Friday, July 13, 2018

Online visual diary

I have finished the tapestry and have even sewn in the ends and put a backing on. Yay!


Actually, this has been done for a week or more, I just haven't done anything with it since then.

I have been working on several ideas lately, mostly in my head. One is for the upcoming exhibition at the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria, with the theme Art Deco Now!

One is to lead a Play Day group at the guild, making folded fabric books. I have not done that for ages and am trying to work out how to make them so they can have some texture but still fold.

I wanted to see how I had done something (the folded books) and the best place to find it was ... here, in this blog. I know I started it to be a visual diary (and to learn how to blog - so long ago!). I have dropped off lately. I used to try to post at least once a week. Now I am being productive if it is once a month.

Facebook and closed groups there have sidetracked me a bit. There is a lot of sharing of ideas, prompting new ideas, techniques, challenges, etc. So I have been distracted by that. And then you get even more distracted looking at stuff you had no intention of knowing about. Or wanting to know about.

So I think I will try to be a bit more self-focussed (in a good way) and start blogging a bit more often - really just as a visual diary.

I have this tendency to try various things and then forget how I did it, once I have moved on to something new. I also try to meld ideas from various workshops, books, discussions, etc and need to keep a record that is easy to find. I do have folders with examples, but it is cumbersome to find them, locate the exact bits you want and then see what use it might be. Here, you can put in a search and, if you have put in useful labels, it comes up rather quickly.

On the other hand, going through the old folders can be great - you come across things you had totally forgotten you had played with and get re-inspired.

So ...

Onto the current project. Actually, it is one of several things that are occupying my mind at present but I will try to just do this one.

One of my Facebook groups has set a challenge to come up with 4 more textile art pieces in the coming 12 months. The first one was due this month. Not sure of the date and it really doesn't matter as it is not for any deadline other than an arbitrary one.

The 4 pieces are to be 12"x12".
The overall theme is Micro/Macro.
Not sure how I will interpret this and expect things to change over 12 months.
The first one is to be rather monochromatic - approximately 80% the colour and shades of, the other 20% to be another colour.
I have photos that I have played with and played with and then not used, of the hollyhocks in the back yard.
One of the photos is of a close-up of the flower. That is my macro (or is it micro? It may depend on whether you are talking cameras or not).

I am going to stick with my current technique derived from Kathryn Harmer Fox's workshop in 2017.

So I have lightly outlined the image and then covered it with little bits of fabric. Due to my recent work with being Inspired By Van Gogh, I am tending to use that technique that replicates the brush strokes. This has caused some of the pieces to be very small indeed. But I have managed to roughly sew them all so that they are attached, even if some of them are barely attached.


I have put a frame with a 12" hole over it, to give me an idea of where the edges might be.
I liked the raw edge effect of my other Van Gogh pieces, so will try to do that. I think.

The next step will be to decide how to sew the fabric in, how to make it look more like I envisaged, more a part of the overall fabric.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Still going

Just noticed the date: 18/6/18. Lucky I find the dates interesting, or I wouldn't be posting at all.

I have been plugging away at my Transformation tapestry. I got a few hours in last week, none yet this week.
It is slowly growing and I think I am about two thirds of the way through. (I hope it is that much, anyway.)

Here it is.

The thickness of the double warp is making it hard to follow the cartoon, so I have started just making it up - more than usual. I will have to hope the plants look a little bit like small oak trees starting off. The stems are rather wobbly because I didn't want to sew the slits and I have been attaching the nearby colours. I am not into realistic with this one.

We decided that the only criterion was that it should be 25cm high. I might have to make up the top, just to get it to the correct height. The cartoon was that height but I have this bad habit of making my tapestries shorter than the cartoons. Must be something to do with how I beat them down. This one will be interesting because I have done a lot of double warp and that seems to be behaving a little differently.

It is good to experiment - in fact, it is what I often want to do, rather than come up with a wonderful piece. This is true of my tapestry weaving and my embroidery. I tend to be more experimental with my embroidery, probably because it is quicker and more forgiving.

We are supposed to be showing our pieces to our tapestry weaving group this weekend, it being the 4th Saturday of the month. I had planned to have it ready but wasn't all that aware of the date and that this month has 5 Saturdays. The 4th Saturday has come a bit early. So it will definitely not be ready. Oh well, I may get it done by the end of the month. Maybe.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Still playing with the string and transfer dye

We have another theme for this month's embroidery group - Blowing in the Wind.
I didn't have any great inspiration but did think the string and ink images were flowing, so decided to play some more.

I have also had some metallic thread for years. I haven't been confident to use it, so thought I would give it a go. As I was thinking of a wind instrument, that you blow into, and as they are brass, I decided to use my metallic thread.

I probably should have used a stronger colour for the instrument but am not too concerned about this little experiment.

I drew the image onto soluble fabric and sewed it. Then I dissolved the fabric and let it dry.
Once is was dry, I sewed it onto the fabric that I had used for the transfer dye.

I think I have put the instrument in the wrong orientation, in regards to the image, but I have successfully used the thread and have come up with my little A5 piece.

Not a great design but some learning done.
I might go over the instrument with a darker colour, just so you can see it!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Struggling On

I couldn't resist the date today - 3/6/18.
I haven't been up to much lately, just trying to get into my tapestry.
So here is a picture of where I am up to - which is a bit concerning because we said that we would have our pieces done by the end of the month. Our meeting is on the 23rd, which isn't really the end of the month!
So I had better get cracking.

Most of it is doing textured weaving over two warps, under two warps, etc. So I does go relatively quickly. And I have decided not to try to have any real detail in the foreground or background, so that saves a lot of unpicking and angst.

The acorn is taking shape. Some of it hasn't worked as I envisaged but I will keep going, I don't think I can make it any better. I just hope it looks like an acorn when I have finished. I may have to say it is an abstract acorn.

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.