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Embracing Imperfections in Fibre Art

In the world of textile and fibre art, every thread, knot and imperfection has a story to tell. As I've been practicing this art for many years, I found that what makes it special isn't about making everything perfect at the end. It's more about enjoying the exciting process of creating something enchanting. Engaging in fibre art becomes a therapeutic practice, a mindful meditation where I lose myself in the tactile sensations of the materials. Join me as I delve into the profound musings within my fibre artwork, emphasizing the mantra: "Don't focus on the outcome, rather enjoy the process."

Embracing the Unexpected

In the world of fibre art, mistakes aren't missteps but opportunities waiting to be explored. Instead of giving in to the temptation to undo and fix, I've learned to welcome these unexpected moments as happy surprises in the creative process. Irregularities become part of the story, adding character and depth to the fabric of my artwork. My students also know that there is very little ‘unpicking’ done in my classes and I think they love me for that reason!

Incorporating Mistakes into the Fabric

Mistakes aren't detours to be avoided but opportunities for innovation. Unpicking work isn't an option; instead, I incorporate mistakes into the fabric of my creations. A misplaced knot or an unexpected colour shift becomes a focal point—a conversation piece inviting viewers to explore the rich tapestry of my artistic journey.

An unfortunate cut in the block below, led me to improvise and I designed a different block to continue the line that I cut.

An Unfortunate cut!

I added in a bright turquoise fabric, designed the next block to continue the ‘cut’ line and I continued the quilting line as well. Follow the pink arrows.

Continuing the line

I tend to overdo the free motion machine embroidery part of my work sometimes as can be seen here.

Too Much Machine Embroidery

Luckily I managed to thread-paint other areas on this bird’s chest to balance it a bit better!

Balanced with Thread Painting

I made the mistake of rushing into cutting out a circle that I wasn’t meant to cut out! Of course, there is no one to tell you what to cut and what to leave but as I was in a rush to see the outcome, I just cut. Afterwards I felt a bit sick but soon realised that I can use it to my advantage and left it exactly as it is. That way, more of the fabrics in the second layer could shine!

Cutting Away too Much Fabric

As I keep on creating my textile artworks with these fibres, I've learned to enjoy the bumps and twists in the creative road. Textile art isn't just a treat for the eyes—it's a hands-on adventure through the world of creativity. Each piece, with its quirks and surprises, shows how mistakes can turn into something special. In my world, imperfections aren't roadblocks—they're what make each creation a masterpiece.

I hope my musings about my so called mistakes in my work, will help you to feel a bit more relaxed next time when you create something and you make a mistake! Remember, it is about enjoying the process!

If you are passionate about textiles and want to learn more about how to incorporate my innovative techniques into your work, follow me on Instagram @tillydeharde and Facebook, Tilly de Harde Fibre Artist & Teacher and visit my website & subscribe to my mailing list.

Please don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment box below!



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