Thursday, 30 September 2010

Embroidery Samples Complete!

Despite leaving it til the last minute I managed to finish my Embroidery Samples module for our September class! The sample above is of a stencilled design quilted with trapunto and an amroidered edge. I made 26 samples in total and many had several of the required techniques included. I chose to make most of them into mini quilts and each measured 10" by 12". Here's a slideshow:

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Saturday, 3 April 2010

Silk Paper Sample

During our March weekend at college we made silk paper and paper using other fibres to use as a base for stitching. I used some silk throwsters waste to make one piece which I painted with silk paints. I layered this on hand-dyed cotton fabric, wadding and thin calico backing and stictched a meander with cotton thread.

I then decided to add some thicker threads for further texture.First I used a thick silk embroidery thread in the bobbin with a fine cotton through the needle to create 'cable stitch'. I had to stitch from the reverse side but my basic meander acted as a guide for where to stitch. I also tried out couching using a freestyle couching foot for my Bernina. This worked really well too.

I had a few problems with the fluffy fibres of the silk paper getting caught around the machine foot but simply snipped these away as I worked. I am really pleased with his one - the colours and the texture look great and despite initial misgivings I could become a silk paper enthusiast!!

I'm hoping to do several more embroidery samples this week as I have a few days off work. I also plan to start putting my folder together to hold the samples with the notes to go with each one. I think it's building into a fascinating collection and something I can continue to add to long after the course is complete!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Sheer Landscape


This started with a pale blue and purple fabric whic I'd hand- dyed but didn't like. I painted a piece of bondaweb with  Lumiere paints and ironed it onto the fabric. I decided to add some sheer organza but didn't have any suitable colours so I dug out some papers I'd painted a couple of years ago with transfer paints. These paints can be used to paint patterns or pictures on ordinary paper then the picture can be ironed onto synthetic fabrics. I had sponged and painted various colours and so could iron these onto my organza. Here's one of the papers:

And the colour trainsferred onto my polyester organza:
Here's another:

I tore the organza into strips and pulled some threads in some pieces to get a scrunched fabric for more texture:
The organza is easy to attach to the fabric as the bondaweb still has some stickiness when ironed. 

I then layered with wadding and backing and quilted with cotton threads, Finally I added beads by machine - watch a video of the technique here.
It is more textured than this photo shows. I may add more beads and still have to bind it but I've enjoyed this and am very satisfied with the result!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Sketchbook Progress

I've spent the last couple of days working on my Research for Design sketchbook as I need to get it ready for presentation in about 10 days time. I've been decorating pages and attempting to cover some of the course requirements such as cultural and historical heritage as well as adding to the artwork we've done in class. It's slow going but very satisfying when I finish a page or two!


I've experimented with spraying inks onto the pages to make the background a but more interesting. The pages above are heavily sprayed using several colours. I've also made some more subtle pages by painting a wash over a double page with strong tea then spraying lightly with ink and pressing the two pages together. When I pull them apart I get some lovely effects. My 'Mini Misters'  and Ranger Distress Inks are great for this:

While I was playing with paint I decided to make some textured background fabrics for embroidery samples. I painted Bondaweb with diluted Lumiere paints. The bondaweb crinkles up as it dries and I scrunched up one sample while still wet for even more texture. I ironed them onto fabric. Here they are waiting to be stitched:

I've found 'Connecting Art to Stitch' by Sandra Meech very useful for ideas for simple art exercises. It was £10 well spent!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Videos Galore

Recently I've been watching my DVDs from The Quilt Show which feature a different quilter each show.  Bonnie McCaffery showed her bobbin embroidery on one showand I visited her blog to find out more. I discovered she does regular Vidcasts showing her work and also the work of other quilters - It's a fantastic way to watch demonstrations. Visit her site by clicking here!

Saturday, 23 January 2010


This weekend we're concentrating on relief and 3D structures. The  following were made by our tutor to show some possibilities with 'Softsculpt' to make small bowls:

The next photo shows decorative stitching on a hessian background:

Lastly for now collage using 'Grungeboard' which is a thick flexible materials made from compressed paper:

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Indigo and Batik Samples

December at college was dyeing with procion, indigo and batik samples. I'd bought Janice Gunner's book, Shibori for Textile Artists at the Knitting and Stitching Show so I had a go at some of her stitched resist techniques.

These two samples were made by

a) pinching and twisting little cones of fabric and fastening them with thread.

b) hand stitching rows of running stitch then gathering before dyeing.

I'm really pleased with how they turned out and will be quilting them - on the machine of course!

I also tried pleating and folding and tying in knots:

               Pleated and folded in triangles                       pleated then tied in knots

                                                 pinched in the centre and pleated

I did do some procion dyeing with thickened dyes and the leftover thin dyes - more about that another time.
On Sunday Lesley showed us how to practice batik on paper with leftover dyes. Then we moved onto fabric. I used silk paints on fabric I'd dyed pastel colours perviously:

This was done in a hoop and I painted random colours over the waxed pattern

 Here I wasnted the look of ripples on water. Pity about the blobs - perhaps I could paint them and turn them into rocks!

So a very busy but satisfying weekend. I'd really like to get on with lots of quilting using these but will I have time in the next couple of weeks?