Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Blues, browns and rust

Last weekend I spent a lovely three days teaching a group of students at a Nottingham based Area Day for The Quilters' Guild. They opted to take my Sand, Sea, Stitch workshop and appeared to thoroughly enjoy dyeing lots of different fabrics in an indigo vat and large pots of potassium permanganate.
Here a partially dipped fabric changes from the vivid magenta colour of the potassium permanganate solution to a spicy brown. Cotton fabrics will fade to a soft, warm brown once they are washed and dried where as dipped silk remains a beautiful espresso brown.
You will be relieved to know that neither of these pans are used in food preparation!
This is the result of a fabric which had first been dipped in potassium permanganate and then tightly  wrapped around a pole before being partially immersed in the indigo vat.
This is a concertina folded fabric which had been wrapped tightly with a thick thread to create this lovely resist.
Hilary liked the idea of dunking her little sketchbook first into the potassium permanganate and then into the indigo. I really like the resulting framed pages.
Everyone enjoyed the dyeing process so much that Liz was the only person to actually produce a stitched piece with her fabrics and what a great result.
There were also some lovely rusted fabrics produced with the aid of vinegar and tea. Its always fun to see what rusty items appear for this activity. This chunky chain worked very well.
As did this key.
I'm sure there will be some exciting pieces of work produced with the bags full of fabric that were dyed on the course. I think my samples are still sitting in the garage waiting to be rinsed!
There hasn't been much time for stitching this week so far but I will hopefully do some catching up tomorrow and will post what I have been up to soon.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Catkins and pussy willows progress

It's been a busy week with progress made on several pieces of work for summer deadlines. Having spent quite a while considering different possibilities for my printed and drawn catkins and pussy willows I eventually decided on this layout.

I discharged one or two pussy willow branches using my Thermofax screen and then roughly cut them out. At present they are pinned to the pieced background and the intention is to apply them, raw edged, by hand.

I have machine quilted some of the background but would like to quilt most of the detail by hand. We shall see!
I have also produced another large breakdown printed cloth using my house numbers.

This section of the cloth is regularly printed with repeat images using two different screens.

Then I randomly printed the remaining cloth using the same screens. I have completed one quilt using a similar printed cloth that I have blogged about previously but this is under wraps at present. It's now back to the drawing board as I need to develop this new cloth in a slightly different way but still using these numbers which refer to the house numbers of the houses I have lived in.
It has been a beautiful day here in Worcestershire so we had to take advantage of the sunshine. We visited our local National Trust house, Hanbury Hall and of course, took lots of photographs. There are many very old trees in the parkland and many of them have been felled which provided wonderful photographic opportunities.

I think these look like landscapes!

What a wonderful horizon!

A quarry maybe?
I hope you have managed to enjoy some late winter sunshine today.
Thank you for reading, speak soon.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Catkins and pussy willows

It's amazing how much fun can be had with a piece of corrugated cardboard and a credit card ( and not spend any money!). It turns out that the cut edge of corrugated card can be manipulated to produce an excellent representation of a catkin and if it is curled, a fluffy pussy willow.

The same marks on soda soaked fabric with thickened dye works just as well.

I have coloured the background by scraping thickened dye over the printed catkins and added a few extra marks with the edge of the card.
I now have a collection of printed fabrics with similar images so I think cutting them up is he next stage.  I will let you know what I decide.
The gelli plate printed papers have now been cut up and there are lots of lovely books being constructed by my students.

These are a few of Barbara's signatures. I love the colour scheme here.

Jill used stencils that she had prepared to mask areas as she printed.

Jo chose a circular format for her book to complement her theme based on the solar system.

Linda created this lovely paper using her round gelli plate. I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops.
Last weekend I spent an indulgent weekend in London with my school friend Ann. We visited The Barbican to see the Pop Art Design exhibition; what a bold, experimental period that was. I hadn't visited The Barbican before and thought the gallery space was excellent as was lunch in the Foodhall - to be recommended! We later went to the Gielgud theatre to see a fantastic production of Strangers on a Train and the following day breakfasted at Delaunays in the Aldwych - delicious! Back on the 5:2 diet this week!!

Thank you for visiting,