Friday, 30 July 2010

Angie's July exercises

We were encouraged to work outside an area of comfort this month. I have always found it hard to applique shapes, so used this session to be a little experimental (for me!) with complex applique shapes.
I used "Bondaweb" and stuck it to the reverse of one fabric, and drew out the shape I wanted to applique. Then cut it out and stuck it down on the background fabric. Then I used a straight, free machine stitch and echoed the shape of the piece, extending and cutting inside the shape to anchor it down.
I was then interested in the negative shape left once I had cut out the applique shape. Putting a contrasting fabric behind it, I then stitched both layers to the background. I love the free, organic shapes created and will, I think use this idea for the August JQ.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Angie's Homework & August JQ 2

Trying to de-clutter all but my work room - really hard to do but I'm fed up with living in a junk shop!!! So little time for my work. Wednesday is my deadline for Angie's homework so I have been experimenting. My notion of combining the two things has been scuppered by my lack attention to detail!! Angie's homework is too big to be a JQ and I'd loose the composition if I cut it back to size. So..... I'm experimenting with another, on the same theme, this time with the size marked out at the start!!
I added a frayed strip at the join and another to the right, but don't like the way it breaks up the space, so have removed it. I like the leaves which were transfoiled befoe printing and the red print links with the red voille.
I really liked using "Mistyfuse" with the transfoils - definitely do that again. and I do like the screen printed text as a background. Will get another couple of screens done - Thermofax are great.
Now I just have to trim and edge my work for Angie tomorrow and relax over the JQ - its not August yet!!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Angie's homework & August JQ planning

Our homework this month was to look at the textile artists that we like and admire, analyse why they appeal to us and then produce a piece of work based on those artists. Its been an interesting piece of analysis - I find that I am drawn to the abstract and to the use of rich colours no matter what techniques have been used. I can see that influence looking at my own work, I certainly use lots of in your face colour and very few pales.
However, while I enjoy more restful work, limited pale colour pallets and losts of surface texture, such as work by Sheena Norquay I do not seek to work in that way myself.
I think my short list of artists with the most influence on me would be: Kathy Kleeman; Nancy Crow; Sandra Meech; Katie Pasquini Masopust; Bobby Britnall and Mary Sleigh. Not I hasten to add that I can achieve anything remotely on a par with their work but I feel an affinity with the way they use fabric and thread!
So I am now experimenting with ideas for my piece, above are photos of some screen prints I've made on two joined pieces of fabric and some possible layout for adding sheers to the piece. More to follow when I get some further inspiration!

Monday, 19 July 2010

July JQ

I knew last month that I had exhausted the "Cog" theme and that I would need to go in a different direction for the 2nd set of 6 this year. Quite by chance Angie Hughes' last session was colouring and embellishing white velvet and during the day I managed to get the wet stages done on 2 pieces of velvet and had started to add foils to one of them. The work came home and I put it to one side, as you do, almost forgetting about it!
Now, with 3 quilts posted off to their various new homes I was looking around for the a small piece of work - and found the coloured velvet!
I have had such fun with it - the piece has a very "Sixties" feel about it - perhaps because I'm approaching the big six oh this year!
1. This piece was spray dyed with Dynaflow dyes and dried.
2. Black Quink Ink was then sprayed over the surface randomly and allowed to dry.
3. The next stage involved stencils and bleach, the bleach removing the Quink in the spaces in the stencil leaving the black tracery. It was then left to dry.
4. Next I used acrylic paint to stamp designs over the surface and let that dry.
5. I added sweety foils using bondaweb and transfoils using misty fuse.
6. I then added black organza over the whole piece and added wadding, free machine embroidering round the foils and some of the stencil patterns.
7. I finished the piece off with couched yarns and a zig-zag.
Its a much more experimental piece than usual for me, I've loved doing it and will use some of the techniques again.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Cot Quilts

I have just finished a cot quilt for a friend's 1st Grandchild - most of my work is machine pieced and quilted, but I love to have some hand sewing on the go for doing while chatting or watching the TV. I have developed an English pieced design usually known as "Flick-flack" and machine pieced. Its a technique that allows me to use up off-cuts as well as any pieces from the stash. So the quilt is constructed from squares, each of 4 segments which when joined create the overall pattern.
This quilt is machine quilted to enhance the constructed design. It was lovely to do this knowing who was going to be the recipient.

I make several in a year which go to "Project Linus" but I'm ready to find another hand stitched idea to sustain me for the next 12 months of sitting around chin wagging!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Art in Action

Spent yesterday at the absolutely wonderful "Art in Action" at Waterperry Gardens, near Oxford. Such a range of wonderful individualistic work in all sorts of materials. We were lucky that it didn't rain while we were there and we were able to enjoy lunch in the open air with brilliant salads and a real espresso cart and later in the day scrummy cakes!!!
The textiles tent was a little thinner than last year but there were some stunning artists demonstrating their techniques and with examples of work for sale too!
I loved the work of Margo Selby who weaves her own fabric, especially liked the silk and elastane fabrics - very geometric and bold. I was able to buy some offcuts of her fabric which will work so well for a black and cream quilt I am going to make for my sister-in-law.
The other artist I was totally smitten by was Helena Vaari, from Finland whose fabric and machine embroidery "paintings" were brilliant - to me especially the close up detail ones of clothing - so tactile you wanted to reach out and touch them.
Of course there was a tent full of artists materials to buy - such temptation and a tent with stalls where artists were selling their work. I was able to meet up with Lesley Strickland again who makes lovely Jewellery, and I'm lucky enough to have quite a collection of her now.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Pole dyeing with CQ R7

Yesterday some members of CQ in Region 7 met together for a tutorial on Pole Dyeing from Anne Beech out at Mentmore. The eight of us had interpreted our instructions a little differently so there was variety in the way our fabrics had been prepared. Anne brought the pipes, dye baths and the procian dyes. Great fun. We prepared 2 different fabrics; one by gathering it up like smocking and tying it tightly round a pipe and the other folded into lengths that were multiples on the pipe circumference, stitched into a tube and then fitted over the pipe and squashed down as far as it would go. The fabric was so springy that it needed tying down!
The dye bath was then prepared to Anne's recipe and the poles put into the dye. Some fat quarters of other fabrics went in as well to create toning fabrics to use together. We were able to buy the pipes so the fabric came home to be washed and now I have the means to do the technique at home - brilliant.
I used yellow and black dyes in the same vat and have ended up with a deep greeny blue which is darker than I thought it would be but very usable. The textured patterns that have been created on the fabric are interesting and having a range of toning fabrics makes it a greater starter for a project. The photos make the fabric look very grey, in reality they are a deep greeny colour!!!

Monday, 5 July 2010

The Poppy Quilt

I have had such fun putting together this very simple wall hanging/throw as a raffle prize for the British Legion home my dad lives in. Its so far away its hard to get involved, but this is one way in which I can help a little. They do such a brilliant job, its the most unlike an old people's home I've ever seen and everyone is so friendly even when I can only get down once a month or so.
I've concentrated on the surface stitching on this work rather than fancy piecing, my machine skills are definitely improving with Angie Hughes' tuition and lots more practice than before. I found some spacers sold for jewellery making which work really well as flower centres and cut "poppy" out of a photo printed piece of fabric. Now I only have to make a sleeve and attach it and I can send it off.
Next is the July JQ and then I'm allowing myself to design and start a new piece for my sister in law - I have a colour scheme but now can start to think about shape, and pattern - its such fun!