Monday, April 25, 2016

Meet Frankie the felted fish

I finally got round to finishing Frankie my felt fish. You can read all about the making of the fish here.
Showing how much the felting process has shrunk Frankie
I looked out the original paper shape which was used as a pattern for the resist inside Frankie - you can see it underneath the fish. The resist was made from a plastic tablecloth. The pattern here doesn't include the fins or tail since they were added later in the process. Frankie is hollow with aluminium disks for eyes.
Free machine stitching on my August journal quilt
I finally started work on stitching my next four journal quilts this week. The flower patterns were drawn onto water soluble fabric which was then stitched over. I'd started work on these some weeks back. You can see the work starting here.

Seven journal quilts showing the sequence
You get an idea of how the journal quilts will look when they are all completed in the photograph. I now have to start work on the last four of the sequence. The ones seen above still have to be cut to size, labels added and an edging stitched in place. I'm really enjoying working on these.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dyed fabrics, bought fabrics

The folded fabric - 1
You may remember the collection of freshly dyed fabric which I mentioned in the last post? Well here they all are, taken out of their plastic bags and about to be washed. For each of these I have posted a photo of the bundle itself and then the freshly unwrapped bundle before washing.

1 - the unwrapped fabric
The bulldog clips have added some marks of their own here, so I have now thrown them out. They are rather too rusty to use any more which is a little sad since I rather liked the added marks.

Folded fabric - 2

2 - the unwrapped fabric

Folded fabric - 3

3 - the unwrapped fabric

Folded fabric - 4

4 - unwrapped fabric
 The fabrics are all rather gorgeous. It was a really interesting way of dyeing cloth, brushing the dye on instead of putting the pieces into a dyebath. Definitely an idea to try again. I think next time I might use a different set of colours.
Dyecatchers used to mop up  any spills.
I do like keeping any fabrics used to mop up. They can be really useful to add to a textile piece.

Bought fabric- freshly washed
These wonderful fabrics were bought from The African Fabric Shop. These are Kola and Indigo fabrics and I really love them. Do visit the site to read more about these fascinating fabrics. If you are in the area, there is a World Textile Day coming to various parts of the UK. These should be really interesting events.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Making a fish, dyeing and the next stage

Side view, showing the washers acting as a resist, held in place by bulldog clips.
It has been a rather fascinating week since last posting here. Today, as you can see, I have been dyeing. This was a rather interesting workshop lead by Meryl for the Pinfold group. This invited us to paint dye rather than inserting the fabric into a dye bath. This allows the dye to find it's own path through the fabric and around any resists left in the way. I now have to wait for a few days until I can remove the clips and wash out the excess dye. 

Using bulldog clips and plastic washers as a resist.
 This is why the fabric is currently residing in a series of plastic bags. The kitchen roll used to clean the plastic surface protecting the table beneath also waits in a plastic bag. I will now have to be rather patient........
Dyed cloth samples waiting in plastic bags.
I've also been to a felt making workshop organised by the International Feltmaking Association as part of their AGM and Conference. This was one with the talented felter, Mandy Nash. My fish, still without a name, sits waiting for the final stages. A final shaping too. Nearly there, but not quite. I can recommend a workshop with Mandy Nash. A generous teacher, she is encouraging as well as knowledgeable. The day disappeared far too fast.

fish waiting to be finished
There has also been progress with the journal quilts. They are sitting ready for me to start the free machine stitching. The shiny surface is water soluble fabric. Hence two unfinished projects. I really have to choose which one to complete first.
the next stage of the journal quilts

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Should have used gloves

Block printing over a gelliplate print.
Spent a very enjoyable time using the print blocks I showed in my last post. These will turn into my journal quilts for May, June, July and August. Each fabric piece has first been printed using a gelliplate using red.
Perhaps I should have used gloves
These were my hands after the printing session. Perhaps I should have used gloves, but I really find I need to feel the blocks. The blue will fade, but I must admit it does look a little odd.
More printing 
The first print will become May, while this one will become June. The following block print will be July.

Another print
The last piece will be August. I intend to free machine a pattern of flowers over the top of these. I shall need to add green squares too. The challenge this year is to add only one to each piece, but since I started off by adding three to each of my completed journal quilts, I think I'd best continue the same way.
It will be interesting to play around with different shades of green and finding suitable threads for the stitching.