Sunday, 30 March 2008

playing with a photo

I'm doing two challenges this month. One is to make an abstract representation of a photo, and the other challenge topic is 'fractured'. I tried to combine the two so here's what I've done so far.

The first photo is a waratah flower from the shrub in our back yard.

I played with the photo using the filters in Photoshop Elements and this is what I came up with.

Then I went through all the scrappy bits of hand dyed fabrics to try to find some that would
match. After a few hours of head scratching, I had a selection of scraps that I could live with. I backed them with fusible webbing then cut out the pattern pieces and stuck them to a background of quilter's muslin.

I then 'fractured' it into 12 tiles. Here is where I wish I had thought about the size a bit more. I wanted this to be journal quilt sized, which meant I had to fit the pieces back together with only about 1/8" gap between them. I may as well have left it in one piece! Oh well, you live and learn.

It was then sandwiched together with batting and backing and quilted very simply. I used a red variegated perle cotton and stem stitched between the tiles. Now I'm doing some seed stitching and a few french knots over the top. I hadn't actually planned to do that, but I wanted something to do by hand at night and didn't have anything else prepared.

It's been interesting and I've learned a few things - things to try again, and things not to do again.

rust dyeing experiment

I've recently tried rust dyeing for the first time. The results were sort of okay, but it's encouraged me to try some more in the future. Here's some photos of the bits of fabric I did.

We moved house last year so Murray cleaned out all the stuff from his shed including anything that was rusty. We managed to find a few nails and screws, and a couple of old drill bits. The first two photos used those.

Next I bought some cheap steel wool pads, and they really worked well because they rust so quickly. I'll definitely use those again. The second photo is most like the actual colour. Don't quite know what I'll do with them yet, but I had some fun experimenting.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

atc's again

Another experiment from a couple of years ago. Some of my hand dyed fabric stuck onto a fabric base with fusible webbing. I machine stitched over the joins using a normal straight stitch so that when I turned the work over I could see where the joins were. The fancy stitching was done by winding perle cotton onto my bobbin by hand and using an ordinary cotton/poly blend thread in the top. It was stitched up-side-down. My machine has a drop-in bobbin, and I just bypassed all the tension guides. I have no idea how you would do this on any other machine. I did a tiny figure of eight stitch (I don't know how else to describe it). The colours are brighter than this in real life.

Below, the perle cotton came out looking like a braid.

Below, the back of the work. This is what was on top as I was sewing.

At the weekend, I decided to cut it up into atc's and do some stitching on them. I got 15 atc's, I think.

atc's and thanks

First of all, a BIG thank you to everyone who commented on my black/red/white bargello quilt! I really appreciate every comment that anyone leaves. I have decided to call it 'High Voltage' (thanks Margaret) although some of the other suggestions made me think "I really like that name - if I did this and this and quilted it like that, I'd have the perfect quilt to fit that name". Does anyone actually start with the name, then make a quilt to fit it?

I'm in a few atc swaps at the moment. It's been a good excuse to try out some new things. I tried using angelina fibres for the first time. Ooh, what fun that is! I used 3 different colours for these atc's, and put some little snippets of tinsel in between the layers. It's very hard to take a good photo of angelina because of the shine - this is the best I could get. Lots more experimentation to comem I can tell. The background fabric came about accidentally. I bought some Lumiere paints while at AQC in Melbourne and was doing some playing with those. I had some scraps of quilter's muslin which I used to wipe splatters and leftovers with, and the scraps turned out to be lovely soft sunrise colours when I finished. So my mopping-up cloth is now the background of these atc's.

The background to the next atc was also an accident/experiment. I had a cheap children's art set for a few years and never used it. I thought I'd check to see if the felt tip pens would write on fabric. Some of them had gone dry but some were okay. I scribbled on some more scraps of quilter's muslin with a few different colours and then, for some unknown reason, decided to dip them in water. It worked beautifully - the colours all blended together into a lovely colourwash effect. Now I definitely want to try some more!