Thursday, October 01, 2009

Trip: Part Three, Shopping, Eating, and my stitching

(Above: Our group waiting to sample the new wines from Wachau along the Danube River.)

There's no possible way for me to write a single blog post about Sara Lechner's workshop. The studio is utterly overwhelming with creativity, beauty, and embroidery. It would have been very easy to spend all available time stitching....but we didn't. So, this blog post covers my work (not Sara's!), my purchases, and the times we weren't involved with needle and thread.

We were frequently involved with food and wine! The drive to this quaint location passed the Melk Abbey and various lovely views of the blue Danube. The photo above includes the wheat wreathe indicating "new wine" available. It was delicious.

(Above: Our group walking through the farm's parking area to the textile center.)

We also shopped. Near Sara Lechner's is an incredible textile center. It seems to be some sort of overstock location for all things textile and craft. It was located in the middle of a big farm....with tractors, fields of crops, animals, and the smell of fertilizer in the air. Once inside, however, it was a total feast for the eyes and the prices were rock bottom.

The stock is forever changing and meant to be moved, frequently at give-away prices.

Most things weren't just asked and then couldn't believe the answer was so little.

Often I get overwhelmed by such opportunities and selection; I leave having purchased nothing. Fortunately, there were buttons....something I can't resist. They were generally sold by the entire container. I had to have some!

To purchase, one just brought up the item and asked the price. Above are several people "negotiating" for fabric, buttons, and trim at the busy check-out counter. There's six locations in Austria...and a website (German):

We all came away very, very happy with big bags!

Above are my purchases. The place didn't have least not at this moment....except for a few balls of perle cotton hidden in a box...under a pile of trim....on a neglected shelf. It was SO MUCH FUN! The photo includes the keys I got in the Vienna flea market.

The photo above are the things I bought in Český Krumlov. All these photos can be "clicked on" for closer really see the beauty in these vintage, glass buttons!

(Above: Austrian Tome. 10 1/2" x 9". Embellished ground, stitched and further embellished to embed the stitches into the surface. Click on image to enlarge.)

Now....these are the pieces I created in the embellishing workshop with Sara Lechner. Sara has three different machines: Babylock's seven needle model, Babylock's twelve needle model, and Jamone's Xpression. She likes them all for various reasons. I own the Babylock Twelve needle embellisher. Basically, I know how to use the machine; I've made many pieces. Yet, nothing can compare to watching an expert like Sara use the wools and fibers to create her masterpieces. I learned a lot.

Above: Autumn Whimsy. Embellished ground with a printed organza. Hand stitching to bring out the flower and spiral pattern on the organza and for added decoration. 10" x 8 1/2". Click on image to enlarge.

Above: This piece is unfinished. I don't know when I'll complete the hand work....but it serves as an example of manipulating the embellished surfaces into more three-dimensional shapes. This is something I'd never considered and enjoyed immensely. We also made "bowls" of wool but I forgot to photograph mine (although it is sitting, half flatten to the left of the "doll" below)!

The three dimensional lesson extended into doll making. I've never made a doll. This one isn't finished and never will be! I like all the embellished pieces I created....just not the doll. It was very interesting to learn how despite the Internet and email correspondence, there are still assumptions about different cultures and people. Evidently, there are many magazines published in the USA that deal with quilting and doll making....enough to suggest that all fiber enthusiasts in America know how to do these things! I, however, don't quilt traditionally (no piecing at all!) and don't even know anyone who makes dolls! I really enjoyed the attempt to create such a piece. Never would I have taken the time to try this except while in a workshop situation. It was "good for me". I'll have fun using the material for something else!

This last photo is of Annica sitting in an arbor a few feet outside Sara's studio door. Stitching in Austria was obviously WONDERFUL!


Karen said...

catching up on blogs and WOW so much to see from you!! Such a wonderful art filled amazing place!! Hou you must be so enjoying it all!!!!

Chris said...

Workshops are so much fun. You made some cool things. It will be fun to see how you incorporate this into your work. And, hey, you can never have enough buttons!