Experimental Textiles 6 homework – dyeing to stitch

This homework had been to take the synthetic fabrics which were transfer-dyed and the natural Procion-dyed ones and work with them from piecing to stitching.

With the synthetics, we used a soldering iron to cut out shapes from fabric that had been backed with Bondaweb. It is very satisfying cutting little wiggly shapes and peeling them away. These were replaced and reworked and stitched into.
This piece is made up of several layers: one hot-pressed background, with soldered wiggles on top, with second piece layered over that. This one had circles cut away and semicircles repositioned back into the holes. I then chose yellow which was present in the background to stitch with. I really like this choice as it contrasts with the darker areas. The regular running stitch was very therapeutic to do, and became a textured fill as part of the design. I’m just slightly frustrated that the circles are not as carefully shaped as I’d like as the piece developed from initial freehand doodles with transfer dyes, but as a sample it serves to invite me to have another ‘proper’ go sometime?



This little sample is sewn with some fine gold thread – just enough to draw the eye along the shapes which blend into the background.


For the natural fabrics, we were asked to piece these together without using any backing or interfacing etc. I’m sure Kim will explain why doing this was good for our experimental souls, as it was a challenge!
The fabric had been dyed in bags so we had lots of piles of goodies to choose from…


Below are the pieces arranged, and the stitching in threads that were either dyed in the same batch or chosen to tone in. I chose running stitch again, a bit like Kantha in the end.




One challenge was trying to integrate the silk viscose which was very shiny and despite being really beautiful, it stuck out like a sore thumb! I think I managed this, by overlaying chiffon and other elements, using stitch to move the eye across borders, and using smaller pieces in other areas of the sample so that it felt more balanced.


And finally, a little peek at some juicy tones that just called out! I felt quite curled up by the weather before Christmas and I was helpless against these darker wintery colours. I’m going to practice some other stitches on this sample just to see how I like them before the next weekend brings new excitement with metal and bondaweb!


I need to say ‘thank you’ to all of you reading this, and to Kim who shared my little blog this year. I started emptying my head last January and embarking on this wonderful year of experimentation, and have had over 4300 visits to the site and now have forty followers. It’s totally bonkers and unexpected, but great to share artistic interests with others. I have had a blast this year and intend to carry on with what has nurtured my soul so much. I truly hope you can do the same in 2015. Xx

4 thoughts on “Experimental Textiles 6 homework – dyeing to stitch

  1. Happy New Year! I love looking at your colour combinations even when some of the techniques you describe leave me scratching my head!

  2. And to you, too! I was scratching mine at the time as well. It was really just putting things on top of one another and cutting bits up until they looked ok. It’s rather exhausting sometImes making all the tiny decisions working this way but rewarding in the end. I’ve really enjoyed stitching over Christmas and the dark evenings but I’m in need of a little break now. May see you in a couple of weeks?

  3. I am enjoying watching how you work and problem solve to make the pieces. I know you put a great deal into your work and it shows. I know I will most likely never get a chance to take the class, since I live in Atlanta, GA in the USA, So I guess I am living vicariously through you. Thank for sharing. I find it very inspiring.

    1. Ah bless you, that has made my day! I know Kim would dearly love to work in the States so you never know.
      It’s been a good exercise to put down some thoughts in the blog and it has been an interesting challenge to play and see what emerges. Each time I think I know what I might do, something else happens 🙂
      I have the last weekend to post, then it will be about trying a final piece for our show. I have a few thoughts about that but I’m sure they will change, too!
      Thank you again.

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