At last I've completed my Lockdown Lane piece of textile art, started as a response to the nature we studied on our walks during the lockdown. It started on March 17th here in France and we were restricted to one kilometre of home and one hour of walking, this meant we walked a similar circuit nearly every day in different directions so that we got enough exercise to keep ourselves fit.
I soon started to notice the different flowers as they came into bloom and picked a few to take home and draw, as you may have seen in the previous post, but also as the sun was very strong for a few days I started to make sun prints using acrylic inks and pieces of old sheets. Very soon I had a stack of these pretty images and started wondering how I could use them. At the same time the Textile Artist.org group had started a series of video workshops and one in particular caught my imagination: Cas Holmes who showed us how to join all sorts of pieces together and stitch on top to tell a story.
Another workshop by Sue Stone suggested sampling various stitches to see how many different ways they could be used. I've used a lot of chain stitch to depict these flowers on fine organza which I later cut out to applique to the main piece.
The dandelion is stitched on black linen using a single thread as suggested by Emily Tull in her excellent workshop on careful observation.
I had a lot of fun with the spider using a shiny thread on pale blue organza.
I love to see the different grasses as they grow and flower.
This is the start of the story in March when there were only a few flowers: wild garlic, primrose and violets, soon to be joined by the bluebells and celandines, daisies and dandelions in April.
The swallows came back in the middle of April and it's such a joy to see these acrobatic birds as they celebrate their return to their old barn where they nest every year. The plantain flowers and cow parsley were joined by the ragged robins and scentless May weed in May.
One of my favourite spring flowers is the navelwort with it's tall spikes of pale green flowers that usually appear on the shady parts of the lane like slim candles. Red campion and foxgloves add some more colour to the banks in semi shade.
I added a winter tree at the beginning as there are no green leaves in the middle of March but by the end of three months all the trees were covered of course!
A few more little blooms from the meadow, clover and buttercup, fumitory and herb Robert that pepper the sides of the road like little pink stars.
I hope you've enjoyed my stroll down our lanes and may even be inspired to try interpreting nature in stitch yourself.
Here are the instructions for sun printing if you fancy having a go.