Saturday, January 29, 2011

Calligraphy on fabric

After the fabric had dried, I decided to write over the top of the printing. Here you can see that I have used masking tape to stick the fabric down onto my cutting board. The words used are all linked to the theme for this piece, which is "Books".

I am using a fabric marker from "Fabrico" an the colour is #118, ultramarine. As a dual marker, it makes this style of pen very versatile. For this piece of calligraphy, I am using the fine line side. The second side gives an effect almost like using a paintbrush.

As you can see, adding words makes a lot of difference to the finished texture. It is a very easy effect to achieve. All it needs is a steady hand, and a list of words to copy from.

Do give it a go. It is fun.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple fabric printing.

My colour palette for today.

My water pot, an old mug. Did you spot the mistakes? I forgot to wash it out first - it usually holds my pens. Oops! I also forgot to clear a space around my work. Luckily nothing got damaged this time... But I did forget to remove my best cutting mat. It won't be damaged, but might have turned an interesting colour.
My first colour. I am using a scrap of old tea towel to print with. The tray originally came as part of one of those packaged meals. I have added quite a lot of water to this paint since I want it to really soak into the fabric.
As you can see, not too much of the fabric paint is needed.

My fabric is a loosely woven cotton. I would describe this as "cheesecloth". The fabric needs to be stuck into position using masking tape. The table needs to be covered to avoid staining.

This is some more Setacolor being added, just a small dollop. One of those small tubs (45ml) goes a long way.

I have deliberately not mixed thoroughly, but have added more water and will print with the mixture looking like this.

The reason being that I can get some wonderfully unexpected effects like this one above. The two greens have not mixed together and I get pure colour.

I am now going to add in the red.
I love the colours in the mixing basin.

This is the completed cloth, still wet.
Yes, I used every scrap of the Setacolor mixture.

This is the washed cloth, it is rather interestingly stained. I shall use it again.
Talking of stains, I should own up and mention that the nails of my right hand are currently slightly yellow. One thing I keep forgetting to use are gloves................
The fabric I have printed today - it is still damp as I write - is intended for a new round robin I am taking part in. I intend to overwrite the piece with words linked to Books. Whether this piece of fabric will be good enough for this purpose is another matter. I shall have to wait until it dries.
Thanks for reading my Blog. Please let me know if you have found this post of interest.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Textile fun - printing, knitting and sewing.

I've been printing again. The grey painted fabric was left over from the last session. This time I had made my own little stamps out of cardboard and the expanded polystyrene packaging from a pizza. I went to a meeting of the NWCQ (North West Contemporary Quilt) group yesterday and we were all making printing blocks. Good fun!

This next little stamp has been made out of miracle sponge. I was lucky enough to have been given a small piece to play with since I hadn't seen it before. It starts out looking rather like cardboard, but when it is soaked with water, it becomes a sponge. The fact it is so compressed makes it easy to cut into shape. I used scissors.

I just loved the way the sponge didn't react the same way each time I printed with it. Some images didn't print as clearly as others. Possibly my faulty technique, but I love the result.

I need to add some more printing to this piece when it has dried.

The last piece was just playing around using up the last of the Setacolor Opaque dye I had been using.

I printed using the foam brushes I had been using to spread the dye out on my printing tray. (It used to be the base from something edible I bought years ago.)

A few days ago, I finally got around to finishing off my bag. As you can see from the link, it had been in the UFO pile for almost three years! It just needed sides, handles and pockets. I need to clear more of my UFOs this year.

Continuing with the theme of completing UFOs, I finished knitting Mariah.

I slightly modified the way the neck joins on to the hood, making the hood come close in round my neck.

I also continued the cabling all round the edge of the hood. Next, I am planning to line the jacket with this fabric.

To keep the jacket cosy even with the chill winds we get round here, I shall be quilting the fabric before cutting out the pieces. Luckily I thought to make a pattern for the lining before sewing the jacket together. I bought myself a nice sturdy open-ended zip to complete the jacket.

I also managed to complete the December page for the Traveling Pages project - "The Goddess Within." This one is winging it's way off to Australia. Happily, it is going to someone not directly affected by the dreadful floods afflicting the east coast at present.

I started another pair of socks. These might be for my husband, but I have a horrible feeling they might be a little tight since the cables draw the legs in quite close - more to do with my tension when knitting cables, rather than the design. The pattern came with the sock knitting booklet attached to the September 2010 issue of Knitting Magazine. It is a pattern by Martin Storey.

I had some fun putting this together too. This is based on the delightful weighted pincushion design by Elizabeth of "Oh Fransson". I made the original design some time ago, but gave it to my elder daughter, since she rather liked it. This time I have made the same bag, but made the pocketed area rather bigger. It is joined to a double layer of white heavyweight (pelmet weight) vilene sewn to the top. This is then held in position by standing the sewing machine on top of the vilene. It seems to work quite well. As you can see I have used some of my collection of selvedges to make the bag. I added a couple of silly cat buttons too, just for fun. Elizabeth's excellent instructions make this a very quick item to sew.

Last, but not least. Here are the photos I promised of mum's finished quilt. It is called "Square Dance". There are two reasons for this. Firstly, my mum teaches English Country Dance. Hence the footprints.

Secondly, I was messing around with a square block made up of squares.

This is the back. This is fleece, and yes there are two colours. I didn't have a big enough piece when I had finished messing around with the quilt top. However I did have some large remnants of cream coloured fleece which I was able to piece to the darker light brown backing.

Mum is delighted with her quilt and uses it every day to cover her favourite chair.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A new year and new projects.

Now where can I start? It is such a very long time since I added anything to this blog. Apologies to all. It has been busy here.

First, a very happy New Year to you. I hope the weather is kind to you and everyone you know. A belated Happy Christmas too.

I have been working at completing my mother's quilt, a jumper for Simon, two hats, eight Christmas decorations and four present bags since I last wrote here. Oh yes, there was also the November page, some work on a December page and preparations for the January page of the Traveling Pages project. There was also a pair of dungarees for a neighbours daughter too. I also started a second jumper which now only needs to be sewn together and the v-neck ribbing to be knitted. This last jumper uses yarn left over form the first jumper I knitted for Simon and will be either for my husband, or for myself.

January has started with painted and printed fabric.

The first piece is the result of painting fabric and then overprinting using old cotton reels and various bits and pieces.

This second sheet is my cleaning rag. I think it look even more interesting than the printed piece.

This piece was an experiment using pastel dye sticks. I've never tried using these before. This piece just needs to be ironed to be fixed. It was fun to doodle with these brightly coloured sticks.

Some of this fabric is destined for the January page (Fairy Tales), and the rest just because I felt like having some fun. It is so dull and wet outside. Our beautiful snow has disappeared and been replaced by fog and driving rain. The walk we usually enjoy on New Years Day abandoned because of the weather. Never mind, there is always tomorrow.

Some explanation is probably needed. The decorations were an experiment which came about to solve my quandry over what to make for a challenge laid down by the United Kingdom group on My Sewing Circle. We each had to make something for another member of the group for Christmas. A previous challenge had been to make an apron. I found myself cutting out paper shapes at lunchtime one day. These turned into the decorations. They were good fun to make. Then the latest Selvedge magazine had a delightful pattern inside for a reversible present bag. I made a mistake in cutting out the first one and turned it into a small bag with a handle instead of a small bag with a tie. I made four since they seemed so easy and quick to make whilst being incredibly useful for presents.

This is the reverse of the bag.

One little bag was sent off containing four of the decorations I made. The other decorations became presents, as did the remaining bags. One bag held the completed hats which were a present to Simon and Liz, a secret since the jumper was an expected item. A further little bag held gifts for my younger daughter. The last was given as a gift to my friend Hilary.

The first hat is Hot Cuppa Joe by Jennifer Lacey. The pattern is available on Ravelry here.

The second hat has the wicked (naughty) title of "Ribbed for his pleasure." This pattern, by Tinksdarkerside, is also available on Ravelry here.

I like to think the fabric bags may be used in some way, or given as the container of a gift to further friends. Each little bag is large enough to be a small prject bag - perhaps to hold knitting or an embroidered piece.
The dungarees were an unexpected project. My neighbour became very worried since she was not able to find a suitable costume for her daughter who was taking part in the school play. Time was short. I heard about it and offered to help. A bit of research and a suitable design was decided upon. Eleanor, the eleven year old daughter, and her mother came round to help. Eleanor was delighted to be able to help sew the muslin for her dungarees. She was shown how to use my serger and had a wonderful time sewing a couple of long seams for me. With the muslin completed and altered to fit, they left me to get on with things. Luckily, I had exactly the right fabric in my stash. The following evening I was able to go round and present the completed dungarees to Eleanor and her mum.

I shall have to wait until the Traveling Pages mentioned have been received by their owners. The December and January ones have still to be completed, but hopefully they will be completed within the next few days. All the previous pages I have made for this project can be seen here.

Mum's quilt was finally completed on Thursday 30th December. She was delighted with it. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of her with it before she left to go home. (She had stayed here for the New Year celebrations, coming with Simon and Liz.) I shall take photos later in the week when I go to see mum again.
Thanks for reading this far. I wish you a very happy, enjoyable and creative 2011.