Sunday, 27 April 2014

Machine Embroidery

The past couple of weeks I have have been fighting an infection and been feeling pretty grotty. All my great plans for felting over the long Easter weekend went completely out the window. After 2 days of napping and watching telly I was bored and needed something to do but didn't think I could stand up for the lengthy periods that felting requires.

I came across this stunning photo of "Aisa" by Ebru Sidar on Deviant Art several months ago and thought it was so beautiful I saved the link.

This was my inspiration for some machine embroidery.

Here it is after the initial outline sketch:

And the finished and framed piece, it was really tricky trying to get a good photo without reflections in the glass.

A close-up of the stitching

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lots and Lots of Cards

This week I have been using some of my handmade papers from a few weeks back and combining them with a variety of felts and fabrics, including my first foray into using Lutrador, to make a batch of cards.

These pieces are Lutrador and 3D fabric medium:

These cards were made from pieces of rainbow dyed felt with hand and machine stitching:

Evolon fabric and Markal paintsticks:

And finally some acrylic felt and organza, with machine embroidery that has been melted with a soldering iron:

They are all 5 inches x 5 inches (13 cm x 13 cm in new money).

And this is just the beginning, I have at least 20 more waiting to be stitched and attached to card blanks, I hope there's something good on telly... ;o)

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Aliens Are Coming!

Alright, of course I am teasing, but Mr TB has nicknamed my latest offering the "Alien Signpost". This is by far the largest piece of felt I have ever made, it was about 1.5 x 1.2 m (5 ft x 4 ft) when first laid out. It has proved to be quite a challenge, firstly just reaching the middle to lay out the surface decoration but also when trying to move it / roll it up, it was just such handful!

It also took an incredibly long time to lay out the design too, about 8 hours including the time it took to card the wools for the background.

When finished it will be a felt hanging and was based on a monoprint I made on some handmade paper last year.

It is still at the prefelt stage, I allowed it to dry out so I could deal with a couple of prefelts that weren't adhering as strongly as I would like and needle felt some finer details before fulling. This is what it currently looks like:
I am expecting the colours to become muted during fulling as the paler background colours migrate to the front.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Textile Bowl and the Finished Apron

I adapted Ruth Lane's felt scrap bowl tutorial to include a piece of hand-dyed cotton scrim to make a small textile bowl from felt and fabric scraps. The method involves laying out your fabric scraps on a piece of water-soluble fabric (WSF), creating a sandwich by adding a second piece of WSF, pinning it together and using free-motion embroidery all over it so that all the pieces of fabric are stitched together. Here is my layout (scrim on the botttom, then WSF with felt and fabric scraps - I put another sheet of WSF on top of this):

Here is the finished bowl after wetting out the WSF and leaving it to dry over another bowl:

I most like how the scrim has solidified and looks like water splashing up from the surface of a pond.

I am really pleased with how the apron turned out, all those hours applying wax were worth it in the end! It's not very obvious from the photo but there are lots of pale greens and blue still visible from the original rainbow dyeing. The label said it was 100% cotton but clearly the waist straps aren't. I have sprayed it with clear plasti-drip to water-proof it and hope to find out on Sunday if that has worked...

And a close up:

Linking up to nina-marie, off the wall Friday

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Busy Week

It's been another busy week but unfortunately not in a creative way, my day job has been going more than a bit crazy. It's been as much as I can do to make myself eat something before crashing into bed each evening. This weekend I have really thrown myself into textiles to make up for an otherwise rubbish week. It has been a very productive weekend though...

Mr TB was out on a stag night on Saturday so I put the evening to good use, watching trashy TV while applying wax to an apron I rainbow dyed with blues and greens that morning:

This is the batik pattern I have been doodling, it's taking a surprisingly long time, 4 hours so far and I'm only half way finished...
I plan to over-dye this with a deep purple and then spray with plasti-dip spray to waterproof it so I have a felting / dyeing apron (no more soggy felter's middle for me!).

I have finished a couple of C&G "samples" that I started last weekend, the assignment is to explore natural wools with a view to creating a wall hanging but to my mind these pieces are too large (approx 40 x 60 cm / 16 x 24") to be samples and I like them as wall hangings in their own right:

Do you remember this piece of ice-dyed felt from a few weeks ago?

I turned it into a bag, this is the front flap: 

Inside the front flap:
I plan to do a lot of hand embroidery on this piece, mostly blanket stitch around the edges and bit of embellishment on the front flap. If I can get it finished in time I will submit it to the Yarns in the Cathedral exhibition in May.

And finally, some blue tits have been showing a lot of interest in the bird pod I hung a couple of weeks ago. I can't decide if they are nesting in it or just stealing the cat fluff I put in it as welcome present...
Linking up to nina-marie, off the wall Friday