Posts Tagged sisterhood of the travelling sketchbook
Last year I mentioned that Anne Lawson, a talented botanical artist, instigated a sketchbook which would start with her in Australia and make its way around the World to interested parties who signed up for the project and, at each stage of the journey, a new entry would be made. As everybody who signed up for it is a woman, it became known as ‘The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook’. I believe there have been others but this one – our one – began life in the Spring of 2016.
I cannot draw or paint to save my life, nor have I ever attempted to write poetry, but I knew that other media was acceptable so thought I’d join in for fun. Then I started dreading its arrival when I saw the standard of entries as they were added to the book then recorded online. The sketchbook finally arrived in France last week – people have been taking their time enjoying the book and considering what to contribute and, despite having considered other options, I decided to go with my first idea. I have taken photographs of most of the entries but didn’t take the book to pieces – too scared – so apologies to the sisterhood if I’ve cut a piece off or haven’t done their piece justice with my photography.
Click on the name beneath the images to go to the contributor’s website.
The sketchbook started and will end with Anne who set the bar high with her sketch of Kakadu Escarpment along with her garlic and lilies that adorn the front and back covers.
by Anne Lawson
Staying in Australia and up to Queensland to Kate who added this delightful paper pieced patchwork feather together with the lovely words beneath.
Staying in Queensland for a tasty, beautifully illustrated Ratatouille recipe from Sandra.
Moving back down to Victoria, Chas created this brilliant cycling trail map to show us some of the sights to be seen from a bicycle on the way to Melbourne’s National Gallery. This is a long, fold out map so I’ve just included a small detail.
The last stop for the sketchbook in Australia was with Sandi Worrall -Hart who wrote a beautiful poem called ‘ The Explorer’ which you can see included in the collage below cleverly compiled by Alys from all the entries so far in the book at the time it reached her in the United States.
From California to Mount Vernon where Sue added these gorgeous mixed media pieces using fabric, beads, thread and charms.
Over to Ushasree in Indianapolis for an eyecatching and colourful collage of small delights
Then a trip over to Europe and Greece with this take on the naming of Athens.
From Greece to Germany where Constanze produced this lovely textile piece which reflects the snowy landscape around her as she created her entry for the sketchbook.
The sketchbook should have stayed in Germany for another entry but, unfortunately, Annett is struggling with some health problems at the moment and didn’t feel able to contribute – we wish her well and hope she’ll be able to join in next time, should there be one!
So, to France and to me.
I’ve told you I can’t draw or paint. Kate, Sue and Constanze had already done perfectly lovely works in textiles and fabric so what to do? I thought about something knitted or even a bit of crochet but it would have to be something quite tiny and relevant. Back in 2016 I attended a workshop on freehand machine embroidery and my plan was to practice and practice and produce something lovely for when the sketchbook arrived at my door. Time passed – quickly as usual – and I didn’t get to practice as much as I would have liked but freehand embroidery is a forgiving craft and I hope I’ve produced something – though ‘naive’ (polite talk for ‘simple’) – that sort of enters into the spirit of the sketchbook, using thread instead of a pencil.
I know it looks like a kid’s drawing but that is sort of the style – honest! I like using natural linen for freehand embroidery as I think it sets off the fabrics and stitches really well but it frays like a bugger so I have deliberately frayed the edges and run a couple of rows of stay (I hope) stitching around the perimeter. If you’re wondering what the blue lines are they are my interpretation of the map of the World. It is very imprecise! Australia is disappearing up the skirt of the last sister, Europe is frillier than necessary and there appears to be a squished square country north of the barely recognisable British Isles but you get my drift. As I’m an English expat living in France I introduced a bit of entente cordiale by using French linen (the type they produce to make those classic linen t-towels) and the dresses are all in Liberty of London fabric. I didn’t want to make any political statement but, as it was a recent event and as I know one of the sisterhood went along with a pink plastic bag on her head, I’ve included a pink pussyhat wearer just to be topical.
As soon as I’ve worked out how to add this to the book – the linen is backed with calico and card so I’ll probably glue it in – it will be on its way to the United Kingdom for its last two entries, then back to Australia where we have hopes that it will be digitally scanned so we can all have a copy to keep.
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at the Sketchbook as it stands so far in Tialys blog form .
A great project to be involved with 🙂
As you will know, if you come here often, I have just finished putting together my quilt from the F2F Block Swap and I have inexpertly written out a label in permanent ink on fabric and attached it to one of the back corners to prove it.
So, that’s done then.
I was the first out of the hat to receive blocks for the next round so I decided that, before getting going on the next nine months of making three blocks for each participant, I’d better get my house in order. Well, the part of my house that is my sewing room anyway – the rest of it lies sadly neglected as usual although I do have to do a bit of ‘damp dusting’ this afternoon as my Mum’s coming to stay. Her eyesight isn’t what it used to be though so she won’t be able to see the rugs closely enough to know that one of my dogs is severely in moult at the moment.
Despite the fact that I’ve made any number of fabric storage boxes and bought shedloads of Ikea’s ‘fold this bit of floral card up into a box shape’ triple packs, I have come to the realisation that nothing really does the job like a bit of see-through plastic and a label. So, I bought some, promptly filled them, then had to go and buy some more.
These are most of them, but not all – there are two large ones labelled ‘Liberty Tana Lawns’ off camera A fabric that I rarely use for anything but one that I can’t resist when I see it, still less when I feel it and at least I can get it out every now and again, Golem -like, and indulge in some stroking. Still it all looks more ‘accessible’ now and is mostly divided into colours so when I’m reaching for the specific tones that people have asked for in their F2F blocks, I will know exactly where to find them.
In a slight digression – wouldn’t be my blog without at least one would it? I share my workroom with lots of vintage haberdashery items. I’m not always sure why but, when I see them, I can’t resist adding them to my collection (are you noticing a trend?). Anyway, you may or may not remember the fabric I bought that screamed ‘Hexagonal Sewing Box’ at me – well, I listened and it has come to pass.
See! I knew I’d need an old printers’ drawer some time. I actually have another one mounted on the wall downstairs with which I amuse myself by trying to find teeny tiny things to display in those teeny tiny compartments.
Anyway, back to the patchwork blocks. I have been practicing my paper piecing and behold my second attempt.
In case it turned out O.K. I made it in the colours I’ve chosen for my next quilt and I’m pretty happy with it. There’s something about designs like this one – where it looks as if the square is threaded through the star – that make me absurdly happy in a childlike kind of way. I can’t draw or paint but I love the fact I can achieve this effect in fabric. I know, I’m easily pleased but there are no grilled, salted almonds or alcohol involved so I count patchwork porn as one of my lesser vices.
In a sudden change of mood I have had some sadness lately. My lovely cat Beau, plucked from the refuge as a kitten with his sister Betty and bought home to live with us for the past nine years, has been missing for four weeks.
He is identified with a tattoo in his ear (which they do a lot in France) and is sterilised. His photograph and details are on Pet Alert on Facebook, the Chat Perdu webiste and all the bins, bottle banks and poster sites in the village. There is no sign of him.
He has always reminded me of the fish ‘Dory’ in Finding Nemo who had a short term memory of about 30 seconds. He would start eating, get distracted by something and wander off, only to forget he’d been fed in the first place and come back to ask for food. I’m hoping he’s just sort of forgotten where he lives and, any time now, he’ll remember and come back.
If you see him, let me know 😦