The materials for this nest were brought back half made from my recent holiday abroad. I used the individual leaves from a fallen palm tree. After taking the individual leaves from the plant I first split them down the centre of the leaf but left them joined at the bottom. Two of these split leaves were interlinked and then folded over each other to create a more solid base for the nest.
This technique reminded me of some recent shibori work I had done. Shibori is a Japanese technique for folding fabric using resists, folds and wrapping and then dyeing the fabric. In the western world we have tie dyeing which is similar. I brought back several of these folded leaves and have waited until recently to finish the nest as I was unsure how to complete it.
In the end I used sewing cotton to wrap tightly around the ends once they had been gathered together. This made them firm but flexible. Threading more cotton back and forth between the gathered strands enabled me to form the nest shape and created a hanging loop.
I have been gathering the plastic nets from wrapped fruit and vegetables from supermarkets purchases. These are usually red, orange and yellow tones and come in a variety of textures.
Firstly I cut off the labels. I cut slits in the wide parts and wove the long thinner parts through them to create a base. I left the ends long and tied them to create a hanging nest.
By cutting the plastic mesh parts into smaller pieces and layering them, I was able to intermingle the fibres which formed a compact sturdy nest shape. I was able to do this by using my embellishing machine.
By ensuring the more fabric-like mesh was on the top and bottom the 12 needles of the embellishing machine were able to interlink the fibres in the same way needle felting does with wool.
When both my son and daughter got married recently 2015 and 2016 I had asked for any spare fabric from their outfits and commissioned a local artisan friend to craft them each a memory bear from the fabric which included the names of the couple and wedding date sewn on the feet. I retained the small remaining pieces. I know you’re not surprised. I had no idea what I would do with it but this project gave me a reason to use some of it.
Using the small pieces I sewed them together to create a nest from each of the materials. Ivory coloured wedding gown fabric from my daughter and 100% wool from my son’s wedding suit.
I decided to cover them in ‘kisses’. I used a cross stitch to sew the pieces together. On the wool suiting I used a complimentary cotton thread in a different colour which allowed the ‘kisses’ to be seen. On the bridal gown fabric I chose a thread in the same colour so the ‘kisses’ can only be seen close up onto which I also included a lace detail from the dress.
On the wool nest I decided to leave the edges raw as I felt this rugged appearance complimented the tweedy style of the fabric. Whereas on the wedding dress nest I turned over the edge and sewed it on the inside so the edge has a smooth finished appearance which suits the elegance of the wedding dress more.