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.

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