As our meeting on the Saturday afternoon was to be followed by an all day workshop with Chris on the Sunday, at the end of the meeting we got a tantalising preview of all the goodies we were going to be using – piles of gorgeously dyed fabrics, threads, and beads, paints and box upon box of intricately carved wooden stamps all laid out ready. Talk about whetting the appetite!
The next day our task was to choose two pieces of the lusciously dyed fabrics that Chris had provided and print them up with one of Chris’ blocks to stitch into an amulet. If we had any of our own spare fabric, we could print that as well to take home.
Chris had told us a tale of a lady who never did any stitching on one of these workshops – she spent the whole day printing – and after experiencing the fantastic crisp images the blocks produce…
…I completely understood where she was coming from.
Everywhere I looked was another block I wanted to try.
I’d come out of the house in a hurry (as usual) and grabbed a handful of scrap fabric to print on rather than the whole bag. Ultimately this was a good thing because had I grabbed the bag instead I don’t think they would have got me away from the blocks. Even so, I printed on everything I had. When the calico was covered, I printed on silk dupion, which turned out pretty well in spite of its slubby surface…
…printed and patterned fabrics,
odd shaped scraps and oddments…
…and I even ended up printing on ironed out silk carrier rods, scrim and chiffon and emptying out my workbag in case there was anything else remotely usable hidden in its depths. The scrim and chiffon were a revelation. We were printing with emulsion paint – no fancy textile inks or paints – using blocks with very fine detail and the results were amazing. First the scrim:
Close up you can see how crisp the image is despite the crinkled nature of the weave.
Then the chiffon. I didn’t expect much of a result with emulsion paint on such a fine fabric, but I was over the moon with how well the blocks printed on it.
By this time pretty much everyone else was already stitching, it was nearly lunchtime and the blocks were being washed and packed away, so I resolved not to try and cadge any more fabric from anyone else and sat down to stitch the print I had chosen for my hand dyed fabric piece. Medieval tile pattern on turquoise of course and feather stitch around the edge to attach it to the black felt behind.
I love the rust-coloured patches in this fabulous thread and once the block was feather stitched down, I went back and beaded it with matte iridescent delicas in similar tones.
A rusty washer was perfect for the centre.
I attached it with beaded blanket stitch, using some more of the same beads and another favourite thread, my bronzy metallic Madeira.
Next step is to back stitch around the design in the Madeira thread.
Chris posted some more images of the lovely work done by everyone else here. And then if her generosity of knowledge and enthusiasm wasn’t enough, she presented us with this lovely amulet to be raffled at our AGM at the end of the month.
Thanks Chris, it was brilliant!