Saturday, January 31, 2015

Painting, printing and stitching

I spent a busy day yesterday finishing up some more of my stitched cards and painting a few extra ones.  I'm trying to build up some sort of inventory....imagine!!!  And I prepared two little pieces for stitching, pieces that I printed last year following another class I took with Linda Germain.  While last year's class did not focus on fabric printing I couldn't resist giving it a try.  I have already completed two of these little prints but wanted to do more.  These two were printed using Jacquard fabric paints.  So far I have only layered them up with batting and backing but I'll start stitching them today and see where that takes me.

At the same time, I finished the other little quilt that I started a couple of weeks ago after printing some more fabric whilst doing a second class with Linda.  I dyed some fabric for the binding and am pleased that the black I chose (this one was from ProChem) had a purple cast to it so that it was a perfect fit for the quilt.  It is stitched quite intensively and in fact, I still want to put some french knots into the upper left hand side.  I'll do that tonight in front of the telly.

The colours are the most true on this final image, my poor old camera being fooled by the main colours in the pics.  And my poor old brain not knowing how to remedy it.  Sigh.

NOTE: I am so impressed with Linda's classes, she is very knowledgeable and super generous with that knowledge.  I've learned lots and have thoroughly enjoyed both last year's class and the one I am currently enrolled in.  Do check them out:

I have some more stitching to do....I'll be back...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Versatex inks and heat setting

I took a piece of fabric that I had printed with Versatex yesterday (one I'm not crazy about, I confess) and ripped it in half.  This had been printed onto previously scoured fabric but it had no other treatment after printing other than letting it dry completely.  I wanted to see if I could get rid of some of the heavy handed plastic feel that the inks leave.  I washed out the lower half of the piece and you can see how some of the colours have come out....the piece has lost its plastic feel but some of the intensity of the colours as well.  Which is fine if I end up with colours that I want.  Then I tore the top part in half and ironed the left hand side really well to heat set it.  I then washed out the piece that I had ironed (left hand top), in the same way I had washed out the bottom colour came out this time, but the heavy feel of the fabric remained.  The piece on the top right is just as it was after the heat setting, no washing out.  You can see that the vibrant colours are retained with heat setting, which is good.  I need to work on getting a deep intense colour without a heavy application of all fairness, it's possible that this problem is mine alone....I'd love to hear if you've tried them and what your experience was.

This morning, I did some more printing onto some of my earlier stamped fabrics, following Linda Germain's lesson suggestions for today.

And finally, I've nearly finished the little piece I've been working on and I'll show you that in a bit.  (I have to dye some grey for the binding.)  It's hard to hand-stitch through the Versatex inks, especially in a couple of places where I have several layers of fabrics and therefore, several layers of inks.  I think when I'm all done with the class I'll re-do the lessons, using the Jacquard fabric paints, just for comparison.  I have printed with the fabric paints in the past but I want to see if I can get the fine details that are possible with the Versatex inks.  I'll report...

Monday, January 26, 2015

More Gelatin Plate Printing with Linda Germain

I have done a bit of printing this morning using some of the stencils that I cut last week.  I also cut the gelatin plate up to use as a smaller size.  We were to use a circular plate but the one I had made had shrunk to a very small size (who knew???) so I cut a rectangle from one of my reconstituted plates. This is all inspired by today's lesson in Linda Germain's Monoprinting onto Fabric class. I think I could have used a bit more restraint but once I got going I wasn't quite sure where to stop.  Oh well, it's all learning!!

I'm still stitching away onto my little quilt piece but I took a break from that to do some printing. I think I'll get my threads out again and see where that takes me.  Life is good!!!

I'll be back.....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

In Progress - Stitching onto gelatin printed fabrics

I have spent a couple of days starting the stitching onto a piece I've put together using some of my gelatin plate printed fabrics.  I'm still not sure how I feel about the Versatex inks.  I find that some of the applications have resulted in a very plastic-feeling fabric and I find the hand of the fabric has been altered in a most unpleasant way!  I have had to experiment using different feet on my sewing machine because some of them tended to drag quite badly on the fabric surface.  Not fun.  But I seem to have settled on a foot-fabric combination that is working for the moment so I have made a start.

I have also been doing some hand sewing onto the fabrics but once again, the plastic-feeling layers are not much fun to stitch through.  The sewing machine is much more successful and my fingers don't hurt so much!!

I am also experimenting a bit with how to put all the disparate pieces of fabric together into one piece without actually doing any piecing.  And then how to marry all the various images so that they work as one larger piece.  It's kind of a fun challenge and I hope I can rise to it.  You can see the edges of the fabric in the second image.....I'll show you another image later on and you can decide if they have come together well or not!!!  A friend has a wonderful saying, that I think she said she got from her father:  'It's far from good but good from far.'  Works here!!

I'll be back with more thoughts on all this.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Linda Germain class, printing onto fabric and more stitch

Yesterday I printed some fabrics to use as backgrounds and think that they might be quite useful.  Still not ready to vote on the Versatex inks but I am getting to know them a bit better.  Sometimes that's all it takes.

Then today I sort of went off, right out of school!  I printed onto silk organza and put together what might become a small appliqued piece using some of the organza plus some of the little pieces I printed the other day.  You can just make out the organza, under and over the various bits.  I think it will provide some stitching ideas and also take away somewhat from the stark white in the background.  I love organza, so great for layering!  I think it has potential, don't you?

And at the same time I am working on some more of the stitched pears for my little cards.  I still have to sew on a gold grid and then add the bobbin work to complete these wee fruits, but it's a fun process and Leonard Cohen was singing to me as I stitched along.  Nice!!!

And of course, I'll be back.
(Oh dear, I'm falling behind in the Liz Steel class.....hurry, hurry.....)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gelatin printing with Versatex Inks and more with Liz Steel

I spent some time yesterday doing another set of prints.  This time I wanted to play with white and black (and so some greys as well) plus red.  I am trying to play with different values.

I am finding that the Versatex inks work well with some of the Extender added to it.  Seems to improve, for me at least, the consistency of the inks.  I also find that the inks take quite a while to dry and so I have them spread out on the hearth in front of the fire.  The cat is quite confused, bless her heart!  I haven't yet put an iron to these prints and am sort of waiting until all of the stickiness of the inks is gone.  The instructions are to iron them from the back and I think I'll put some parchment paper underneath them, just to protect my ironing surface.  I'll let you know.

I also found that because I was printing two days in a row, that is to say, using my stencils two days in a row, that the paper stencils didn't have enough time to dry between printings and most of the paper ones have disintegrated.  In addition, the stencils that I had made out of tyvek separated, so I am going to have to replace them as well.  I had spent a couple of hours yesterday cutting some new stencils out of plastic stencil material with my Xacto knife and found that these new stencils are working very well.  Some of the paper stencils had retained the colour from the day before and I inadvertently printed some of the previous day's colours onto these new pieces.  Not a big deal but it would have been a nuisance if I definitely didn't want that.  (The little vine image is from a wooden item that I bought somewhere, I think in a scapbooking store.  All the images are my own.)

I am also posting one of the little pages I did for Lesson 8 of Liz Steel's class.  Looking at various ways of drawing using inks, inked crosshatching, or just paints.  Different ways to portray texture.  It is such a great class and really does make one consider how they might want to portray an object (or a building, I have yet to get outdoors) and with what sort of detail or emphasis.  Lots to think about.

I have yet to get out amongst 'real people' to draw and paint but I am considering a 'drive and draw' afternoon, but not necessarily at the same time!  But perhaps I'll just draw a pic from my computer taken on holidays....good place to start...I'll put away the car keys and get out my paints!

I'll be back.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Linda Germain, Gelatin printing onto fabric.

Oh my.  I have started yet another class.  Yes, I know, this way madness lies!!!  But my guy is in India for the winter and I have the time.  And I don't have TOO much stuff to push out of the way so I can eat my meals at the kitchen table!! Just my computer, and my paints, and my pens and pencils...oh, yes, and occasionally the cat.  Oh My!!!

I have sewn, painted and prepared a couple more cards for the studio tour in the spring.

I have also made several prints onto fabric, based on the lessons in the class that Linda Germain is offering.  Another good class, for which I have added the link below (I took her gelatin printing onto paper class last year, really great.)  I am using Versatex inks for this class and I'm still not sure how I feel about them.  The fabric printing I did on my own last year was with Jacquard fabric paints and I feel they were quite successful (the paints, not necessarily my efforts!!!).  Linda feels the Versatex inks are a bit better and I wanted to give them a try. But as I say, for me, the jury is still out on that one....I'll let you know as we go along.   Here are some of my first efforts.....

And I have prepared another piece of work for the Liz Steel class but I forgot to take a photo of it.  I'll do that and get it to you next time. I'm feeling slightly manic, trying to juggle all these classes and my other commitments, but I'm sort of enjoying it....trying to make it all work. And I don't think my screaming is bothering the neighbours.... just yet!!!

I'm pretty sure I'll be back!!! In the meantime, here a couple of links....

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stitching onto soluble fabric

I really like stitching onto soluble fabric and enjoy finding different ways to use this fabulous stuff.  I bought a ton of it (more or less) on Whidbey Island a few years ago at a shop that was going out of business.  I had stopped there for the very first time to have a look around and the sale was happening....needless to say, I stayed (and shopped) longer (and larger) than I had intended.  But I always feel a bit guilty when it might seem that the only time I go into a shop is when they're going out of business....maybe if I'd shopped there more, etc. etc.  (Never miss out on a chance to beat myself up!!!)

I am carrying on with my 'pear' theme and continuing to have fun.

This one is done with watercolours and I wanted a pastel look to go with the pale silk yarn I used for the pear.

This one is painted with Derwent Inktense pencils.  Nice rich colours with little effort!  This one had just one layer of gold thread to form the grid and I think the top version (with a white cotton grid first and then gold overtop of the first grid) was more successful, since it sort of held its shape better.

And then for the Liz Steel class for last week we were to draw an article of clothing,  I sort of went crazy here but enjoyed the challenge.  Not great, but done!!

I'm sure I'll be back!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pear cards - Painting and Stitching

I am continuing to paint onto the cards I recently purchased from Dick Blick.  They are Fabriano watercolour paper and are quite nice to paint onto.  I am repeating quite a lot of the same images (these are all my own photos) and am learning something new each time I paint one.  I am loving the learning and will carry on until I'm bored with these images and then see where it takes me.

At the same time, perhaps a bit of boredom creeping in here, I am painting onto silk organza and using some of the images that I had stitched earlier onto silk organza.

I have some more ideas that I am going play around with in the next few days based on these experiments in my sketchbook.  I'll show you those when I get them a bit more resolved.

And I am playing catch-up with the Liz Steel class.  We have had two weeks over the holidays to get caught up.  Apparently I need more than that!!! Oh well.  Catch as catch can!!  Here I am trying a little one- and two-point perspective.  One drawing from life and the other a pic from a photo.

And as usual, I'll be back!!