Monday, 6 October 2008

Good Times

Well.... what fun I had this weekend! Met up with three like minded friends and created from dawn 'til dusk.
I had wanted to have a go at the "bark fabric" technique that Val has explored and written about on her blog. Although I didn't want to create a finished piece that resembled tree bark i was intrigued at what background effects could be created using this method.
So off I went.....
A layer of felt was covered with some rust dyed fabric then newspaper, lace, painted papers and tissue were added finishing with a layer of sheer fabric. Stitching began and ended when I felt enough was enough! The peice was zapped with a hot air gun and stamped using foam blocks.
Keeping to my long running Anemone theme the shapes were stitched from behind using a sheer fabric as the applique piece and when stiched firmly into place I cut away the front portion (is this reverse applique?) Although not visible in the photograph the flowers are translucent. The applied flowers on the front are the bits that were cut away and are 3d but remain unfixed just pinned in place.
Now the dilema, it was created to be cut up into 2 PCs and a panel for a book cover but am rather liking the piece as a whole!
Thank you Maggie, Mandi and Linda for such a lovely weekend.
Off on Holiday this week so will be having a "blog break".
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Monday, 22 September 2008

Four days of fun and surface decoration

Last week I spent four days with one of my closest friends just being creative.... bliss. Had a chance to explore "lamination" from the Lesley Morgan, Claire Benn and Jane Dunwold book purchased at the NEC, (pic's 1 and 2). After completing the lamination(transfer) process, which is so easy to follow from the book using matt medium, sheer polyester fabric and a variety of papers I screen printed the tree using a paper stencil and printing inks (pic 1). With the second bit (pic 2) decided to use transfer paints to decorate the surface further and took a print from a piece of anaglypta using the transfer paints then when dry, heat transferred it onto the sheer cloth. Very pleasing results!
Photo number 3 is a printed peice of fine linen using fabric paints with stamps, string, sequin waste and my trusty anaglypta then painted over with procion dyes (salt and soda added). It retained the colour really well so was chuffed.
And finally the last photograph is of the two paper stencils i cut for screenprinting and used during the time to decorate every piece of fabric and paper i could get my hands!
What a great few days am already looking forward to the next time we can manage to sneak off...
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Sunday, 7 September 2008

....on a roll now!

UFO's never kick start me into anything but after reading C.June Barnes (book mentioned in previous post) i decided to resurrect this piece which is at least three years old. It was loathed(as a whole) by the time it had put it together, although there were still small areas i liked. OriginallyI had wanted to create spaces behind to "use" as well as those on the front surface so had used dyed silk organza when piecing. Text was printed onto fabric which was then applied behind the sheer spaces as well as appliqued flowers. Although little bits of it were still liked it was too messy with colours that really weren't working. So....... I dyed it.
Do i like it now??? Not sure.
I lost the translucency to some extent as my cotton batting took the dye amazingly well making it very dark. In real life if you take a close look the text is still visible. The poly cotton fabric is, as you can see, very light. Stitching is now very clear as i used a synthetic thread in places and the cotton thread used took the dye differently to the surrounding fabric.
However, now feel i have a "more cohesive" surface to paint, print and work further onto. Watch this space.... may be a long time, ideas would be welcome.........
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...I haven't been completely idle!

Needed to kick start my creativity after what seemed like a long break! I had Number 3 in my Anemone postcard series to produce(better late than never, our monthly timescale seems to be elastic!)
I had discovered this "technique" in Quilting Arts and wanted to try it out. Fabric paint is mixed with the same amount of Gel Medium, coat a rubber stamp with the paint mix, place velvet onto the stamp surface right side down and iron over it with the iron set at a suitable temperature for the fabric, and voila, an embossed print onto the fabric. The velvet i used was silk (blouse i bought but no longer liked) but you can use synthetic velvet as well.
The magazine article suggests using "Polymer Stamps" (think they're the clear ones but not sure) but i didn't have any so just used my rubber ones. Caution, the hot iron can ruin the surface of the rubber so tried to be quick and not use too much pressure.
I used this for my appliqued flower onto some rather beautiful background I'd been sent as treasure(thank you Val). It's her foiled fabric paper and was the perfect colour and texture.
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Monday, 18 August 2008

Festival of Quilts

Like many of you out there, a trip to the Festival was the highlight of the weekend. Sharing it with a like minded friend was a brucie bonus. It was certainly a visual feast with something for everyone interested in Quilting and Textile Art. Will take a long time to digest all that my eyes feasted on. Three treasured purchases pictured above! The Stitching to Dye is by C.June Barnes, an Artist I have admired for some time and waited patiently for the release of her book,(very excited). The other two are by the talented trio, Leslie Morgan, Claire Benn and Jane Dunnewold. I spent some time in the Virtual Studio watching and talking to Leslie Morgan, who was by the way wonderfully generous with information, got so excited by all going on i started to drool!!! Intend to savour these purchases and more importantly explore their content fully in the coming months.
Have been creatively idle for the last few weeks combination of life and work(enjoyable just not creative) it's set to continue for a few more but will be active again very soon. Always good to have something to look forward to!
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Tuesday, 5 August 2008

....part two!

The second "project" of my weekend was this book! A few years ago, my mum in law bought me two wonderful books on "Bookmaking" and to date. I'm ashamed to say, hadn't explored them. Well now I have and am HOOKED!
The photographs are a little out of order but am not IT literate enough to rectify this on my own and my daughter's in bed!
Picture number 1 is of papers I painted and/or stamped with a selection of pre-cut and handmade stamps. Number 2 is the front cover of the completed book, number 3, the inside of the completed book and finally number 4 the back and fron inside cover.
I mixed a few bookmaking ideas included in the book(Textbook), (very confusing too many book references!) just to make things interesting(hard) and challenging! Learned a few valuable lessons as well.
I included a few stitched pockets on some of the pages and some accordian folded pages which aren't clear from the photographs. There were 4 sections(signatures in bookmaking terms, now i am one!) each with a decorated paper spine. In the photo number 2 it's the paper you can see where the tassel is attached.
Better get cracking on some more as i think they'll make really nice gifts for christmas.(not sure in which year!)

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Busy, fun filled, weekend....

What a busy weekend I had! Went to stay with a friend(Mandi) and we managed to try out Rust Dyeing as described in detail by Lynda (Purplemissus Blog) using Caustic soda, teabags and ferrous sulphate. Here are just a few snaps of my wonderful uncontrollable results. Due to inclement weather we were forced to do it inside with windows and doors open i hasten to add but the aroma isn't terribly pleasant i have to say
The first photo is one of fabric that was pre soaked in a washing soda solution prior to dunking. As you can see the russet tones are really vibrant. The second photo is of a selection of handmade papers and vilene plus a rather nice paper towel courtesy of Premier Lodge, many thanks! The final one is of fabric thats been pre-soaked in a vinegar solution, Lynda suggests white vinegar but ours was half white and half malt as that was all we had and can be very resourceful, not sure if it makes a difference.
I much prefer the "latte" colours of the paper and vinegar soaked fabrics. Thanks Lynda for fab tuition we had great time.
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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Next Stage...

Have printed onto the patchwork pieces from previous post using the same foam stamp blocks used on my last printing binge.
The un-pieced anemone printed fabric was a pink and white check commercial cloth that went into the same dyebath as the pieced one. Am quite pleased with the results. Now what to do with them....
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Sunday, 20 July 2008

A bit of Patchwork.

Continuing my quest to create a "fabric paper" look from fabric alone so decided to piece some commercial print fabrics together, just using gently curved strips. The small piece in the corner and thin strip are what they looked like prior to being dunked in the dyebaths. None of the fabrics had been pre-washed, well i was on a roll! Think that may be why I ended up with a rather patchy look. Now i need to consider the next stage..... printing i think. Am trying to be really disciplined colour wise so I end up with a "stash" of farics that i can use togethe rather than a random "whatever takes your fancy" colour theme. Althought the top piece isn't quite what i had in mind that will teach me to write down previously used colours when dyeing a particular piece!!!
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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

ATC and PC

What a title, sounds like a secret code!
The first photo is the ATC i made for a swap within the Yahoo group "Textile Challenge". Fabric paper base, painted using acrylics and stamped. The crown was taken from a larger peice of fabric i made using old bits of lace stitched onto felt then washed with emulsion paint (thanks Val). I then painted the crown silver and the fleur de lise is ..... yes you guessed it, anaglypta! Old habits die hard. Words printed onto stamped paper using a small alphabet stamp set recently purchased.

The second photo shows the first two PCs in my "series" swap with Mandi. I chose anemone's as my source material hence the flurry of printing activity previously. The first (top) is made solely from paper with and thread the second is fabric and thread. I wanted to achieve a similar effect using fabric and paint as i'd achieved using the fabric paper. Lots of layering of colour was the key, just using fabric paints and stamps cut from foam onto my own space dyed fabric.
Now number three...... hmmmm.
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Monday, 14 July 2008

Number 2!

In my postbox the other day was this little beauty! The second in the "series" of PCs from Mandi. Needless to say mine in return, is as yet unfinished but hoping to rectify that today...
Thank You.
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Monday, 30 June 2008

Anomene Fever

Spent some time yesterday making a print block loosely resembelling an Anomene. It was made from "funky foam", again from a local toy shop and glued onto a block. The images were printed using fabric paint onto previously dyed and printed fabric. Am liking the layered look and may continue further. The green leaves were stencilled on before printing the flowers. May need to consult "The Painted Quilt" book by the Kempshalls for some inspiration.
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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Block and Screen Printing

Decided to do a bit of further work on the fabrics dyed last weekend. Have had a play with screenprinting in the past and decided to resurrect my old battered screen and squeegie! The screen itself is just a wooden frame covered in a piece of fine net, crude but works. The stencil for the flowers was cut from greaseproof paper and attached, with masking tape, to the front of the screen. I used screen inks to print with, again have had them for about 10 years but wonderfully they've withstood the test of time! I then printed the black centre with a foam dot when the flower was dry.
The spirals were a block print made from childrens pre-cut foam shapes (from a local toy shop) glued to a piece of board. The photo's not great but i printed onto tissue paper and scrim as well as the large painted background. I used fabric paints and a sponge to coat the block then straight down onto fabric and voila!
Now, what shall i do with these? May print further but not sure yet.

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Monday, 23 June 2008

and also..

Had a go at painting the dyes directly onto pre-treated (soaked in soda solution) fabric, using the method in Ruth Issetts book "Colour on Cloth"
The first photo is when wet, the second when dry and the third when washed. I like soft muted colours so the final piece was pleasing but will need further experimentation to produce strong colours. Having never used Urea when dyeing fabric only salt i replaced the "Chemical Water" (recipe in the book) which contains Urea with a salt solution. I do like to go along on my own merry way sometimes!
Perhaps the inclusion of Urea would deepen the colour??? Any tips gratefully recieved. I used a pippette to "splodge" the dye onto the fabric, liking the feathery look it gave. My try to get a darker finished piece or may not as softer tones are much more me.

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...a bit more

These were dyed in plastic bags. The larger piece in the background is tissue paper which i often colour with spent dye.
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Been Dyeing!

I really enjoy dyeing my own fabrics to use in projects so yesterday I set out armed with fabric and dyepots. The first photo is of a bargain fabric picked up in a local shop on saturday. It's a Viscose Linen and was £2.69 a metre. When i read on the label it was Viscose i knew how well it would absorb procion dyes and wasn't disappointed.
Silk organza, muslin, percale cotton and the viscose linen were all in the same dye bath and absorbed the dye in varying degrees. I used three colours pouring them into the bath one after another, raspberry, red brown and magenta. The percale is the lightest in colour and the organza the darkest. Was pleased with the results so now i need to get on and use them!
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