Wednesday, 29 July 2009

And relax...

I have been sooooo busy of late; frantic some might say. It's that darn day job getting in the way of all my play :(

On the positive side I have finally finished my next project for Textiles 1 and will put the HUGE envelope in the post on Friday morning. The final piece was to try to combine a sketch with the fabric manipulation techniques learnt. I used one of the windows from Sweetheart Abbey with furrowing and shadow quilting techniques. This really exaggerates the window spaces, by creating such volume. I like the delicate mystical effect.

I have also been making the effort to drag myself out of bed early on a Sunday morning to pop along to my local knitting group. I'm working on the Stanwyck Pullover by Nancy Griffin, though am so far stuck in the world of rib. Maybe I'll be there by Christmas?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Quilting & YoYos

I have just had a very productive afternoon (it is so nice when that happens!) finishing my quilting samples. Firstly a hand quilted flower sample using a piece of polyester wadding sandwiched between two pieces of white cotton. Basting stitches where first added to stop movement, the flower shape sewn in running stitch, then surrounded by stippling, finally the basting stitches removed. The overall effect is subtle, pretty and time consuming!
Then a shadow quilting sample. I loosely tacked small shapes of nets and transparent materials onto a piece of white cotton. This was placed on a piece of wadding backed by cotton, and on top a piece of sheer salmon pink fabric; this was then all basted together. I then outlined the shapes with running stitch. This method produces a more muted effect compared to applique.
Finally, some Suffolk puffs or YoYos (depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on). These cuties are simple to make and create great shapes when joined together. They are perfect for using up scraps of material and would be a good starting point for making brooches.
Now, after all this hand sewing I am in desperate need of some hand cream!!!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Flags, Fraying and Folding

Just back from the wonderful T in the Park, had a great time but am now so very tired! Among the many things happening at the festival was a flag installation in the main arena by Angus Watt. These beautiful flags in various hues and differing designs looked stunning in the sunshine!
Back to my OCA work... at the end of last week I was playing around with tearing, slashing and fraying. Firstly a sample of these techniques using different fabrics. It is interesting to note how much effort was needed to pierce and tear some fabrics compared to others; and how some fray much more easily.
I also painted a piece of pongee 6 silk in bright colours, and then manipulated it. A black background really makes the frayed edges stand out.
Finally I have been folding stripy fabric to try to 'hide' a colour and trick the mind in to thinking it is all pink. I was tempted to add a hidden message to the white stripes for peeking eyes only! This reminded me of some cushions I had seen by Showpony, at first glance these are covered in a pretty floral pattern, but on closer inspection there are bugs lurking!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Applique & more gathering...

I love the look of applique; it reminds me of a child's fabric book, fuzzyfelt and cute motifs on t-shirts. In fact my favourite skirt is covered in applique (courtesy of Monsoon not me!). I tried to do some applique that wasn't typical of this and came up with...
Reverse or Sans Blas applique using brightly coloured felts (no fraying - yeah!).
Using sheer fabrics and 'hiding' secrets inside - well when I say secrets I mean silk strands and gold stars. I've also being doing some more gathering samples, firstly using bright stripy fabric:
I like the way the stripes distort, bending and flowing into new shapes. I also used some blue hessian, using the strands themselves to gather the fabric rather than sewing thread in. I think this creates a strange rigid shape which reminds me of insects!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Tyvek trials

As I work my way through the various exercises in the Fabric Manipulation module, I find myself trying new techniques and materials. I brought some Tyvek to have a play around with. This curious material is used within the building industry, and looks like a heavy white paper. It can be painted, printed or sewn upon. When heat is added it creates interesting and unique effects. I painted a sheet with acrylic paint and then ironed on a low heat (and a sheet of greaseproof paper to protect!). Initially the Tyvek had subtle changes and then all of a sudden... a complete distortion of shape and texture! I'm sure using a heat gun may allow a better control of the changes. I then added a few stitches to the Tyvek using embroidery thread.
How do other people find using Tyvek? Any tips for use?