Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mixing things up. in a good way.

Our machine embroidery group has the song and music title theme.

I found an interesting link online: here is the link.

I have been playing with the above technique, using inks.

I have also been trying out transfer dyes. The dyes had the same consistency as ink and you do the original image on paper, so it is just like the technique above.

So I have tried to combine the three.

My free motion foot broke and I bought this one. I found out why it is not as good as my other one - you can't do zigzag stitch. Fortunately, I realised before I broke the needle!

The theme is All That Jazz. The size is A5.
I have to admit, I am not finding this sort of theme all that interesting and am struggling to come up with images. But I will persevere because it makes me experiment.
I dyed through two layers and some of the images are rather faint. Not to worry, it gave me a background that I can live with. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Park bench inspiration

Going on with the Inspired By ... theme, I have another small piece done.
It is still inspired by Van Gogh and Kathryn Harmer Fox.
I used the seat in the garden at the asylum, by Van Gogh.  On my frequent walks with the dog, I came across many bench seats in parks.

The image I used as my model is nothing like the Van Gogh painting, but the painting was still my inspiration.

I have continued with the technique we learnt early last year, from Kathryn Harmer Fox. I used lots of small pieces of fabric, loosely attached them and then did some heavier stitching to give shading, etc.

Once again, it is roughly 12" by 16", or A3 size.

I actually quite like the back too, except that a piece of fabric got caught up in it, not that it matters as it is on the back.

It has taken me a while to get it finished, not for any good reason, just that life got in the way. But finally it is finished. Now to get the four framed. One day.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Missed my group

It was the meeting for our machine embroidery group today but I was unable to attend.

Not to worry,  took the opportunity to work on the piece for this month ... The Four Seasons. (Based on a song title.)

I had worked on the design and decided to just do it!
 You can see the basic (very basic) idea in the printout.

I traced the vague outlines of the piece onto the fabric, then laid out the sky, then the ground. All this is supposed to reflect the landscape in the different seasons.

I had noticed that our last winter was extremely green! I don't think I have noticed it being so green in previous winters but maybe I just wasn't looking.

Anyway, I have done winter as very green, summer as brown and the current autumn as a bit greener - but we are in dire need of some rain soon.

I seem to have attached the tree at an angle, so what was a straight on view is now slightly downhill.

It is only an A5 piece, so not very big. (14.8cm x 21cm, or 5.8" x 8.3")
It was a challenge to get my ideas into the small piece but I am reasonably happy with it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Transfer Dye

I recently attended a workshop run by Cas Holmes, at the Ballarat Fibre Arts event.
The first thing we experimented with was transfer dyeing. I had done a very small amount while studying my Studio Textiles and Design course but had not done any for years.

The idea is that you paint your dye onto paper and then iron it onto your fabric. It works best with synthetic fabrics.

Today, two friends and I had a play with it again. We were trying to work out what papers work best and what fabrics work well.

I purchased my dyes from Kraft Kolour and they were delivered very promptly!

I'm not sure we have discovered a lot but we had a very pleasant day.

One thing that one of us discovered is that you can transfer the dye from paper to paper - much more her thing. She is more interested in paper art now, rather than textile art.

Different papers soak up the dyes differently and some seem to retain the dye more than others. Different fabrics take up the dyes differently. It seems that we need to do a lot more experimenting before we know much!

Experimenting with different resists and layers of fabric, to see if the dye would go through.  We had drop cloths to catch any dyes that soaked through. No many did, as you had to wait till the dye was dry before ironing it onto the fabric. But some of the thinner fabrics did let the colour go all the way through.

 The dyes looked much darker on the papers!

 It even worked on some felt that one of us brought along. 
 This too is felt. 

These two images show the dye painted onto some pianola roll paper and then ironed onto the fabric. As I have said, the colour comes out very differently on the fabric. It will take a lot more experience with the process to be able to accurately predict results.

One thing we did learn at the workshop is to keep the papers, they can be used in the mixed media piece that you might eventually make.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Not Up to Much

No wonder I haven't been feeling all that creative today!

 This was taken at Clifton Hill, only 6 or 7 kilometres from the city.
Smoke Haze. And autumn weather. You could barely see the city. It has been like this for several days.

However, I have been trying to be a little bit productive.
I attended our Play Day at the EGV last Tuesday and we made little felt vessels. This one is mostly hand sewn, I just sewed on an extra layer of felt to give it some structure, using the sewing machine. I have no idea what I will do with it but it was relaxing to make.

I am also plugging away on my tapestry, not getting much done but trying. I have reached the part where the actual acorn is in the image, so I will have to not be so random in what I am choosing to do. So far I have been doing the ground around where the acorn fell and it is very non-pictorial. But I will have to be a bit more careful with the actual image.

It is almost time for me to have made my next A3 Inspired by Van Gogh piece too. I have not even finalised an image to use, let alone think about how I might do it. This weather is very enervating!

I do have some ideas, based on his picture of a seat in the asylum grounds. I have been taking photos of seats while out walking with Penny, our dog. They are not all that interesting but I hope to come up with something - soon.

Lots of lovely long shadows on these autumn afternoons. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Not Having a Clue

I have been a bit in the doldrums lately and am between projects - well, I am really supposed to working on one but it is just not doing it for me.

I have been having vague ideas about playing around with making some interesting fabric backgrounds that might then be used to stitch, collage and/or layer.
(Notice the vagueness of the outcome?? - hence the title, Not Having a Clue (What I Am Trying to Achieve.)

I went to a friend's house the other day and played with some different ideas.
 Some bits and pieces for rubbing. I used some water-soluble oil pastels. The name water-soluble makes me doubt that they will be colourfast but I tried it anyway.

An old Softcut stamp I made. The rubbing was done with the same oil pastels. 

 These two were done using a white crayon, rubbed over bits and pieces. Then ink was applied. One was left dry, the other (bottom) one was sprayed with water to see the different effects.

 Shiva stick oil paint rubbed over the stamp, on dampened fabric.

 Acrylic paint (very cheap) painted on, applied over some stencils and left to dry.

 Ordinary drawing pastels drawn onto the fabric. One piece had textile medium painted on before the pastel was applied, the bottom one after.

I have no idea what will be colourfast and what won't. The pieces are currently lying around being given time to embed into the fabric. I will iron them to see if that heat sets them. The I will wash them and see what worked and what didn't. Eventually.

All a bit hit and miss really.

But doing something, even if it isn't the tapestry I am supposedly working on.

The day wasn't a complete loss, I did actually play - and I had a lovely social day with my friends, one of whom provided a delicious lunch!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Own Unfinished Business Finished!

Feeling inspired by the Unfinished Business ... Finished exhibition, I dragged out a quilt that I had started many years ago.
It is a kaleidoscope quilt, using some rather bright floral fabric. I know the book  (Magic Stack-n-Whack Quilts) was published in 1998, and I think I may have started the quilt around about then, maybe a few years later.
I got as far as putting it all together and even started quilting it. Then, who knows why, I put it in a quilting bag and have not taken it out since.

I found that I had started some rather tight stippling all over the blank parts of the fabric (that may be why I put it away, there was a lot of stippling to do). It is now finished off with much looser stippling.

I also found that the fabric pencil marks I had made were, mostly, still there and was able to use them to do some patterning amongst the stippling.

All that was left to do after that was to put on the binding - which I have now done. Very satisfying.
I even have a good  home for it to go to.
I tried to do a random, asymmetrical back, using the fabrics from the front. I rather like that, might try that again - if I ever do a another quilt.

Now I have the quilting bag available too, ready to take bits and pieces to various classes and groups.