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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..?
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.
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.
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……
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.
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.
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.
We are currently up to week 13 of the Made on Monday Challenge and Lyn has found another one we might participate in. Never letting time constraints get in the way of being creative.
The “Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine” Challenge ‘Word of the Year’ is due in August and is for an 8 inch piece that represents a word that will ignite action, provide inspiration propel your art making for the coming year.
I decided to combine the two by creating a few 5 inch pieces using different words for the MoM Challenge and then picking a favourite word, process and method to create the 8 inch version.
The first word I chose is “Invent” and decided to try a negative space piece.
Using plain fabric to highlight the word, I wrote the word first and then started filling it in (in the negative). The next challenge was to fill in the blank space around the word and choose a finished edge.
This is now the 13th MoM piece ready for submission.
The second word is ‘Unique’, using the same process, except keeping the outline minimal, using a pieced background and using repetition to highlight the word.
It is still a work in progress but I am liking how it is progressing, lots of work still to do. I have picked the other colours that I’m thinking of using and will post further progress shots soon. The next option is yet to be decided.
Let me know what you think? I would love any feedback or suggestions…….
This year we have joined the Made on Monday challenge where we make a 5 x 5 inch piece of textile art once a week. We usually do the work on a Wednesday…..but it still counts!
It’s been really interesting to start to develop some ideas that I have wanted to have a go at for some time, and Cora is feeling the same, it’s great to try something out to see if the techniques, colours and ideas work before committing to a larger piece of work. It’s like making samples, something that I do when I feel the need to, but in a much neater, prettier way!
We have created galleries to showcase our work and they will get bigger over time as we add more pieces to them. Please let us know what you think, we hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy making them.