and perfect!

System of Greatness

Carol Sloan said...

I love adding both myself. But, having said that, I am working on a small Kindle cover that is all hand stitched! I just posted about it on my blog. I find that I enjoy hand stitching more - the slower, meditative-ness (a word?)of it soothes me (unless my arthritis is acting up!). I enjoy seeing what you are doing with the machine stitch and your printed cloth.

Shelley Whiting's art said...

I love the energy and dynamism in this piece. It's very exciting.