Monday, 27 January 2014

new organza laminates

I was mooching aimlessly in Ebay after my win on the blue chiffon (always a dangerous and expensive thing to do) and came across some interesting looking organzas.

It's not easy to see in these photos but the piece on the left has a shimmery green lustre to it and the piece on the right is a very shiny metallic silver.

I made a couple of samples to see how well they would felt. While they both felted successfully I think the silver one resulted in the prettiest finish, it has the most potential as a laminate for a small clutch bag or as nuno accents in a larger piece.

Since I was felting small samples I included the piece of blue chiffon that I painted with discharge paste last week, as expected, this felted very easily. I'm still feeling good about that purchase :)

I am itching to turn it into a dozen different bags and maybe a tunic top but there are sooo many other things I must finish first, including a piece I want to submit to the Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers national exhibition, the deadline in only 4 weeks away and I have barely started on it.... I can't really say too much about that yet but here is another textured piece I have just started assembling....

Sunday, 26 January 2014


I am kicking myself, I'm afraid I made a boob with the acrylic paint tests; after patiently waiting for them both to dry I completely forgot to iron them before I started felting. I am such a numpty :o(

The experiment was going well and I did discover that painting on wetted prefelt results in the paint wicking (bleeding) away from where you put it. And I confirmed that if you don't iron the paint before washing, it WILL wash out.

This is the paint while it is still drying:

Once dry and before I messed up, you can clearly see how the red paint has "bled" in the lower sample:

After felting, the bars on the left of each piece are acrylic paint mixed with textile medium and it does appear to have protected them from my stupidity to some extent:

Back to the drawing (painting) board....

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Feeling chuffed

Part of my New Year's non-resolution was to spend more time being creative and to that end I bought some extra annual leave from work (not cheap but I think it was worth it), so I took today as annual leave to be crafty ;o) I've had quite a productive day, finishing a low relief sample from a monoprint for my C&G course:

And started felting some rainbow dyed cotton scrim for a hooded scarf, still a way to go yet but I'm liking the colours. As usual I have wandered off brief and used a carded mix of colours instead of plain white merino tops. With some careful stitching I'm hoping I can make it reversible. This is the wooly side:

And the dyed cotton side:

I also started some samples exploring acrylic paints on prefelt, I am testing acrylic paint on their own, with an iridescent additive and both of these with and without a textile additive for acrylic paint. Then I repeated these samples on wet and dry felt. This is what they look like while I (im)patiently wait for them to dry. The bars in the middle are some commercial fabric paints. Next step is to iron fix them and see how well they stand up to felting.

Last week I had a lucky win on Ebay, I bid on 8 metres of blue silk chiffon and won it for just under £33. It's pretty shade of royal blue, actually appears to be silk (I've lost track of the number of times I have bought things on Ebay that have turned out to be something different than described) and is in good condition.

Best of all, I conducted an experiment using discharge paste on it today and it worked!! Here are the results, the white grid is where I painted the paste on. It was so easy!

I feel the urge to do some shibori discharge dyeing....

And just in case you think I forgot about the Q1 challenge, here is a sneaky peek of what it currently looks like....

(linked to Off the Wall Fridays)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Laminating painted fabrics

I have been laminating the fabric painted and printed for my City and Guilds course. Most have been successful, the only one that really gave me trouble was the polyester, despite rolling for 30 min it still only attached in a few small areas. I'm not sure whether this will be seen as cheating or being innovative but after the third attempt I decided to try another tack; stitching to prefelt before felting.

This is what it looked like before felting:

And after:

These are the other printed and painted fabrics I laminated:
The organza was much more successful and I think the sheen on it is much prettier

Silk chiffon, this one resulted in the least puckering and the truest representation of the original design

Cotton muslin with carded top behind, this one has some lovely puckering that compliments the painted design:

Cotton scrim - I think the green merino has worked much better than the white as a backdrop for the monoprint.

This was the piece of cotton muslin with the glitter and 3D paints, the bronze 3D paint worked remarkably well but the glitter has lost some of its intensity during felting.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Fabric Dyeing

This has been another fun weekend, I always enjoy dyeing fabric and yesterday I did some more shibori exploration in preparation for a monthly craft group at the end of January. We will be playing with shibori techniques and as the only one who has practiced any shibori at all, I expect it will fall to me to "teach" everyone else. I feel like a bit of a fraud since I have only done it a handful of times before. These are the fruits of my efforts, they are all small samples but I am quite pleased with how they turned out.

Clamped with triangular shaped pieces of wood:

Clamped with square pieces of wood:

Twisted and wrapped around a ruler:

Pleated, twisted and bound with elastic bands:

I also did some rainbow dyeing on ponge silk:

Cotton muslin:

And cotton scrim:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

First Quarter Challenge 2014

The lovely ladies at Felting Fibre Studio have set another fab quarterly challenge, this time it is to interpret Jackson Pollock's work into fibre. I confess I'm not a big fan of most abstract art but some of his more colourful pieces do intrigue me. Looking through images of his work, the following caught my attention the most:

I like the radial symmetry of this piece and think the white dotted lines might do well with some batik style dyeing.

I'm not so keen on the aesthetics of this piece but I like the concept of twisted ropes of felt and other fibres, this piece definitely lends itself towards interpretation in fibres... it reminds me of my attempts at knitting!

At the time the challenge was set I was working on some batik pieces and this seemed like an obvious place to start, effectively throwing the liquid wax at the cloth a la Pollock style and then dyeing and painting over the top of that. This is the first step towards that piece...

I am also hatching another idea I had was sparked by Annie's birds at Rosiepink, she uses acrylic paint on felt after sketching with machine embroidery. More on that another time.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Fabric Painting

I have had a brilliant couple of days creating batik style fabrics based on my cloud drawings for my City and Guilds course. I could do these all week :o)

This one is pongee silk using silk paints and gutta:

Same silk and paints but this time using the liquid wax, I think you can see the resist lines are thicker. They turned yellow when ironing the silk to fix the paint, I hope they will return to white when washed.

Liquid wax and procion dyes on silk and silk chiffon. The dyes on silk are much more pastel in colour than the same dyes on cotton.

Liquid wax on cotton muslin with procion dyes, these are my favourites, the colours are just so vibrant and juicy!

Never one to be content with just following the brief I conducted some experiments of my own too. Using the monoprinted fabric I was least enamoured with I gave it the "painting with dye" treatment and once that had dryed played with some other "toys" in my play box of fabric paints too; some 3D paint in shimmery white and bronze and some blue glitter paint for fabric. I'm still waiting for these to dry before I can "puff up" the 3D paint and wash it.

This is what it looked like before I started playing:

And after:

This is a close up showing the glitter paint near the bottom of the frame.
I think this piece is much improved from the addition of a bit (ok, a lot) of colour, only time will tell if the 3D and glitter paints will tolerate felting....


Following on from the cloud sketches we were asked to use them as inspiration for monoprinting, these are my efforts using acrylic paint on various papers. We were limited to using just black, white and brown paint but I think I may have cheated by using coloured papers for some of them.

The first one was produced by just squeezing paint from the tube onto the acetate so perhaps not too surprising that it is mostly "blobby" where the thickly applied paint has spread.

All the others were made with a paint brush, with a few blobs where I was a bit heavy-handed with the paint.
The next 2 are my favourites out of the initial set on copy paper, the first one has a lot of energy and movement about it that I find exciting, the second reminds me of Japanese characters and the repetition of the shapes is quite calming.

This one reminds me of looking at reflections in water ripples...

Using my 2 favourite monoprints above I explored the effects of different papers, this one is textured pastel paper and stamped over the top with a shape I cut from a cleaning sponge.

Blue card

Some handmade paper with rose petals, I love the mottled effect of this one. I think it is my favourite.

Some marbled paper, the paper looked like clouds on a blue sky so seemed rather appropriate

Textured red card

Then I took the same designs onto fabric.

Having liked the monoprints on mottled / coloured papers so much I rummaged through my stash to find some rainbow dyed cottons. I really like how these turned out, much more exciting than the white background.

Once fixed, I plan to felt these fabrics.