Eke Krug – Series #1 – Bits and Piece – #1 – Looking for connections

Finding a good subject for the series wasn’t easy. At first I tried looking at the things we did last year and make a visualisation of one of the subjects being a series. Circles and Motion were the two subjects that could do, but not feeling so comfortable that I wanted to spent a whole year on that. Looking at this uncomfortable feeling was the next thing to do, where does it come from? I didn’t find an answer right away, so decided to let it go for a while and see what would happen.

In the meanwhile, I was very busy making art bags for the exhibition in April 2017. The same model bag made in different techniques and materials, ‘talking about series’ like Els Mommers said. A big job, but also challenging to do, making every bag a different one, just by chancing the materials and technique. And then the sewing part, they all have to be the same…. And while sewing the bags together, I knew where the uncomfortable feeling for Circles and Motion came from, it was the form. I realized that the subject had to be free, not knotted to any form at all, only the 15×15 inches.

And looking around in my messy working place, I decided to work with the leftovers, the little bits and pieces from all the projects I made in the last years, giving them a place in the series planned for 2017 by the Fifteen by Fifteen Group. So the title of the series will be Bits and Pieces and the goal I want to reach, is completely freedom in designing. But I also put some borders to that freedom, and made some rules that I have to follow, so here is my do’s and don’t list:

•    Only work with leftovers from other projects.
•    All materials may be used, fabric, paper, metal, leather, beads, etc.
•    Dyeing, printing and painting the leftovers (if necessary) is allowed.
•    Both hand and machine stitching can be used, with any kind of threads.
•    Recycled materials, not necessarily leftovers, can be used.
•    Batting, sewing threads and paint are the only things that may be bought for the series.
•    Each piece of the series has to have a subject that is a representation of what keeps me       busy personally

After making these decisions, I felt happy and experienced a freedom that is difficult to explain. Like bubbling and boiling and jumping at the same time. So here is my first piece:

Looking for connections

Every period in life has other priority’s, and at this moment, connections seems to be the word that is popping up in total different situations. First of all, Alzheimer’s disease. My mother suffered with that for eight years before she past away five years ago, and since last summer, my father of 92 is dealing with Alzheimer too, looking for connections inside and outside himself, to keep in touch with reality.

The second situation has to do with metabolism, important to keep our body and mind in good condition and working properly. An underactive thyroid gives problems and has to be medicated. For the last nine years I took medication on that, but since a couple of months, it isn’t working like it should. So trying out new doses, to make the right connections in the metabolism, is influencing my daily life.

And the third situation is found in all the moving I did in my life. In Holland I moved a lot and lived in three different parts of it for many years. And since I live in Norway, this is the third region I live in, in seven years. And in every place I lived, I made connections with people, that stayed behind while I was moving further. I try to keep in touch now and then with these people, but it is not easy. So the first two and a halve year that we lived where we live now, I became a kind of hermit, not bad at all, but now I am coming out, carefully, and again, looking for connections in my direct surroundings.

All about connections, in different ways, that is what this first quilt of my series is about. Carefully looking and stitching to connect all parts and make it work.

The whole piece is stitched by hand, using many different layers of silk, both pongee and organza, to reach the best colour results.  Of course all the fabric is hand dyed with different techniques, but for previous projects. The silk/ viscose velvet got its holes by burnout technique, which I should use more……


Mostly silk fibre, organza, pongee and velvet – cotton batiste – mulberry fibre – wool fibre – torn edges of scarves – little pieces of commercial fabric – threads, partly hand painted – very thin batting, normally used in felting – piece of hand painted linen for the backside


Raw edge applique – hand stitching


Close up View:

  1. Absolutely fabulous hand work which I think is your strong suit. The texture of your stitches gave the piece created a richness your seldom see with machine stitching. The variety of fabrics and threads with cohesiveness of the stitching have brought “Bts and Pieces” to life.

  2. Wow! It’s stunning. I love your hand stitching and the details in your work. Well done!

  3. What a lot of work and thought has gone in to the planning of your series, well done! I look forward to seeing the next one.

  4. I understand perfectly your feeling of freedom about the choice of the theme ! it was the same for me. All the hand stitching you have put in this piece is incredible ! I really like how you have connected all your fabrics together with thread !

  5. Your fabulous handwork is really your trademark. I love how you did put together a list of do and don’ts for your series and last bur not least I was impressed by your “connections”. A very thoughtful piece and I am looking very much forward to the next pieces.

  6. While everything our colleagues has said about your first piece is true, Eke, for me it is the theme you have chosen — and your self-imposed parameters — that has piqued my interest. Your ‘connection’ to our group is relatively recent — and your other life situations that inspire your theme are so very powerful. You’ve got a really great thing going here, and I look forward to seeing your series as it evolves, working out your parameters and your internal inspiration with your wonderful stitching skills.

  7. I too am totally enthralled about the thoughtful way you have approached this challenge, and the subject you have chosen. I too like to construct pieces using leftovers from my ‘scrap bag’, and to use hand stitching, but you have excelled in this piece with the colours and textures you have chosen, and with the stitching which connects everything. This is a wonderful piece, and like everyone else I am looking forward to the next one

  8. Your theme and rules are reminiscent of an exercise suggested by Jane Dunnewold in her book Creative Strength training. The set of rules can constrain you or set you free.it sounds as though it has set you through. Connections is a fascinating topic on its own, especially as we seem to have fewer in person connections. I love the variety of your hand stitching and how it helps to tie all the bits and pieces together. I look forward to seeing the variety of bags that you have created.

  9. I love the way you chose your theme and then set yourself strict boundaries. A great way to work I think. The hand work here is tremendous.

  10. An interesting way to approach the theme. Like Els said: your handembroidery is your trademark.

  11. What an amazing piece you have created with all the bits and pieces. Your extraordinary hand stitching just brings it all together so perfectly.

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