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Archive for the ‘Fused Fabric’ Category

The thing I most enjoy about being on Instagram is connecting with other artists. I’ve ended up on the periphery of the print community via a customer who bought an upcycled pendant a couple of years ago, and was recently contacted by one of the lino print artists I follow asking if I would be up for an Art Swap. Definitely!

As this guy is a printer, I decided to go for the print theme in my swap items. First was this screen print on calico using a paper mask which I did at a workshop way back in November 2013 with Dionne Swift.

Then back even further to February 2012 to some experiments I did with ironing Angelina fibres onto rubber stamps. This was one of my favourites and the last one I have left of the batch. It sort of fits with the printing theme.

I chose some purple cotton and gold silk for the background and started by edging the motif in a goldwork thread. I’m not sure of the name of this type of thread, which is gold wound round a soft core. I think it’s either Jap or passing, but would welcome a positive identification!

Then I used a running stitch round the edges of the purple block to connect the layers of fabric.

Lastly, as it’s a big part of my practise, I stitched some found objects to the centre.

The third piece was a bookmark made from offcuts from a piece I printed using the same quatrefoil stamp as in the Angelina experiment at a Print to Stitch workshop with Jan Dowson in February 2019.

I cut the six whole quatrefoils off for my Medieval tiles piece. and made the offcuts into a couple of book marks. One I gave as a gift last Christmas and the second just needed a Bondaweb backing and a blanket stitch edging to be completed.

I used an eyelet setter and a perfectly matching eyelet for the tassel.

Which was made from a slightly darker green stranded cotton than the blanket stitch.

They arrived safely last week, to the absolute delight of the recipient. It’s always lovely having glowing feedback from another artist, but somehow when that artist is someone who doesn’t work in the medium of needle and thread, there seems to be much more of a wow factor. Perhaps those of us who stitch have become accustomed to the wonderful textures and effects we can get from textiles and are less blown away by them. It was good for my ego, anyway!

Very much looking forward to the prints I’m getting in return which should hopefully arrive this week.

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Firstly, a quick update on the french knot marathon. It’s still trailing around with me and has gone from this:DSCN0222 to this:

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I’m focussing on finishing the shaped bits at the top first, while also adding gradually all the way round.

DSCN0727

Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting before Christmas was a lovely quiet laid back affair in the midst of the rush with wonderful food, courtesy of our Chair, Mary, and some steady stitching for name badges. We had some stamped calico to work from and I chose the rabbit/hare.

DSCN0535.JPG

I used some slubby thread in dark grey for his outline, couched down with a variegated stranded cotton, and a thick stranded silk for his coat, couched down in spirals with my favourite variegated metallic Madeira thread. Where there is an area too small to be included in the spirals I’m going to add something like eyelets or perhaps a woven spider’s web.

DSCN0536

Another piece on the go is an aside from our ‘Lush, Plush and Crush’ workshop with Josie Storey in the autumn. I cut a spiral from Bondaweb and stuck it to the velvet, added some gold markal stick and then some french knots for texture.

DSCN0110

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This is destined to provide the upcycled centre for an vintage brooch.

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And there’s my “inspired by poetry” piece for the Travelling Book this month. Plenty to be going on with.

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This started with another full day workshop at our Embroiderers’ Guild branch: Brown Paper Embellishment with Fran Holmes. I didn’t have any brown paper but reasoned that an odd piece of vintage sheet music would work as well. So we had a lovely session scrunching and adding crayon, more scrunching, more crayon, then layering our paper with flowers etc. (I used simple leaf shapes cut from silk) Mistyfuse, chiffon and interfacing on the back. Then we ironed transfoil onto the front which caught in random places depending on how much Mistyfuse was still sticky through the chiffon.

Fused paper fabric transfoil

After all that, I ended up with this:

Fused paper fabric 1

Fran showed us how to further embellish the pieces with machine stitch, but I went for hand stitching and some seed stitches on the bottom piece with my favourite variegated Madeira thread.

Fused paper fabric 2

This was the starting point for a steampunk journal I’ve been planning to make ever since we were invited to a friend’s steampunk themed wedding. As the wedding was yesterday (and FABULOUS!) I can now reveal the rest of it.

The top piece of paper with die-cut cogs and a distressed watch face stitched onto it, became the basis for the front cover over a chipboard base:

Steampunk journal 1

Some flat-backed gems and an old earring cabochon added texture and sparkle.

Steampunk journal 2

Put together with rings to bind.

Steampunk journal 3

Steampunk journal 4

I had great fun going through my stash of papers and ephemera to make the pages of the book.

Steampunk journal 5

Steampunk journal 6

The scraps of vintage fabric on the right hand page were hand dyed with walnuts from Oxburgh Hall a couple of summers ago.

Steampunk journal 7

Steampunk journal 8

Steampunk journal 9

Steampunk journal 10

Steampunk journal 11

Steampunk journal 12

Steampunk journal 13

Steampunk journal 14

Steampunk journal 15

On the right hand page, which is the inside of the back cover, those layers are a multi-part pocket into which I’ve slipped some more bits and pieces for use elsewhere in the journal.

Steampunk journal 16

Steampunk journal 17

And the back cover. Steampunk journal 18 I hope the bride gets as much pleasure out of using it as I did making it.

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I was delighted to be tagged to take part in this by the very creative, talented and witty Iz, from Threadnoodle and it was lovely to welcome people who had popped over from her blog. So this week is my turn to talk in a bit more depth about myself and my creative process.

I live in North Lincolnshire in the UK although I’m originally, like Dickens’ David Copperfield, from the little village of Blundeston, in Suffolk. Among other things, I’m a writer, a jeweller and textile artist. But not necessarily in that order.

1. What am I working on?

Erm… everything? I have a second book of short stories and a novel both on the go as well as an article which has been back-burnered for various reasons. There’s a box of partly completed rings,

silver acorn ring

pendants and other odds and ends which need finishing.

Norwich stitch pendant

Journals, books and altered books,

York Minster altered book

kits, summer holiday diary fragments,

holiday diary fragment

the crazy patchwork cushion for my son,

James' cushion strip 1

felted and goldwork brooches,

Goldwork brooch

 

my hearts commission,

hearts commission

my rusted fragments art quilt…

rusted fragments art quilt

…you get the picture. I long to have a go at everything and greedily want 36 hours in each day to try, test and explore my latest passion to its full extent.

My latest obsession is upcycled jewellery, whether replacing broken/damaged elements with beads like this vintage necklace…

 

broken vintage wire necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upcycled m.o.p and haematite necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or adding textile elements – felting and beading…

 

Felted beads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncycled felted bead necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… embroidery or patchwork.

Bullion rose upcycled pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upcycled patchwork earrings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love being able to make something from bits that someone else has discarded as worthless. Little things fascinate me too, and each of the projects is so small that I can be almost finished before I start to get bored. I really admire people with the stickability to work on large ongoing projects, but that’s not me. Whatever I do tends to be small, detailed, and precise, whether it’s stitched into fabric, wrought from metal, words on a page or even part of a show in theatre. For me, the devil (and the interest) is in the detail.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

That’s a difficult one. As regards my jewellery, with its mix of metalworking and fine embroidery, I’ve certainly never seen anything quite like it. There are other artists who create  jewellery with textile components, but it seems to fall into two categories – fairly traditional jewellery shapes such as earring drops, pendant and rings set with pieces of textile work, or textile work with metal findings to make it into earrings, pendants, brooches etc. I do both…

Turquoise spiral brooch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullion rose upcycled pendant

…but prefer to do neither

Moss mixed media pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo book charm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suppose that everything we do is unique, but at the same time, everything we create is the result of our experiences. I’ve often thought that if we could break down the DNA of a piece, trace its bloodline of influences and inspirations, it would be fascinating to see precisely how it was born from the tiny fragments we draw from so many things we’ve seen, done and experienced.

3. Why do I create what I do?

Every project gives me pleasure to work and it also gives me pleasure to see how it is received by other people but essentially I create because I need to. Like so many creative people, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t create, from wobbly junk models and roughly stitched dolls’ clothes to furnishings for my doll’s house and stories set in imagined worlds.

It’s my way of responding to something of the beauty in the world I see around me, my way of revelling in the power of fashioning something that is mine alone. I bend the media to my will and I say how it turns out – mostly!

4. How does my creative process work?

The first thing to fire it off is usually a single item but it can be anything: a bead, a thread, some fabric, a fragment of something, an image or artefact. The alliums piece below was the response to the challenge, ‘A flower beginning with ‘A’ for an Embroiderer’s Guild competition.

Alliums sketchbook page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alliums hanging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An idea from a curtain I saw on a course

kantha patches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and an image from a dream…

Dream kantha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be a very dangerous process to sort through my stuff – I get sidetracked onto new projects very easily!

In terms of how things then evolve, I let my creative subconscious do a lot of the work. Usually I have clear idea of the starting point and an image of roughly what the end point will look like (I write like this too). Then it’s a case of starting and seeing how and where things go. If I get stuck I just walk away for a while and its unusual for that break not to have straightened things out in my head.  If I’m lucky, things work out as well, or sometimes even better than I’d hoped. If not, then it’s good to learn from your mistakes and chances are, I can always turn it into something else one day…

Phew! I think that’s the wordiest post I’ve ever put up! If you’re still with me, then please go and visit my two nominated bloggers.

Firstly, Debbie at Debbidipity. I met Debbie at our Embroiderers’ Guild when I joined several years ago and we’ve been good friends ever since. In the last 5 years, as a mature student, she’s done ‘A’ levels in Art and Photography and then followed them up with a Fine Art degree at Hull. She likes to experiment with all sorts of media and her inspirations are rooted strongly in the natural world that she loves.

From the local to the other side of the pond and Penny at Art Journey. Penny creates wonderful textile artwork in areas that I don’t tend to dabble in but love to look at – punch-needle, doll-making and beading are some of her latest delights, and I consider myself very lucky to have Valentine, one of her wonderful unique dolls sitting on my shelf watching me as I type.

Penny's Valentine

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the next stage of the bloghop!

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The lazy daisy cuff book is coming along steadily. It’s the perfect project for working on when I’m out and about, and even a few more stitches while I wait for the children or at the dentist’s, all help to move it towards completion.

Lazy daisy cuff book a

Lazy daisy cuff book b

I’ve also made a start on appliqueing down the largest fused fabric heart on my commission piece.  Gorgeous thick shaggy chenille-type thread hand dyed in the perfect range of turquoises and burgundy and couched down with slanting lines of my favourite matte aurora borealis delicas.

Bead couched heart 1

Bead couched heart 2

A nice steady job for a warm summer evening.

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The next heart to be edged was one of the smaller fused fabric ones.

Couched heart 1

I used a gorgeous softly twisted variegated pure silk thread and couched it down with a dark turquoise rayon machine thread.

Couched heart 2

Then my favourite feather stitch in a variegated sea green perle on a paler fused fabric heart.

Feather stitched heart 1

I stitched this in two sections, each starting from the top centre of the heart to make it more symmetrical.

Feather stitched heart 2

A bit more beading next, I think.

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I decided that as this was a plain fabric, to make the stitching down stitch a fancy one – beaded buttonhole. And it worked a treat.

Heart with beaded buttonhole stitch 3

 

It’s very easy to work – bring the thread through from the back, thread a bead onto the needle and draw it down the thread until it reaches the fabric, so it sits in the corner of the stitch, and then complete the stitch.

Heart with beaded buttonhole stitch 2

It’s one of those stitches where you get into a nice rhythm with the stitching and the end result looks so even and neat (despite the creasing!).

Heart with beaded buttonhole stitch 1

One done, lots to go!

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Hearts in varying sizes have been cut from both the pieces of fused fabric and also, for contrast, some plain toning dark turquoise satin. The commission asked for two panels, so I’ve cut and pinned two scatterings of hearts onto natural coloured silk noil.

Panel 1:

Fused fabric hearts panel 1a

Fused fabric hearts panel 1b

And Panel 2:

Fused fabric hearts panel 2a

Fused fabric hearts panel 2b

Now for the first layer of embellishment – stitching them decoratively onto the silk.

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With the fused fabric for the hearts panels out of the way, next job was to find the threads and embellishments that are going to go with it. First, turquoise and aqua nuggets from my stash of Seaham sea glass.

Seaham sea glass - turquoise

Then some broken vintage/antique brooches.

Vintage brooches

Loving the colours.

Sea glass and vintage brooches

Next, threads.

Turquoise threads

The start of the embellishments – as things turn up I’ll be adding to this collection.

Turquoise embellishments

Next job, cutting the hearts out and arranging them. I can’t wait to get on to using some of these beauties!

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I’ve been asked to create two canvases with a neutral coloured background and a turquoise colour scheme featuring hearts. To give some interest to the hearts, I decided to create some more fused fabric.

This one started with a base of dark teal green satin, sprinkled with various threads, sequins, beads, ribbon etc, layered with Bondaweb and then covered with a piece of shot rose and turquoise organza.

Fused fabric uncut 1

Fused fabric uncut 2

 

 

 

Fused fabric uncut 3

For the next one, I went for a lighter background as contrast, this time using a piece of brushed cotton with an interesting hand dyed pattern for my base and a piece of vintage pale blue chiffon scarf as the final layer.

Fused fabric uncut 4

Fused fabric uncut 5

And for the final piece, back to the dark satin, but this time with a chiffon final layer.

Fused fabric uncut 6

Fused fabric uncut 7

Fused fabric uncut 8

Now onto the fun of choosing the threads, beads etc. to embellish the design.

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