Archive for the ‘samples’ Category

To Fuse Or Sew? That Is The Question

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

This is recent experimentation with fusing my signature wandering fabric strips to black background. (sample size shown c. 6″)

While in the US recently I bought a brand of fusing /bonding material I hadn’t used before, partly because the veisoflex I’d been using didn’t seem to be anywhere around where I was.  So I bought some Steam a Seam 2., its different, and I really like it.  I haven’t done a lot of fusing in the past, but I did think it might be a way to go with the new smaller works I am doing.  These smaller works I posted previously have been sewn, then fused to a backing before being  sewn down onto the base fabric.  One thing I thought was that strips of fabric fused down might be quicker than sewing inserted strips.  Wrong –  really, small strip by small strip it is a bit fiddly, or, if you back a piece of each fabric you’re going to use, even jsut 2″ x 10″, and cut pieces from that, then you have bits left which you need to keep using to get the best value from your materials, right?  And I am pretty nifty with the sewn strips.   So that’s one thing I have to work out.

Below is a pic of strips pieced, ie sewn, into background fabric (a section of  pre-quilted “Ebb&Flow 15″   as it happens) 


And this third pic is a side-by side comparison –  sewn on the left, with fused on the right.   The fused piece is a very flat looking surface by comparison.  In a bed quilt there would be too much movement of the quilt for it to be a viable technique, it wouldn’t last.  On the wall though, it would, and for some kind of background it could be just the thing;  though, as I say, hardly ‘quicker.’  This afternoon I have fused sheer to plain as a substitute for stencilling some sand ripples – light ridges vs dark hollows – its very promising indeed and I have been doing some hand stitch over the top of that, and as quilters would say, ‘ the hand’ is fine. I had thought there might be a stickiness or resistance on the needle, but no.  Pics of all that when it’s a bit further along.

Planning -My Way

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Quilters talk a lot about how they plan – and planning comes in different styles and levels of intensity, if that’s a phrase I can use here.  Many now use computer programs that manipulate photos,  draw lines and shapes, insert colour or fabrics,  putting together images to produce prints on fabric via home printers or printers in the university departments where they study/work  then do more processes (print, paint, machine and hand stitch, applique, cutting  holes, whatever) on top of that.  Others draw up large cartoons, cut each piece out and use these as patterns for areas in the piece they’re working on – an ancient, low tech, but tried and true way of developing a design.   Some keep photos, drawings, writings  and quotations all organised together in a visial diary, and I’ve seen some incredible albums that are themselves works of art.    And plenty of others keep little bits of paper floating around, backs of envelopes, paper serviettes, or tiny notebooks that tuck into their purses alongside the little digital camera.    This is more me – I always have at least a pencil and a scrap of paper if not an actual note book or camera with me.  Photos I download regularly, but the bits of paper… well, sometimes they turn up months later in a pocket or handbag I haven’t used in a while. 

Many years ago after recognising this weak link in the ideas chain, my son gave me for christmas or my birthday – they’re the same week – a fabric covered blank paged book about A4 size, urging me to keep my design ideas in it.  I have fairly consistently done so and now  it’s about 2/3 used, always in pencil so I can erase if necessary, which I don’t often do, as I think ideas should stand even if they aren’t quite ‘right’ in their form.  Occasionally I look back, finding the original ideas that led to particular quilts that sometimes I didn’t visualise as such at the time; so for example for each time I have been in Quilt National I can find the germs of those ideas there though the quilt doesn’t look like the original pencil ‘sketch’.   There are ideas I didn’t use at the time I noted them, but what I have diagrammed and written is enough to build on later.   Sometimes I go back and write a note on a page/diagram like “this led to Mission Beach , april 1995”   

Anyway, I thought I’d share something of the early design process as I know it, with these  two unrelated pages being fairly typical:

Hmm - it's been a while - this page goes back over 4 years.... and perhaps I didn't make quite enough notation to help me remember what the heck I was thinking about when I made these jottings! However, I did do them and one small piece did come from part of this page, and I think there are interesting ideas whether they bring back what was originally on my mind, or not! They're sort of short hand I understand. Diagrams and lists.

This work doesn't actually exist, but the notes are part of the shorthand about a lot of my recent work. My textile art is often designed on a grid base - that structure common to tradtional and non-traditional quiltanking, the zone if you like that I like to explore. My materieals are often anything but traditional - for example the Tracks series.

In another post some time I’ll relate a couple of diagrams to actual works, such as “Ora Banda” and “Mission Beach”  I’ll posssibly even show you the one wonderful drawing that I just cannot work out how on earth to put together!  I’m pretty good with piecing, even if I do say so myself – a line in my design book  is a seam waiting to happen – but this one has defeated me.  Stay tuned.

Wonderful Leather

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Upper pic One of my dearest friends, W, a fellow fiber artist, attending a sale somewhere in Perth during the past few months, noticed a decent sized scrap of black leather, about a fat 1/4 equivalent, and thinking of me, bought it for when I next turned up there, bless her. So she gave it to me while I was there in early july, and I brought it back here. It’s fabulous, beautifully fine and soft with the most amazingly landscapey texture stamped or etched into it. I have pictured a little au naturel beside a small snippet over which I lightly rubbed gold wax – and, I have some metallic machine sewing thread the same colour. Even as I write, something’s brewing around this.
Lower pic The leather that I blogged ( 22/6/08, Leather Factory Visit) has been calling to me to experiment. The leather as I bought it, with my cut-out, is beside another piece waxed with pewter. I just love the metallic waxes, and was fascinated that a ceramic artist friend in West Australia also uses it to highlight some of her works. The texture of the chemically treated hide lends itself to really fine handcut shaping. Sewing across it without thread in the needle, adds more texture – see gold below.

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Thinking … Samplising

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

I have been thinking about glitter and sheers a bit, and these are a couple of the samples I have put together in the last week, really just to hang on to a couple of ideas while I am currently a bit short studio of time.

With this very sheer nylon organza, to my knowledge bonding is out, as previous bonding experiments with coarser nylon organza have not held more than a couple of days. The ‘straight’ edges are cut on the cross, and the main thing I want to be certain about is that they will be reasonably hard wearing; and so I will be testing the durability of the machine sewn edges by tossing them into the dryer with a towel for a while ……

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A Fresh Look at Last Year’s Samples…

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Over the past few days I have been updating and editing the longer version of my artist statement to include with a submission for an exhibition. To do this occasionally really does help refine my ideas, and gives me both inspiration and direction to go forward. It also prompted me to go back into the box and pull out some results of experiments, aka samples, I did when playing with leather about a year back. I haven’t used any of these ideas yet, but bringing them out into the light of day after months in the box I can see them with fresh eyes and find them newly inspiring. This is why I never throw samples away.

I can already envisage something quite large using the idea in the upper left one.

The lower left one of gold, although the process is time consuming, is demanding to be used in something, I think a relatively small piece, since it has some delicacy to do with laciness.

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