Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fabric and Quilted Blocks

I've been doing some more dyeing and printing this week. Not many photos yet but I washed out the above piece today. It's approximately fat quarter size and was dyed first then monoprinted and block printed with Procion dyes. The block was made with foam shapes glued onto wood while the negative shapes were cut from paper.

The quilt blocks were made from a variety of cottons, rayons and silks, all light colours, which were dyed after piecing and quilting. I've been working through some of the exercises in the book Stitching to Dye in Quilt Art by C June Barnes. This is the first one, it'll be the front and back of a bag. I'm now onto the third. I'm just doing squares as I'm not really interested in making quilts at this stage but I do like some of the effects she gets and some practise at quilting won't go astray.

Things are getting going for the year, we had our first meeting of Innovative Stitches on Saturday. It was just a morning tea and show and tell, some lovely work to look at. It's the WA Embroiderers Guilds' 40th birthday this year and our group is doing boxes for the exhibition which are meant to show what we were doing in 1969. I haven't started mine yet but I was a student at Perth Tech doing Graphic Design which was a lot different then to how it is now. It was really more of an art course as we did oil painting and life drawing, as well as design, illustration and hand lettering - no computers of course! It gave me good training in art skills and also helped me get into a university art course much later.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Block printing & plans

The weather's been nice this week so I've spent some time in my studio making some new printing blocks as well as doing some printing with dyes and paints. The shapes I used to make the above blocks are from the reject shop, 2 packs of peel and stick squares and circles, made for furniture legs. The square ones have an interesting texture too. The test prints shown are done with Permaset and I will over print them later.

I was so busy over the new year period that I didn't make any resolutions which is OK but I'd like to do a quick review of 2008 and my goals for this year.

My intention was to spend 2008 concentrating on Procion dyeing and printing which I did but not to the extent I'd hoped. I did find that teaching the workshop this year helped increase my knowledge and confidence with Procions. Teaching is great because it makes you really focus on what is needed as well as all the research and preparation that I do. Since I've done that, I have renewed enthusiasm.
I'll keep developing my surface design and dye work this year as well as more experimenting with breakdown printing.

Jane Dunnewold's workshop at Fibres West was a highlight of 2008, no dye printing, but I did learn several new techniques and it was great to be with a group of people with a similar interest in surface design.

I didn't end up entering any competitions or juried exhibitions but did take part in 2 exhibitions and have sold some work. I also wrote an article on heat transfer dyeing for Fibre & Stitch (online zine) and took part in an art cloth challenge (not sure what's happening with that but will advise on further developments)
I've decided I'm not going to beat myself up about entering things, I will still aim to do as much as possible but without putting too much pressure on myself.

I finally finished Playways on the Net Module 2 and started Module 3 and I also took part in Sharon Boggon's Take it Further Challenge but didn't finish all 12 of them. I won't do any more online challenges because I find them a bit distracting but I am doing a fabric surface design round robin this year, I've sent off my first layer already.

I managed to keep up with my walking program all last year and continuing this year so am very pleased with myself about that.

I kept up my blog and intend to carry on with it. I find it helps me stay on track and document what I do.

As well this year:
I'd like to do some contemporary quilts and try to get to some of the CQ group's meetings .
Do some dressmaking for myself.
Travel, hopefully to Japan to visit my eldest daughter.
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

2 Brooches

Above: this brooch is made from fabric with fast 2 fuse in between and it's embellished with stamped embossing powder. I've stitched a cord on to finish the edges.

This one is made from brass shim which was embossed using a ball point pen, coloured with sharpie markers then free machine stitched onto a felt background. I used a red metallic thread to heavily stitch the edges.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heatgun Beads

I've just been unpacking some more of my workshop stuff and thought I'd photograph some of the new pieces, some I did before for samples and some are demonstration pieces done at the workshop. Most, not all, are done with the heat gun.

Above: Friendly plastic, shrink plastic and fun foam pieces. The fun foam is good because you can paint and machine stitch it, so it would make great embellishments for cards etc. The FP ones with embedded fibres (top centre & centre right) are also good for stitching onto things - I'm going to use some on the front of my book covers.

Here's a close up of some of my new beads. The wire coiled beads are done on a Gizmo gadget which I've had for ages and never used until now. It's fun.
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Fabulous Fabrics with Dye and Paint

Some of the hand painted (with thin & thick Procion dyes on wet and dry) fabrics drying on the veranda. This was after they had been batched and washed out, you can see we got good strong colours.
Below: the students at work. We got through a lot in the 3 days, they put in a great effort and got some great results.

Show and tell: we did a few methods of low water immersion dyeing, direct painting/printing etc. with the dyes, printing with bleach, then on the last day, overprinting and techniques with textile paints on the dyed fabrics, as well as trying oil sticks and foiling. They ended up with some fabulous pieces. Well done everyone!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm Back

I've been back from Albany a couple of days and life is back to normal. We had a good week away, my workshops at the Albany Summer School seemed to go pretty well and were well received and I sold 2 of the pieces which were in the Tutors' exhibition. One of which I have mixed feelings about as it's left a big space on my wall, I guess I'll have to do something else to go there. But the lady who bought it was so happy with it, I am pleased. Its the wall hanging called Dreams of India which I did last year.
Above: is 1 yard of rayon which I dyed yesterday for a Complex Cloth Yahoo group round robin which was organized by Susan Purney Mark. It has quite a bit of white left as it was stuffed quite tightly into a tray but that's OK as it leaves the next person the option of overdyeing.

Above: the beach at Emu Point, Albany. The weather was lovely, we escaped the sweltering heat in Perth last week. I would have liked a couple of extra days to relax as the teaching was quite intensive with a lot of preparation before too. I admire anyone who teaches full time! I usually only do one day workshops so 4 days was a stretch and I hadn't taught the fabric dye & paint one previously. It's left me keen to do more though.

Above: some of my Heat Gun Bead Making students at work. I'll post some of the other class next time.
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