Friday, August 19, 2016

Monotype printing on fabric

I was playing with mono printing on fabric recently and decided to use the images to make journal pages like I do in my art journal. I used stitching in place of the doodles I would normally do but then still added quotes as I love to do. I used any fabric paint I could find in the colors I needed. Some were Lumieres, and others were Jaquard fabric paints.

This was my first mono print using a girl stencil I made some time ago. When it was dry I used a swirl stencil to add more pattern. The blue dots are Quality Street chocolate wrappers. When I ironed them under a non stick sheet they wrinkled up into an interesting stiff material that was easy to stitch. A good excuse to eat chocolate in my opinion. I outlined the images with machine stitching and hand stitched the quote.

This mono print was a little more complicated to do. I started with a previously printed piece of fabric and did the mono prints on top of that. The trees and top section were done first then I put more paint on the printing plate and used torn paper to mask the sections I didn't want to print. I printed each layer separately. It is hard to see with this photo but the quote was hand stitched in two colors for interest. I added a few wools and cottons as well.

When I do mono printing I usually get two prints. The first one is printed normally then after I removed the masks from the plate I spritz it with water and do another print on different fabric. This time I used plain white fabric and the colors are much brighter. I decorated with hand embroidery and stamped words this time.

The center of this wall hanging is the second print I got when I did the landscape above. I liked it so much I decided to make this art quilt. After the quilting, some of the patterns didn't stand out enough so I used paint to extend the central image and high light the quilting. I also used stencils on this one to do extra circles and some scrolls.

I made the branch using gold wire for the leaves. I covered it with fabric strips but it didn't look like a branch so I wrapped strips of brown painted Lutrador over the top of the fabric and used a heat gun to melt it and make it look like bark. The gold leaves became almost invisible against the wall so I used alcohol ink to make them darker.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Embellisher machine...ooh what fun!

 I recently bought an embellisher machine. I didn't think I needed one but after seeing what other people in our textile group were making I wanted one. I got a Babylock machine and it is great fun to use. I love that it is so easy to operate and experiment with.
What does it do? Instead of sewing it punches fabrics together like felting. It doesn't have any threads so there is no tangling and once you have finished you can add any decoration you like.

 This page for my fabric journal shows the first few experiments I did. The top left is a piece of felt with some wool roving added, then I started to experiment and see what else I could stick on there so I added knitting wools and ribbons. Later on I added hand embroidery. The one below it is the same but I used organza to make a blue sky. The top right purple piece was an experiment with a variety of fabrics to see what would stick down. Anything thin was easy to embellish. The dragonfly was done later with puff paint.

Next I wanted to try a project so I went through my magazines and found this one in an old Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It has some painted fusible web and cutout felt circles. I added a few gold charms that are actually part of a necklace I no longer need.

A couple of weeks ago I did an embellisher workshop at my textile group. We did the same sort of landscape that I had done with my experiments. I wasn't too impressed with my piece when I got home so I cut it in half. This side I added some more wool in the sky area and used machine embroidery to add a lot more detail. It is much more appealing to me now.

This side of the embellished piece was done differently. I embellished on some organza to make the sky bluer then added a few clouds. I put more color into the ground and blended the landscape more. When I was happy with that I added hand embroidery. I like this side the best. Sometimes when I do workshops I find I don't always like what I do. When that happens I sleep on it and usually make changes the next day. I don't see the point in hanging on to something if you don't like it. Either give it away or change it. There is no rule in art that says you can't erase/undo your art. You are the boss.

This final piece from the embellisher workshop is various types of fabric (mainly silks and chiffon) stuck to a piece of felt. It was great to try lots of different things to see what would work. I didn't like the thicker silks like Dupion. Later on I added machine embroidery, a few braids and cords then hand stitching. I have made it into a book cover to fit one of my art journals. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A fabric art journal

 Since I rediscovered my love of textiles recently I have been trying out a lot of new to me techniques. I don't have much free wall space in my house (does any artist?) so I make the projects letter size so I can put them together into a fabric book like an art journal for textiles. That way I can put them on a book shelf and they take up much less room. Later in the year I will show how I put it together but in the meantime here are some of the pages I have already completed.

 I was lucky enough to be given a large box of embroidery thread recently so I did a couple of tapestry canvas pages to use up some of the thread. This one has a few charms attached. They came from old earrings my daughter was going to throw away.

  This second canvas I did was an experiment of different tapestry stitches. I used an embroidery book to find them. I also added a bit of metallic thread this time.

 I recently came across zipper felt art on the Internet so decided I wanted to try it. There are lots of different ways of doing it. This was my first experiment and the dress zip was glued to the felt then I hand stitched it to make it more secure. I added embroidery and a tiny bit of quilting. This will be the cover of my journal when I make it.

This was my second experiment using a jeans zip for the flower and a thinner dress zip for the leaves. It was harder to bend the jeans zip and I probably won't use one again. The dress zip was about 4mm across the teeth, the jeans zip about 6mm. Again I glued and stitched it.

 My final piece of zipper felt art was a new name tag that I can wear to the textile group meetings. I had bought instructions from the inventor of this technique but it used a lot of hot glue so I chose to do it my way instead because I don't like using hot glue and getting it all over the place.

I cut the felt out in the shape I wanted then just hand stitched the zip to it. You can see  how I just stitched between each of the teeth. It didn't take long and has held together nicely. I did add an extra piece of felt on the back so I could stitch on the brooch backing.

My final share today is these whimsical birds I made. They come from one of the lessons for the latest issue of Workshop on the Web. I was happy I got to use these giant cotton reels I bought some time ago.