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