Sunday, 18 April 2010

Multifarious Muslin

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop entitled "Multifarious Muslin", organised by Norwich branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, with Pauline Verrinder. She doesn't have her own website or blog but is tutor/mentor of Fibrefusion and Fen Edge Textiles. She is also the organiser of the very popular Textiles in Focus, a three day textile artists exhibition and trade show held at Cottenham Village College in Cambridgeshire every February. Pauline also teaches workshops at Art Van Go in Knebworth, Hertfordshire.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera with me so only have photos of the three sample pieces that I made but it was amazing how, even though we were all using the same type of fabric and the same techniques, everyone's pieces were so completely different.

First, we wrapped a square metal frame with strips of coloured muslin (NOTE - this is the fine, loosely woven cotton fabric which I believe is called cheesecloth in the USA) and coloured threads and yarns. This was then free motion embroidered on the machine with a close overlapping vermicelli stitch to connect all the muslin strips and yarn together and then cut off the frame. As you can see, I didn't have time to complete the stitching before it was time to move onto the next technique but was pleased with what I'd done.

Next we wrapped the frame very tightly with shirring elastic, followed by more muslin/yarn strips (but less densely wrapped than the first technique). More free motion machining before cutting the piece off the frame whereupon it promptly scrunched up to form a lovely texture.

Lastly, we took the tiny snippets of muslin left when we'd cut the previous pieces off the frame, added more chopped up muslin, threads and yarn and sandwiched them between two pieces of water soluble film. Free motion stitching was added - making sure all the pieces were joined together! - before dissolving the film. The remaining lacy fabric was stitched to black felt and gold fabric paint drybrushed on to highlight the texture.

We'd almost run out of time but Pauline quickly demonstrated how to make lacy trim from muslin and lace ribbon using stitch and water soluble film.

A good day out was had by all.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Just like buses

Nothing for ages then loads all at once - that's how this blog is going. Oh I don't mean it to be like this but sometimes that's just how life is.

Anyway, this is what I've been up to.

More postcards

An ugly piece of fabric doctored with dyes and metallic fabric paints

Some discharged black fabric

A vessel (this is destined to be a birthday gift for a friend)

Some playing around with fabric scraps and the embellisher (after watching these)

And 42 dyed fat quarters - just in case. You know how it is - a girl can never have too much fabric in her stash. These were recycled cotton sheets from the charity shop.

Some interesting markings on a couple of these

Sorry for the rubbish quality of the photos. I tried everywhere in the house to get some decent shots but ended up with these. Still, you get the idea.

Three other things are still in progress which I'll tell you about later as two of them are birthday gifts for my nieces and I think they look in here from time to time. Don't want to give the game away!

And finally, I suggested a solution to a problem a fellow blogger, Eileen, was having here and she sent me one of her lovely cards and a box of acrylic stamps as a thank you. Isn't blogland great.