Quick update

I have just added my latest Made on Monday pieces to my gallery.  I decided to use a simple shape and do some variations with applique and stitch.  These are the first 2 pieces, I have another 2 started and there may be more.

I used the fabric that we painted a few weeks ago, and just experimented with backgrounds, although I didn’t get as much contrast as I would have liked.  Because the day was so hot I think I only painted about 4 pieces of fabric before I ran out of energy so I was limited in the colour choices.

As always, I forget to take process photos so I don’t have a lot but here are the basic steps I took:

Cut out applique shapes and pinned them to the background layer.  The background was already layered over some wadding and backing, like a quilt sandwich.

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Stitched the outline of the shapes.  I didn’t use glue or vliesofix, because both the background and the applique pieces were cotton, and the whole piece was small, they didn’t move very much.

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Then I filled in the shapes with freemotion stitching.

I will definitely try this idea again, I think using one shape and working on variations takes out some of the “What will I do” procrastinating and allows me to think of ways to create differences using stitch.  I settled on an apple shape, mainly because I often use floral designs and I didn’t want to do a heart (although I suppose an apple could look a bit like a heart!)

I will post the next pieces over the next few weeks.

Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas and happy new year.  I will be back with more in January!

Until next time

Lyn

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Paint, Stencils and Stamps

Lyn mentioned recently that we spent some time painting fabric on one of Melbourne’s hottest days.  Whilst we only lasted a short time in the heat, I got quite a few bits of fabric painted, stencilled and stamped.

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As I sit and type this blog, we are having another of those very hot days and I am sitting and reflecting on what I have made with some of those painted fabrics.  At this point all pieces are for the Made on Monday Challenge ie 5 x 5 inch.  This challenge has seen me pushing myself to try new techniques and (I think) I’m improving some existing ones.

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The first piece used one of Lyn’s stencils that represents a brick wall and I created a graffiti series.  I loved making these pieces and using various bright colours and heavy stitching to emphasis some of the scribble I first did using IKEA Fabric pens.

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I was tempted for a minute to keep it as a larger piece and not cut it up into 5 inch squares, but am pleased I did and love the final result.

 

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Am going to play with stamps on the next painted piece.  But more on that next time…..

 

 

 

Found Treasures

Recently, while looking for something else, I found some amazing painted fabrics and other bits and pieces that I did many years ago.  Too many, I’m embarrassed to say.

The classes were run by the fabulous Susan Mathews in her (then) home town of Yarrawonga.  She had a fabulous studio behind her house in a setting amongst gum trees – very Australian.

Despite being hidden in my cupboard for many years, I’m still loving the colours and am eager to start planning what I am going to do with each and every one of them.

Here are some of the key bits I found.

I also found one with pins still in it.  Obviously, started constructing but never finished.  Proof I’m easily distracted and clearly forgetful.

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Also found a wet felted piece I did during another class with a different teacher.  Not sure what to do with this one, but will try some machine embroidery on it and then decide.

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Lots of inspiration and bases for some fun projects.  I hope you stay tuned for the results…..

 

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.

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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

Playing with Stamps

I went through a card making stage a few years back and have a few stamps in my stash.  I thought I’d try using them on fabric.

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I tried stamping on both plain and printed fabric.  I debated whether to add more colour before stitching but decided to leave them simple and just add a touch of colour with thread.  I’m pleased with the samples.

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The stamps are easy and fun to use.  I haven’t tested the ink for permanency as yet; however, I did heat set and will try washing a future sample.

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I love the simplicity of minimal colours.  It does help that I love the colour purple.  I like the look of them together, so might try and incorporate them into something…..?

Keeping up the Creativity

The last few months have seen everyone around me succumbing to the colds and flu that come with winter and I was therefore destined to eventually get sick as well.  Feeling unwell and with the added problems I’ve been having with my sewing machine (which has been back and forward with the repairer over the last month or so) has put a significant pause on my creativity and has made me fall very behind with my Made on Monday, weekly challenge.

I am currently 4 weeks behind but I spent today reconnecting with my sewing machine and experimenting with a piece I had started months ago but never progressed.

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I’m trying various pattern options around the initial flower design that was done using variegated thread on a pieced/woven background and I am pleased with the progress so far.

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Now that I am back in the (sewing machine) driver’s seat, I’m sure a little extra effort will put me back on track.  I hate being behind schedule.  The plan is to finish a few more pieces and post them on the weekend.  Until then……

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.

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Drawing on the wet fabric

 

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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.

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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.

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A couple of close ups….

Until next time

Lyn