More Inktense

Having had little time over the past few weeks to get into the studio, I was happy to spend some time there yesterday, experimenting with inktense pencils.  After a comment received on my Instagram and here, I tried using aloe vera gel as the medium. It was an interesting experiment, because I used the aloe vera growing in my garden which was all I had.  It was quite sticky getting it out of the leaves, but I guess it was very therapeutic for my fingers!  I only tried a little sample, and will compare that with the textile medium/water solution by washing them.  I am interested to see how/if the intensity of the ink fades and will get back to you about the results in a future post.

Having dreamed about scarves with multi colours, I found some very light weight fabric to try some samples on – I think it’s called muslin here in Australia. It’s very loosely woven cotton. Firstly I sewed a grid on the fabric using straight stitch and zigzag stitch using a soluble stabiliser because the fabric is so unstable.

2 grids

Then I used the inktense pencils to colour in the boxes, this time only using the textile medium/water solution.   I quickly decided that doing a large scarf this way would not be my thing!

On the second sample I simply coloured in small dots in the grid, which is a much quicker process.  I really like both effects, but if I was to do anything like this on a larger scale I would definitely use the inktense blocks rather than the pencils.

 

So I now have 2 new samples for my Made on Monday pieces.  I’m sure this will lead to other pieces because I really love the effects.

Until next time,

Lyn

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Number 23

Last week was week 23 for my Made on Monday challenge.  I decided to continue my experimenting with Inktense pencils.  Numbers 21 and 22 were also created using inktense pencils, and although I don’t really like piece 22, I do like the idea of using a simple image, and outline stitching it with free motion embroidery.

The starting point was an offcut from a piece which had been painted using stencilled images. (Have I mentioned I have a LOT of STUFF in my sewing room which needs to be used/donated/thrown out?)  So I used it… and grabbed a bag of stencils which had come from some magazines meant for paper crafts.

1 fabric

Using the pear stencil I created the image by blending various colours of inktense pencils, wet with a mixture of textile medium and water.  I used less water this time, because number 22 showed me how much the ink spreads when wet.

I then experimented with a border, still using inktense, because the fabric did not have colour all the way to the edges.

 

Finally after checking the layout with my trusty pink board with a 5 inch window cut out, I stitched with free motion embroidery, using simple outlines around the pear.

6 checking size

The background was stitched in a leaf pattern, sort of following the pattern of the leaves but not really!  I stitched around the border triangles as well to try to make them pop up a bit from the fabric.

After a zig zag stitch to finish the edges, it’s finished!

8 final stitched

Detail of the stitching:

9 stitch detail

Currently I am borrowing Cora’s inktense pencils, and I am certainly sold on getting some of my own.  I might get some of the inktense blocks, because the pencils are great for small areas and detail, but I think it would be great to be able to cover larger areas.

Do any of you have experience with inktense? Am I the only one late to this party?

Until next time

Lyn

More Made on Monday – on Wednesday

Participating in the Made on Monday challenge has made me start to think differently about creating textile art, which I guess was my aim in joining.  Having to prepare a 5 inch piece each week is actually more difficult than I thought, as I tend to overthink things when I am being creative.

I am learning to just “do”.

I have read many books, blogs, articles etc on being creative over the last few years, and the common advice is to do just that – get on with it and create something.  There is no replacement for practice practice practice.

In that vein, I am just trying out different things, but set myself a time limit.  It also helps to do several pieces at once, or in a similar fashion (surely they are called a series!) and that helps to develop ideas.  I often find myself thinking of the next pieces as I am doing the current ones.  Making small pieces allows me to try new techniques as well, so my latest pieces reflect my experimenting.

I started my latest pieces which I showed pictures of in my last post by drawing with watercolour pencils on fabric.  Here is a photo of the large piece after I cut it into 4, prior to edging them.  I love the fact that the flowers and images go off the edge of each piece.

 

cut

And a photo of them after they are edged with black thread.

cut edged

I think I might try a similar idea again, I like the watercolour pencil effect and it’s not as messy as paints.  Has anyone else tried this technique? I am interested in how it might work on a scarf, or something wearable.

Until next time

Lyn

More experimenting

Because I have joined the Made on Monday challenge, I am working on a new textile piece every week.  Sometimes the ideas take a while to arrive in my head and other times I can fairly quickly execute something that I have been thinking about for a while.

Last week was one of those weeks where I had no idea of what to do, but was forcing myself to not overthink it. In looking around my sewing room aka “the studio” I saw some pencils and got an idea.

In the past I have experimented with stencils and painting fabric, but with the cold winter we are having here in Melbourne, I wanted something I could do inside.  So without too much thought, I started drawing with watercolour pencils on the fabric.  After I spoke with my friend Cora about how to make the colours darker, she advised me to use some fabric medium.  So on her advice I mixed a small amount with water and dipped the nib of the pencils in to this solution before drawing on the fabric.  I also tried painting the solution onto the fabric, but the lines were not as defined and there was more smudging than I was wanting.

1. Starting to draw
Drawing on the wet fabric

 

2-completed-drawing-pressed.jpg
Pressed and dry

So with a rather abstract “drawing” of flowers on fabric, I had to leave it for a week until my next day off.  I did know what I was going to do next, so this morning I stitched using free motion machine embroidery, making loose flower and leaf shapes, over the entire piece.  Here are some pictures of the stitching in progress.

I only used black thread but might do another experiment with future pieces using different coloured threads.

6-large-piece.jpg
Stitching complete

I made it larger than my required 5 inch piece (the size for the Made on Monday challenge), so I have managed to get more pieces out of it.  I think it’s now called a series!

Then I cut out some 5 inch pieces and roughly stitched around the edges with zig zag stitch of different sizes.  I wasn’t going for neat! (luckily!)

Here are the first 2 pieces, numbers 17 and 18 for my Made on Monday series.  I will probably finish another 2 and mount them all together.  When I do this, I will post an update.

This piece reminds me a little of a piece I had in an exhibition last year.  I stencilled and painted the fabric first (it was warmer weather) used some thin fabric as a collage and then stitched over it using free motion embroidery.

7-graffitti-piece.jpg

A couple of close ups….

Until next time

Lyn

Silhouette Patterns – Jorja’s wrap

I have talked before about how I love Silhouette Patterns and how inspiring the webcasts and YouTube videos that Peggy (the pattern company owner and designer) produces. In a recent YouTube video, Peggy talked about how she had gone to a workshop and one of the ladies had sewn a wrap based on one that Peggy had demonstrated in one of her earlier videos. The lady who had sewn the wrap had done something different to the original instructions. Since Peggy didn’t recognise it, she and the ladies in the workshop worked out how to reproduce it. Peggy then explained it on the video. I think she called it Jorja’s wrap, after the innovative lady who had sewn it. The instructions start at around the 40 minute mark.

Since I am on a quest to use up more of my stash than I purchase, I immediately thought of a piece of lightweight knit fabric that I only had half a metre of. It was 150 cm wide (~ 60 inches) so perfect for this project since I had yet to find a better use for it.

1 fabric

As Peggy mentioned in the video, it was difficult to picture how it was going to work, but I simply followed the instructions and it worked perfectly.  I won’t explain it here, because it is far better for you to view the video yourself. You will see Peggy wearing her version but the sewing instructions are towards the end at about 40 minutes into the video.

Here are some work in progress shots.  It is basically sewing one seam, once the edges of the fabric are finished to your liking.  So I straightened the edges, then overlocked them, fiddled around with the seam as demonstrated by Peggy with her piece of paper, sewed it and voila!

2 overlocked edges3 folded and pinned

It is the middle of winter here in Melbourne, and I was surprised how warm the wrap is even though it is only lightweight fabric. So I now have a use for any more random half metre fabric pieces I find in my stash.  I highly recommend you give it a go, let me know if you do.

4 front 15 back

Until next time, Lyn

Out and About Purse

Sorry it’s been a while since I blogged, but happily that means I have been spending spare time sewing a few things that I can blog in the future.

I have made up another pattern from Studio Mio that I bought at the Stitches and Craft show in April. I bought the mini shoulder pouch and the “Out and About Purse” which I loved even though it is probably impractical as I doubt I would fit my glasses in it once my phone is inside. Never to be put off by impracticalities, I made this cute purse up anyway.1 PurseKit

I followed the instructions which were quite easy as I have made purses before. With only 2 pieces, the outside and the lining, it is quick to make too.  The fabric I used came with the kit.3 fabric

After fusing some thin wadding to the main fabric, sewing the side seams then the bottom corners, it’s nearly done.

I then sewed the lining to the main fabric. As instructed I sewed some twine around the top of the purse to help it stay in the purse frame but in later steps found that the twine was too thick and I couldn’t get the fabric into the frame. So I unpicked it and inserted a slightly thinner braid (but forgot to take photos of it).

Once it was turned through to the right side and pressed I was able to get the fabric into the frame, so I got out the glue and carefully glued the purse body to the frame.  Once it was dry I added the strap to the frame and all done!  Love it! Might have to go places where I don’t need to see anything too closely though, so I can leave my specs at home!

Until next time, Lyn