Thursday, 28 May 2009

Stitching Dyed Papers

With head down working on piece for FoQ and visiting relatives and friends over the holiday weekend , haven't had much to show and tell here. While I was away I did however start stitching into one of the paper collages I'd started on Amanda Hislop workshop. The joys of variagated threads - I only took one skein , needle and thread with me! Big stitches emphasise the colour changes - have to be decisive as stitching leaves holes in the paper.

I hadn't been very happy with the initial results (above ) of collaging the dyed papers - first of all too pastel and patchy then too gaudy using Koh-i-Nor watercolour dye palette. I've had a couple of goes at it since I got home with Neocolour crayons and layers of acrylic medium, trying to unite the different areas, losing some of the freshness and textures in the process but improved overall. I like the ridges where I embedded dyed hemp string

I backed the piece with a fused piece of cheesecloth, mainly to give stability to the edge when trimmed and stitched with a zigzag (variagated thread again -machine one this time). I liked the raggy edges but it didn't work compositionally so trimmed it to CQ Journal size (6" x12"). I'm off to CQ Summer School tomorrow with Jae Maries , so it may get superceded as my June piece Looking forward to seeing everybody and making a mess with inks!

Monday, 18 May 2009

May Journal Quilts

Both my Journal quilts for May have a sea theme. 'Bexhill Pixels' ( CQ 6 x 12 inch) is a souvenir of my birthday outing , based on photos manipulated in Photoshop inspired by the Susan Collins 'Seascape' installation at the De La Warr Pavilion, particularly the projection of images onto a window framed by real seascapes beyond.

Susan Collins: Stokes Bay 08-09-27 14.13

My favourite digital print at the exhibition (detail above) contained bright splashes of colour: "Pixel interventions where ships, yachts, people, birds, windsurfers etc pass in front of the camera when a pixel is being captured."

Using Neocolour II crayons, I ruled lines of colour on a used colour catcher, lightly sprayed with water to diffuse the colours then painted with acrylic medium to seal the surface. I found half a shirt from a charity shop (imitation ikat print from Mauritius), perfect for the background. Stitched with variagated threads by hand and machine. I was aiming for a less regular size to the hand stitches to indicate the pixels but it's so hard to be random! Back to the drawing board.
The indigo back (below) has possibilities.

The BQL Calendar Challenge for May was trapunto ( using an additional layer of wadding stitched behind the letters as stuffing) Following a workshop with Angie Hughes on lettering, I've used words from an August Strindberg quote in a couple of pieces so continued the theme using 'sea' and 'sky' in 'Jazztext' font size 400.

Having got carried away looking through my indigo stash for something suitably marine, I neglected to read the bit in the instructions about choosing PLAIN fabric. I tried to make the letters stand out a bit more with some FMQ and some hand seeding stitches but it's decidedly subtle. Only by taking photographs at a jaunty angle then cropping could I emphasise the shadows.
I'm afraid I'm just reverting to type - in our family we consistently applied the principle:
'If all else fails, read the instructions'.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Garden Glove Dyeing

After a weekend working in the garden I washed our grubby trousers with the gardening gloves. Big Mistake! Despite 2 long washes involving numerous colour catchers, Ian's jeans (admittedly rather faded and worn) have been dyed yellow and his garden gloves are much paler.
The Colour Catchers , the Culprits and the Canary Jeans
We're pleased however with the evidence of our labours. We spent Saturday digging out the buried post for the rotary dryer from the middle of the lawn and relocating it to the end of the garden. Sunday was spent turf cutting in preparation for paving and gravel - Ian doing most of it and me doing the tricky edge bits. Half way there. As it rained on Monday (well it was a Bank Holiday) we gave up on the idea of more digging and visited Homebase in Isleworth, walking back a mile along the Great West Road clutching a rake , a hoe and 4 fence posts! Just as well don't mind looking ridiculous. They've got some interesting plants and large ceramic pots there. I wonder if I could get one back in my bicycle basket......