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As I continue to study textiles I am trying to put myself out there as a textile practitioner. People are starting to want to use my skills in different sectors like at work and in this case my church.

I was commissioned to design and make a banner for my local church. This banner would be hanged for the Pastors daughter wedding but then used for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and in between important events such as Christmas , Easter, etc. It was a tall order as I only had less than three weeks to do it and the banner had to be two meters wide and high. I was limited on threads and other resources too so I had to be resourceful and very creative.

I came up with a design I liked, taking symbols from the bible like the famous dove. I chose the dove as it symbolises many things: Peace, in Noah’s story hope and new beginnings. It is also used in Luke 9:34 when Jesus is transfigured on the mount and also at the Baptism of Jesus Mathew3:16 – the Holy Spirit takes the form of a dove and descends upon Jesus. A dove is also a symbol of peace and purity:which signifies the the purity and peace the Holy Spirit brings.

So I designed the dove in a heart with flowers and foliage all around: Symbolic of having the Holy Spirit in the centre of your heart bringing purity and peace and a fruitful flourishing heart.

I then started by painting the image to my fabric. I used fabric inks but had to allow for the paint to expand and sometimes bleed into the weave ( which was a challenge) eventually I gave up in controlling the bleeding of the ink and allowed it as at this point I saw it as a sketch and these details might work well once finished.

I then started constructing the dove, this had to be very spontaneous as I had not much time on my hands. I started to panic as my uni work started to suffer and I had so much to do.

I decided that taking time to do something like this was also important as it would give me valuable experience and could also work for my portfolio. Having to do something of this nature was daunting if nothing else because so many people where going to critique it. The nerves kicked in! I started doubting myself.

I then not only had to pray but I also reminded myself to enjoy it and let myself go, be free, express my ideas – and that I did!

The dove started taking shape, the bleeding of the ink had its place in the heart of the dove, my vision started making sense. I started to do appliqué on the leaves to save time and chose carefully what flowers to embroider.

At one point I had to ask my daughter to help as time was running out. As I watched my daughter do embroidery I thought about the beauty of doing embroidery as a group. It’s so therapeutic and rewarding. I can see why it is often used for people with mental health.

Finally it was finished! So rewarding to see it finished but I still worried about other people liking it. Would it look nice up on the church wall? Would they even use it?

I realised how little I believe in myself when it comes to making. I usually like what I do but always worry about others. In this case I stoped worrying. I liked it! On the whole it was what I had designed and even with the shortage of threads and resources I managed to improvise and make it work. Of course if I had had the choice I would of taken more time on it. I probably would of used silk threads etc. I would of started by having my design printed professionally rather than paint it myself, but ultimately these are the things That also give this piece character and make it more special to me. What do you think?

………. now to get on with my 📚

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part of what I am learning on Ideas & processes is that the making is not the only important thing it is also about the process. I am learning to be able to be more analytical about my work and others. So next is an attempt to describe and analyse my work.

-This piece is full of exuberant energy, powerful colour and personal investigation. A good range of threads have been appropriately manipulated and explored through playful investigation of techniques. There is a folkloric, naive aesthetic to the work. A fun piece with beautiful contrast of lace, thread and fabrics.

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