Sunday, 28 February 2010

Fiber Arts / Mixed Media - another challenge for me

Whilst reading other textile blogs I came across the Fiber Arts / Mixed Media group which includes a monthly challenge.  Although only two days to the end of the February challenge I joined up and spent some time working how I could put a twist on a tradtional quilt block.  Out came my patchwork and quilting books and wondered what non-tradtional materials I could use.  The rusted fabric and tyvek I had made on an online course last year came to mind and I was away.  Yesterday I spent some time creating my rusted piece and also another one to submit.

Here's how I made the first - Hearts and Roses: rusted tyvek squares with rusted fabric slashing (apologies if this is not the correct term and also for the seams not lining up accurately); backed with a purple fabric I free machine embroidered some hearts and realising I probably wouldn't be able to work out how to make all 9 different I created some swirls.  The swirls reminded me of roses and hence the title.  To stabilise the fabric before zapping with my heat gun I sewed it to some pelmet vilene.  Whilst zapping I reaslised that I perhaps shouldn't have used the same colour thread and fabric.  Never mind - it's all a learning curve, experimenting.

In all truthfullness I'm not sure whether I prefer the piece before or after it was zapped. 

For the second piece I flicked through my book again and came across the triple rail fence which looked nice and easy to twist with non-conventional fabrics.  Rummaging through my stash I came across some dried roses and decided to use these with some used teabags and an english-dutch dictionary.  These are all very neutral and I wanted something to give it some zing.  Another rummage and I found some turquoise silk noils I had already incorporated with some silk cocoon strippings - bingo.  Now for some more turquoise and I found a lovely turquoise thick paper in my paper chest.  The teabags and rose petals were bonded together with bond-a-web to create a 'fabric' and I also bonded the other materials to it as well for ease of use.  After cutting the pieces they were bonded to some calico.  This piece I feel needs some stitching - obviously the embroiderer in me coming out but I'm not sure how yet. 

Tomorrow's going to be an exciting day for me as the new issue of Workshop on the Web is out, the next challenge for the Three Creative Studio Quilt Challenge will be announced as will the new Fiber Art / Mixed Media monthly challenge.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Puzzle Challenges - What's for lunch?

Last year I took some online courses which I enjoyed.  This year I plan to take part in various challenges and will show my creations on my blog.

The first one I'm taking part in is the Quilt Challenge run by Three Creative Studios.  Every two months a theme is announced and everyone has two months to create a quilt based on that theme.  The first one is Puzzle and although it started on 1 January, I didn't find out about it until the beginning of February and decided to join in.  Quilting is not my main area of textiles but I have enjoyed creating my puzzle which I finished last night, three days before the deadline.

Here's a picutre of what I started with (all from my stash)
All this I planned to use to create a design in the manner of a sliding tile puzzle based on a photo I'd taken of my son's lunch three summers ago!  I just knew it had potential to be more than food for the stomach.
The background fabric was made by felting the merino fibres using my embellisher machine.  The ham is a blend of pink, blue and green merino and throwster's waste - not mould I hasten to add and I used the orange blend for the background.  Although there's only one cheese in the lunch I used several different packs of silk fibres so that each slice of cheese was slightly different.  Wensleydale curls have been transformed into ketchup!

Here's work in progress

After felting the fibres lightly I cut them up, rearranged them into the correct position, and embellished again using some fibres going across the joins underneath to hold the squares in place.  The silk paper was bonded onto the merino an then I attached the wensleydale curls with a herringbone stitch.

Next - the quilting.  I wanted to blend the squares together so I used the ketchup swirl from the original photo.  I planned to quilt with some french knots in silk thread but was worried the silk would wear thin to quickly so I embroidered them before adding the middle and bottom layers.  The running stitch and fly stitches go through all three layers providing the quilting aspect of the challenge.  More silk paper, this time in green/purple was added to the border and here is the finished piece.

I promise that if you cut my puzzle and slide the tiles like the child's toy you'd get back to a ham and cheese roll! 

I'm looking forward to the next theme which will be announced on 1 March and I promise I will blog as I go although only sneak peeks are allowed until the reveal week at the end of April.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Chelsea Pinks

As promised here is the piece I made for my local Embroiderers Guild branch competition "In the Garden". It is a mixed media piece with photos of pink flowers, some/most/all (not sure now) taken at the Chelsea Flower Show - hence the title. The background started with woven yarns in pinks and greens which were then covered with various sheers, scrims, small pieces of knitting on large needles. These, together with the photos, were stitched with automatic machine embroidery stitches followed by some hand stitching and buttons.

I'm pleased with the design and although it didn't win a prize I still like it two years on.

Friday, 19 February 2010

I can't believe it's 18 months since my last post

I found it difficult maintaining my blog but now have a laptop so hopefully will be able to post whilst being 'sociable' with my family ie in the same room as opposed to hiding in another room. I missed my first year anniversay - opps. Perhaps I'll be able to celebrate another milestone in the future.

Sorry, I don't have time tonight to show my competition entry for my local Embroiderer's Guild I mentioned on my last post but promise to show it to you together with last year's entry. I didn't create anything for this year which was held last night.