I hope you like it, please share.
I hope you like it, please share.
Retreat on the Road
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th September 2014
Three days of surface design, mixed media, art quilt heaven.
This little retreat will be jam packed with fun, ideas and inspiration. Tutors have been handpicked for their sharing, inclusive and enjoyable approach, guaranteeing that you will not only learn heaps, you will have a ball doing it. Classes will be held in Townsville, QLD.
Each tutor will offer three one day classes, giving you a smorgasbord of six workshops to choose from. Class sizes will be small and intimate – numbers will be strictly limited – book early to secure your position. You can book for individual days or for the full three.
Ensure your place by paying the deposit, be first to see the tutors class list and get priority placement into the classes of your first choice. Deposit is fully refundable if your plans change, so there is no risk. This option is only available for the Far North Queensland Retreat as it is the first time we are running that event. Deposit registration will be available up until the time that the full class list is released at which time, those registered will be given first priority on class placements.
Tutors at the Retreat will be Jane Davila http://janedavila.com/ and Alysn Midgelow-Marsden http://alysnsburntofferings.blogspot.com.au/. Both tutors will provide fantastic classes and a great experience for participants
Don’t miss out!
I love creating my own fabric, whether that is by painting or dyeing and it is great to be able to use one off fabrics in projects. That way you know no one will ever have anything like what you do. Sometimes I meet in the middle of the unique one off and the commercial by incorporating elements of both. Today I have taken some fabrics I monoprinted with the Gelli Plate and then stencilled the fore ground and incorporated them into some very basic patchwork using batiks and hand dyes. The stencils are both commercially available. The feather is from The Crafter’s Workshop and the ballerina is a Stencil Girl stencil. Both will be very recogniseable in a range of different projects. The batiks are Tulis Textile fabrics and the hand dyes, all my own.
This first one is monprinted and stenciled then stitched together with Tulis Textile Batiks. Here is some detail of the priniting:
This second one is long and skinny. I see it as a great growth chart or to decorate a narrow and long space. Not that it will be either of those things, but it will be lovely as a simple demonstration for the Show stand or the Pop Up Classes.
And here is some detail:
I love this stencil. One more sample to put together with Gelli printed backgrounds and then I can move onto something else. What do you think?
Jane Davila will be attending the Darling Harbour Craft and Quilt Fair as my guest artist. She will have a lovely little Guest Artist space at the front near the entry and will be running some classes. I will also have Jocelyne Leath and me running classes.
The Darling Harbour Craft Fair Friend is not up yet, but I can share the most important bit – my pages!
Click on the link below to download the details of what we are all teaching and please join me. It will be fun! You can book now at http://tinyurl.com/cqtaf2y
I get a lot of questions on what the different types of silk products are that I dye, so this blog post is to explain, very briefly the different types I use and where they come from in the silk making process. Many are bi-products or part of the silk spinning process. Others are not.
Firstly lets look at the two types of silk fibre.
There are two, quite different, silk fibres – Mulberry or Tussah. I did a blog post on these in the past which you can find here: http://uniquestitching.wordpress.com/category/silks/. In both cases, the silk worms eat different leaves. Mulberry, which is sometimes refered to as Bombyx fibre, comes from the worm eating the leaves of the mulberry plant. Tussah silk is made when the worm eats oak leaves.
The Tussah is matte, honey coloured and a bit coarser.
The Mulberry silk is fine, cream in colour and very lustrous.
Both dye up beautifully, but put in the same dye bath, will have a different finish. This is the Rose Petal colour way. Both bits of silk below are 25grams. The one on the left is Tussah, the one on the right is Mulberry. They were dyed at exactly the same time in the same dye bath.
Silk fibre or silk top, whether Tussah or Mulberry can be teased out, spun, made into silk paper, couched down, trapped behind net, felted into wet felt with wool, needlefelted and so much more. Silk top is made by boiling down the cocoons to break down the protein that makes them hard (sericin). Once boiled down, the individual strands are pulled out and run through machines or by hand to collect the fibre.
Swapping colourways to my Pretty in Pink colourway now, I am going to show you some of the more interesting bits of silk.
One of my favourites is the Throwsters Waste. It is a crinkly, textural fibre. Basically it comes from cocoons that are flawed so that the fibre is not straight and can’t be woven into fabric. It keeps its interesting texture when you felt, needlefelt or bond it. Throwsters adds terrific texture to silk paper or when stitched onto a surface.
Still in the ‘soft’ fibres are two that are similar – hankies or caps. Now neither of these are clothing items. They are sometimes called mawata silk caps or mawata silk hankies. Mawata is a Japanese term describing this material. The Caps and Hankies are made by taking cocoons that have been boiled to remove the sericin like the fibre or tops. However instead of lifting the individual strands of silk and pulling it out, the cocoon is taken and stretched across a frame. In the case of the hankies, it is a square frame about 20 to 30 cms square. With the caps, the cocoons are stretched over a arch type of frame. In both cases, the silk stretches out and builds into layers which can be used as a solid, lightly bonded silk fabric or can be pulled apart into individual cocoon amounts of silk, like cob webs.
I can never determine what ‘one silk hankie’ is, so I sell them in 10gram bundles. Here is some of the hankie, seperated out. You can see the white paper behind the silk. This is the weight that the spinners bring these to and then ‘draft’ the hankie or pull it out to a long piece of stretched fibre that they then spin.
I use hankies and caps as backgrounds to embellish or stitch into, as pieces of fabric to stitch onto things, to needle felt or, when pulled apart silk paper or very fine fabric to gather, scrunch and add as texture.
The next three products are ‘hard’ silks. That is, they have not had the sericin boiled off and therefor they are still solid and firm. They can be couched down, stitched into, pulled apart to make them easier to handle, boiled off to make soft. The three products are cocoons, rods and sericin fibre. All three are often used in three dimensional works such as embroidery, mixed media, collage, sculptures, jewellry etc.
Cocoons are easy and obvious. They are the little houses that the silk worm creates so it can metamorphise into a moth. The worm produces a saliva which contains proteins (one of which is sericin) and spins around and around and around until fully surrounded by the silk cocoon. This sets on contact with the air and the worm is safely inside. Unfortunately the worm is usually killed before he makes it to moth as if he breaks out of the cocoon, the fibre is all broken and can not be spun. The picture below shows cocoons that have been cut to remove the remains of the worm after it has died. If you have a whole cocoon, then the original occupant is still in there and if you are squimey about this, you might get someone to cut them open before you handle them.
Rods are created in the fibre spinning process. The spinning machines have many levels of mechanisms where the fibre is carried across rods to keep it straight and untangled. Over time, the rods in the machine build up layers of silk dust and sericin. When this happens, the build up is cut off and discarded. That is the rods. They are more formally called carrier rods. When you peel apart the layers, you can stretch the silk out to a consistency similar to a run in a stocking or you can use them as is. They are very easy to stitch through and make great texture in pretty much anything.
The last product I am showing you today is Sericin fibre or silk string. It is basically the glue that holds the cocoon together. When the cocoons are boiled off, the sericin seperates from the silk. It is like a string of glue which, when air comes in contact with it, it resets. It is coarse and rough and undisciplined. I love it but it takes the most creativity to incorporate into your work. I like it for dimension and body and generally couch over it with a zigzag stitch to attach it to art quilts or mixed media work. It can be pulled apart which softens it, but it is also great in sculptural pieces or anything that you are shaping.
So they are the main silk products I dye and use. There are others which I will make the subject of a further blog post at a later date. I dye these in 30 colourways.
The Perth Quilt and Craft Fair is only about four weeks away. Running from 23 to 27 May in the Perth Convention Centre. We will be there with the usual array of dyes, paints, fibres, felts, fabrics, magazines, books, silks and more. This year I will have my new fabrics – hand dyed cotton Sateens and the some of the gorgeous 50%cotton, 50% silk Radiance as well as lengths of silk georgette and cotton scrim.
As part of my stand, I will have the Unique Stitching Studio. The studio will have five textile art classes running each day of the show: 2 dyeing – one with Procion dyes and one with Indigo dye; 2 mixed media – one using Angelina and Lutradur, the other using TAP, Angelina, Lutradur and Kunin felt (shown); and one doing mono-printing with the fabulous new Gelli Plates.
You can pre book the classes on my website now at www.uniquestitching.com.au or you can book on the day.
For the fuller descriptions go to the website or you can find them here: Perth Studio Classes
If you join me, we will have a lot of fun and probably learn a heap too.
It may come as no surprise that I work a lot with textural fabrics. I love using silks, velvets and other interesting fabrics to create depth and texture in a piece. I am putting together some samples of how people can use non traditional fabrics in a traditional sense. For example applique. The elements of this piece are all from a Helen Godden pattern – Dolphin’s Playground.
I started with two off cuts of the Radiance, sewn together to create both a big enough piece, but a focal point.
I basted it on to some wading and stitch ric rac onto the surface.
Next I appliques some coral with pink/salmon/peach velvet.
Next I made a turtle. The turtle is cotton sateen (head, tail, legs), Velvet shell, and a commercial cotton I had in a draw.
Next I made some star fish out of some velvets and silk jacquards.
I stitched all the pieces as I went so that the appliqueing did not get complicated. I do what is effectively free motion applique – drop the feed dogs and go like the clappers around the edges of each shape.
I had some black and white and red fish, but decided that I was happy with out the red which would have dominated.
So here it is. New sample number one. What do you think?
This is not the best picture but I was running out of light. You get the drift though don’t you?
We will be trading at Rosehill Craft and Sewing Show this year. And, following my new format, I will be running a studio on the stand. The Studio is a bit like the Craft Circles or Make and Takes except because I run them at the stand, I have much more flexibility and time to do a more thorough workshop. I am still working through the exact timings and kit costs, but here is a taster. I will do three classes. The cost is to cover the materials only, no tutorial cost.
One will be a Dye class – 6 degrees of seperation. In this class, you will choose three dyes and dye 6 fat eighths of cotton fabric, creating a palette of colour. There will be plenty of information such as dye theory so that in the end you will be able to take the ideas and make your own dyed fabric. You can use one of several options of yellow, red and blue or step out on the wild side a little and use other colours. In the sample below, I used orange, red and purple.
The second class is one I ran in Brisbane and everyone had a ball. It is using Lutradur and Angelina to make a laminated fabric which you can then turn into ATCs or Bookmarks. These photos may be familiar to regular blog followers but here are two examples:
The third class will use TAP (Transfer Artist Paper), Foils, Inktense and some other colour products. You will learn how to use all of these and see how TAP behaves on different surfaces. The finished piece can be a small wall hanging; a feature print for a quilt, cushion, jacket ;a bag panel or anything you like. You could just mount it on a canvas and hang it on the wall.
Here is the sample.
It is not the best photo as I only finished it about twenty minutes ago and I am running out of daylight. I will take a better picture in the morning.
What do you think? Will you join me?
Woo Hoo, we made it. Or more specifically I made it! Today I would like to show you/remind you how to make fabric bowls. I have used matching Christmas prints, but use velvet or silk paper or different novelty prints or some gorgeous batiks or really what ever you have in the cupboard.
You don’t need much to make these, and they are really fast. You need some Timtex or similar product like this, vliesofix or double sided web – two sheets, and two fabrics (two fat quarters are enough). Cut the fabrics, two sheets of vliesofix and the Timtex all to about 15 by 18 inches. In addition to that, you will need some card or template plastic to make two templates and your iron, sewing machine and thread.
Download and print the templates here. You can make these any size and shape, but make one first and then start to play with designs to individualise the resulting bowls. Trace the two shapes onto template plastic or firm card and cut out the exact template.
Take your vliesofix, fabric and Timtex to the ironing board. Iron the vliesofix sheets to each side of the Timtex. Remove the paper on one side and iron one of your fabrics right side out to the Timtex. Flip over and repeat with the second fabric. You now have one firm piece of fabric to work with. Trim to size so you can see where you are going.
Using the templates cut out one base and six sides.
Use a satin stitch to machine stitch around the outsides of all the shapes. You could machine quilt or do some embroidery or other embellishment if you like.
Lay the short end of a side piece to one of the sides of the base. Adjust your satin stitch so that you are using the widest of the zigzag widths and stitch over both pieces to join. Take care to keep the edges touching and the corners aligned.
As you can see, I have used the reverse side of the base to the sides, but you don’t have to. Stitch all of the sides to an edge of the base. You can reverse every second piece if you like or be consistent like I have.
Now comes the trickiest part. You are going to stitch each of the sides together in the same way as the sides to the base. I find it easiest to start from the outside and work in. Align two side edges that are next to each other. Hold the sides so that they are touching but not overlapping. Stitch with the wide satin stitch from the outside in.
Repeat until all six sides are joined. Trim off any loose ends of thread. and now you have a bowl to use
And it is reversable.
Like many of the projects we have done in the last two weeks, I am confident if you make one bowl, you will make many more.