Friday, 28 April 2017

Shrivel up and dye !

First, Carol showed her 'Subsoil' piece she had entered for the recent Bristol Embroiderers' Guild exhibition.

It had been a challenge to incorporate a hessian sack as part of the piece.Carol had used the sack as the base adding in all manner of embroidered and appliquéd items you would normally see below soil.It was an inspired piece of divergent thinking ,beautifully executed.It will probably put in an appearance at Nature in Art in November.

Next she brought along the results of a recent Quilters Guild workshop with Mary Mackintosh

The fabric above was used to back the stitched piece below,Arctic wool fleece from Whaleys I think.

Lots of different fabrics were stitched to the backing ,using cotton threads ,before dyeing with procion dyes.The fabrics take up the dye differently.

Below you can see the intensive stitching before the whole piece is washed 

which causes it to shrink and distort .

Here another piece already dyed but not yet washed.

We welcomed back Deryll this month who is recovering from a hip replacement operation.She is doing very well but understandably has not been using her creative muscles .However ,her contribution was instructions she had unearthed about Exchange dyeing.

We were interested to know how it worked.The idea is to have two dye baths in Primary colours ,yellow.The first  fabrics are dyed the original colour, yellow,then you'd add say a yoghurt pot of blue to the yellow dye pot and dye more fabric.You keep doing this until the dye is used .You should get fabrics in tones of the Secondary colour as you see above in Deryll's sample sheet .Looks like an interesting exercise.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

You may well ask ?

Can you identify these?

Aren't they other worldly?

Viv discovered them in her garden when having a post Winter tidy up.

Jenn was interested enough to take them home with her ......does that give you an inkling?

She had taken a piece of bark cloth and begun to stitch marks she had observed on a Poppy seed head she has.There is a lot more to add as she wants to build up the layers of stitch and close the gaps between the areas of different stitches.

The using up of scraps of samples continues to grow slowly.This will be on display in NiA in the Autumn .There was some comment that  it could be a hanging or one or two pieces might fit well in a frame.

At the beginning of April Jenn spent the weekend at Ammerdown working with Stitch Textile Artist mentored by Sian Martin.They had to make 'brushes ' from found items and use them to create words associated with their work story.

Jenn used a variety from the garden but the most successful brush was one hastily put together from dry rose hips bound with masking tape.

The word written was GROW.The pieces above are created with layers and then the 'O'
Has been stitched,or cut out and offset.More work to do,but looks promising.

And the answer to the question at the start is ............Mouli.......radish left in the garden and desiccated over the Winter.!

And this is what Jenn did with them using her Pen and ink drawing app on her I-pad.


In March Marilyn brought along several pieces ,first this long blue and white piece .The weft had been dyed blue but only half had been put in the dyepot, but had come out bluer than she intended .This is a deflected double weave.

This next piece was fascinating consisted of a grey wool and a silk/cotton with neps.This is a before shot when taken off the loom.

And this is an after shot when it has been through the wash

The grey wool has shrunk and created these 'flowers' 

This was another try out in a different colour way.

Marilyn went away and came back with in April with the fruits of her labours

No ,not the coat !

but this glorious length 

of space dyed 


It was achieved  over four days ,dyeing in lengths of guttering in her garden

to get fast colour ,as the eventual weaving has to be washed, she used Procyon not her usual Direct dyes.

and the coat ...............a charity shop find.It is so typically Marilyn with its vibrant colour and pattern.

Oldies but goodies.

Apologies but March has run into April.Last month Sue brought along some 'ancient work',her words not ours.She had decided rather than leave them in a cupboard she would morph' them into a useful,and rather sumptuous pair of cushion covers.

They employ the technique of reverse appliqué ,and have been further embellished with stitch.

 She also brought along the piece below seeking some advice as to how she might progress it.We thought the gold strips she had applied were too strong and that they would benefit from being toned down.We also thought the piece might be enlivened with a dash of an opposite colour to the predominant pinks and red.

She went away and had a think about what we advised ,we don't always follow the advice given but we do think on it.

She had pared back the gold and had introduced some orange and lime green which has given the piece a lift.

She has also become something of  'TRUMP'  observer ,sketching his variety of facial expressions .Quite where this is going remains to be seen !

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Blooming lovely.

Viv has been working on some new flower pieces.Above is a really delicious piece based on Sweet Williams.She has captured their essence without being too deliberate.

The next is some Chrysanthemums ,using a card she received as inspiration.They are so different but she has managed to capture them both so well.

Apologies for the photo ,but these pieces were behind glass and the flash reflected.You should still be able to see their loveliness,they are in frames of about 10cms so are real encrusted little gems.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Results of boredom!

Ira told us she had been bored so had done some stitching.

This  piece had started as a large pile of tangled threads that had been too difficult to untangle.So,Ira as ever,full of ways to exploit materials she had painted a background,laid the threads on top and covered with an organza.It was only when she started to stitch circles and use her soldering iron  to reveal what lay beneath  that she discovered the organza was silk!Not to be defeated she has hand cut between the circles and begun to add stitch and beads.We thought  she should cut out some of the circles too.

 This was an older piece 'Day to Night'.It has been stitched in Ira's usual way before being cut into strips and woven together to create a new fabric.This has then been quilted.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Techniques heaven.

Kirsten has been  working with birds,we thought these above on dyed blanket (freehand needle felt) worked beautifully.The robin would have hopped  into anyone's bag and been taken home!The 3-d birds on a branch were for a commission,lucky person.

She had also been experimenting with aluminium dyeing .

Using pieces to work up into jewellery.The unanodised aluminium can also be used with Sharpies for colour.She originally took a course with  Mandy Nash.

Carol has been making slow progress with her piece on coral.She was dissatisfied with the colours of cotton yarn ,feeling they were too vibrant .We suggested adding bleach ,or dyeing some yarn herself so she has control over the depth of colour.No doubt it will all be resolved .

She had taken a course offered by Kate Andre in Tewkesbury using a Gelli plate
Techniques included using commercial stencils as backgrounds but also hand cut masks.She produced some lovely prints and has 

the opportunity to experiment with what she learned .Information here

No pictures I'm afraid ,she squirrelled them away before they could be snapped ,but she had taken a course with Deborah O'Hare. She had lots of lovely hand dyed fabrics using a variety of ways to colour the fabric......cotton with Seta colour transparent paints.They had used a spritzer,screwed up wet and dry fabrics with great results.Pity you can't see them!You can find information here