Back in the studio after two wet weeks on the canal

Having seen a friend’s family dyeing, I have been itching to get back in the studio and trial it. The technique is a little complicated, but basically, you use two different colours get dark, medium and light mixes for the two colours.  I decided that I needed to have a go at three colours, so I have a set of three control hues of each colour and then 3 sets of 9 mixes of two colours – they look like this when photo’d (better colours in reality):

Scarlet and lemon with the control reds at the bottom and lemons down the right

Lemon and turquoise  with turquoise control colurs on the right

and finally scarlet and turquoise

Strathmore Workshop 1 on Fabric

I have had another go at the first workshop doodles on fabric.  This time I used Boots travel spray bottles with Procion dye to put down the first layer with much better success.  It still bleeds a little under the resist objects but gives a soft edge to the shapes which is rather nice.  I then worked into the pieces using my collection of textile paints and permanent markers.  Interesting to see which ones work and which don’t. I have a number of Posca pens and the pink and turquiose are great.  The white disappears into the fabric and only really works on top of the textiles paints.  The green is pathetic!  The Sharpies have a tendency to bleed and need to be be used rapidly to get a fine line.

The first trial – the pearlised paints were not necessarily a good idea. I added Inktense pencil to the flower shapes as they were too stark.

The next piece – I deliberately, against Strathmore tutor advice, mixed the primary colours to see what a more subdued version would look like. I think it works on fabric.

And another, to which I added stencils applied with Markal sticks and a toothbrush to get the graduation of colour. This one is still on the board waiting for me to decide if it needs more doodling or if I leave it and do the rest with stitch.

The second piece now has some stitch, complete with hanging threads.


Last two Journal Quilts for 2011

Finally finished my last two quilts for December and January.  Getting my head round doing them proved difficult.  Part of the problem was starting my piece for Bletchley Park’s exhibition at the end of February.  The rest was sheer procrastination!

So here they are – first the December one which used provisional piecing which proved quite difficult on a small quilt.

And the final one for January this year – a single button with buttonhole quilting.

Now the burning question – do I do the challenge again this year?  It is colour based this time, 4 months of red, 4 of yellow and 4 of blue.  Also A4 which is a new format for me and won’t fit in my box of JQ’s.

New method of designing – starting with fabric

I have recently bought Lyric Kinard’s book, Art + Quilt, Design Principles and Creative Activity Exercises. It is based on the principle that design can start from your stash of fabrics.  So I did!

First, one has to photocopy in black and white some of one’s fabrics, cut them up and make paper designs.  These are “visual texture”.  It was a brilliant way of designing a number or pieces.  Here is one of my designs with added text.

I made one of the designs up into a journal quilt.  There are plenty more that could be used either in black and white or colour.  The fabrics in this quilt are discharged with formosul.

The next exercise is called “actual texture”.  I made two journal quilts.  The aim was to use neutrals, so I did one using walnut dyed fabrics and another using fabric dyed with cochineal.

The pink one is not to my taste at all but was sort of rescued by adding raspberry text!

Yesterday, I moved onto the “shape and meaning” exercise.  I am really pleased with the quilting – not perfect by any means but a good start to overcoming the procarastination that happens prior to quilting – I can spend ages trying to decide how to quilt and then not liking what I have done.  I like this and just got on with it.