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.

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.