Sunday, 27 February 2011

March JQ

This small set of pattern repeats has been an interesting experiment. I know I have made some elementary mistakes which I can improve on next time - I should have added the voile as step one and that would have avoided some heavy areas of stitching which look out of place. Here I have quilted each area as a separate entity, I feel I should try the same idea with a quilting design that crosses the pieced boundaries.
I do like the colours and I am now planning a larger piece with different sized sections and some plain fabric inserts to break up the busyness of the strata sections.
I need to go back the the "holes" work and progress that too.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Ferrers Centre & Staunton Harold

Yesterday we visited Staunton Harold especially to see the "Flair" exhibition at the Ferrers Gallery. This, Design Factory show presented a fascinating collection of work from artists based in the east midlands working in Textiles, Ceramics, Jewellery and Sculpture.Its open until 10th April.
I was particularly interested in Lorna Syson's work with linen and yarns from nettles, clear clean lines and textures. Jeanne Roberts Nuno felting and screen printing was new to me and I loved the effects she had created. Anne Menary's witty collages with scientific themes were great fun. So pleased I went, very polished and professional finish to all the work, and I found a stunning pair of earrings, which I'm waiting for as they had clips and I wanted them for pierced ears.
The stable block where is the gallery is based has a great tea room, other galleries and "Breadfirst" a lovely deli-bakery - fabulous artisan bread and a great range of cheeses.
Had the weather been better there were a range of interesting walks in the grounds that would have made a great summer day out!

Friday, 18 February 2011

2011 Journal Quilts - March Quilt?

Following my experiments on Saturday I am now trying out ideas with them in the small repeat pattern shown earlier. We are working to a 10" square so I redrew it to size before tracing it onto Freezer paper. The fabrics had bondaweb applied to the reverse and the cut up freezer paper lightly ironed onto the RS of the fabric. To reduce the bulk I applied the shapes to muslin.
I then joined the sections together with fine seams to give the basic overall pattern for this experiment. Now I plan to embellish the surface.
I am feeling a growing tension - I am actually enjoying working on this smaller scale and wonder whether I will want to make a larger wall hanging, I am enjoying the intricacies of this scale which is really new for me.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

ISG - Experimenting with fabric dyeing and printing

One of the things that I am very keen to do is produce more of my own fabrics to work with. I am, however a novice in this area and recognise that I will need to try a large number of experiments before I can begin to get anything really useful and certainly anything repeatable!
I have been looking at the repeatability of some of my initial design ideas and the fabrics I dyed yesterday are destined to be used in these experiments. The photographs show the 1st repeat design idea, some of the fabrics dyed and a sample of screen printed fabric.
Working in the small volumes I am doing I found it quite hard to measure dyes accurately enough to get repeatability. I now know that I will need to use teaspoon/part teaspoon measures and write out the "recipe" for each batch so that I can get the batch as I want it. I have also chosen to work from primary colours rather than buying the exact shade I want, I think I will learn more this way. I also recognise how difficult it was for me yesterday to accurately predict the extent to which a dye would become more pale on drying. All of these things will become easier with practice. It was also so much easier to do in a "wet" area rather than a kitchen or workroom in the home! I will therefore need to make really good use of my studio time at ISG to create the fabrics which I can work with at home, I can even screen print at home, so the dyeing needs to be done each month.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

ISG experiments pt 4

I have been working on the "holes" theme for the last few days and have altered the proportion of the shapes, making them taller and slimmer. (if only it were so easy to do that to myself!!) I have also looked at only using part of the shape and filling in detail just with stitch.
I have also tried a very small scale experiment "tea dyeing" cotton and over printing with text and abstract shapes before adding applique shapes and stitch. This meant making my own printing block of small squares from a children's set of stick on letters! the result is not perfect but does point me in the right direction in terms of producing interesting fabrics to work with. At our next day I need to dye and print some larger amounts of fabric so that I can experiment further and perhaps make a start on one quilt design.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

ISG experiments pt 3

At present I am trying out a whole range of possible design ideas that will help me to crystallise my ideas for several larger pieces of work. One of the most simple and geometric images I came back from Jordan with were the entrances to rock dwellings in Petra. I like the simplicity and want to explore the use of this image to create a piece of work.
The photos show the rock dwelling; my CAD design ideas and a small worked sample. Colour scheme is right but the fabrics were just what I had to hand and therefore in places a bit of a distraction. This sample had the apertures appliqued to a base fabric, but I want to try cutting away the base fabric and placing the aperture fabrics behind to see if that makes a difference.
This has been very enjoyable playing, I must now make some decisions as I want to dye some fabrics next week so that I can get the palette right and because I wasn't to gain confidence in producing my own.