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

Combining Challenges

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.

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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.

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This is now the 13th MoM piece ready for submission.

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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.

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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…….

Made on Monday – joining the challenge

A few months ago I saw a post on Facebook by Kate Bridger showing some 5 inch square pieces that she and others had done as part of a “Made on Monday” Challenge.  What a great idea to keep the creative juices flowing – the pieces were small enough to make the challenge achievable.  Lyn and I agreed and we decided we would participate.

I have included the link below for anyone who may be interested

http://katebridger.wix.com/madeonmonday

Lyn created a spreadsheet – we both love a good list and the challenge began with the first piece finished on the 26th of April.

Whilst the challenge is “Made on Monday”, ours are actually made on Wednesday as Lyn and I follow our creative pursuits on most Wednesdays

We work shopped some ideas and noted down themes and techniques in order to have as many options as possible to kick start the pieces.

The first theme we both agreed to do was flowers

My first piece has a spray painted background which I did last year and now have an excuse to use and some minimal applique.

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I have used freestyle machine stitching to create the flower petals and stems using rayon threads

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The next 3 pieces will use the rest of the spray painted fabric, but more about them next time…… Cora

Another Wednesday

Wednesday is always a great day for me, because I reserve it for being creative.  I am lucky enough not to have to work on Wednesdays so even if I have something else on, I try to find at least a small amount of time to do something sewing related, or artistic.

Yesterday, May 17th, Cora and I got together at my home to work on our latest venture.  You may know that we had a large exhibition towards the end of 2016 where we each had around 15 pieces on display.  That took us over a year to get ready for. So we decided to try to keep our momentum going to do another challenge this year.  Although we had decided to challenge ourselves with various themes, Cora came across Made on Monday which is a challenge where artists create a piece 5 inches square every week for a year! That sounded really interesting so we have each been working on that for about 4 weeks now and once we have 12 pieces we send them in and they will be displayed in an online gallery.

So yesterday we were working on piece 4. We spent a lovely day chatting and sewing (and eating!) and have now finished 4 pieces. These pictures show some of the action that went on……

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Cora working on her piece with programmable stitches
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Cora’s workspace
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Me using free motion embroidery
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My piece in progress

And here is my sewing friend – he actually woke up for the photo!

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I think this challenge is a great way to try out different ideas and techniques and it will be very interesting to see how the pieces unfold and the direction that we each travel in.  The pieces are small enough not to be too cumbersome, and having to do a piece a week keeps us inspired and working.  How do you get inspired?  Do you have any tips or techniques that you use to stimulate creativity? Would love to hear your comments.

Until next time, Lyn