I’m not sure when my love to textile art began. Maybe it was when I met my husband and got introduced to the beautiful handwork and embroidery on Pakistani fabrics and clothing. Maybe it was when my Grandmother gifted me a beautiful second-hand needlepoint framed picture of colourful flowers in a vase. Or maybe it was even before that, during the time I lived in Malaysia as a child and got to see batik fabrics being made first hand. Whenever it was, all I know is that the love is still there and it has been growing stronger. However, I don’t want to only appreciate the beautiful textile work around me, I want to be able to create it!
For my first foray into textile art I looked into free-motion embroidery. I found a few videos online to get an idea of where to begin. Then I visited a local sewing centre to purchase the required darning foot that is used, to allow you to essentially draw on fabric with thread. It offers you a lot more freedom in movement and the ability to change direction without turning the fabric. The lady in the shop was super helpful and told me which foot my machine required, how to install it and lower the feed dogs, and informed me that it could be used in quilting or thread painting. Thread painting! That was the first time I had heard that expression used, go on, look it up, you will be amazed!
I decided that I would practice free-motion embroidery by making a series of flowers using fabric scraps. I then turned these into a mini-quilt to hang above my sewing machine for inspiration. I still need a lot of practice with control and making smoother lines, but I think I’m getting better. The funny thing is my daughter also got intrigued and started making her own mini-quilt of flowers, and I do believe she caught on faster than I did, masha’Allah! Check out her flowers above, she is going with a purple theme! I can’t wait to see her completed mini-quilt insha’Allah. It is so nice to have a companion on this learning journey.
After creating the mini quilt I needed a bit of inspiration, so I hit up the local library and put 20-30 books on hold on topics including textile art, free-motion embroidery, needlepoint, printmaking, natural dyeing, and the history of textiles. Wow these books are truly eye candy, and so very inspiring. I have a lot of reading ahead, and I will let you know which ones I like the best or find most helpful.
Oftentimes when I create it isn’t too long before another crafting technique catches my eye. Does this happen to you? I am not sure if that is a bad thing. But I have put aside free-motion embroidery for the time being, and I am now experimenting with fabric printing. More on that later, insha’Allah!