Monday, 27 February 2012

Update on the paper piecing

This has been a really slow process, but it's nearly finished now.  I quilted "the quilt" (in the ditch) this morning and it's more or less ready to paint.

You might spot the blue fabric has changed colour to a lighter blue in places. This is because I ran out of the dark blue and had to make do!!  A spot of paint will sort it out; it has the same pattern, so I'm not too bothered.

The colour of the quilt over the sofa has to be knocked back quite a bit with white paint, and the shadows need to be added. This will make more sense of the folds in the fabric caused by the body lying on the quilt.  I can then paint the body properly, and put in the coffee table and contents. About 2/3rds done I think.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Printed Fabric: Altered book images printed onto fabric.

You may remember these images I showed you a couple of days ago from an altered book I'd done called "Angst"  I explained that Laura Kemshall was printing them for me onto cloth, so that I could use them in the next Life piece.  Well, arrived this morning!!!

 These 3 are the book, and below is the fabric.

The colours and text are very clear indeed. The images have a white border so that should I have any left over from my project I can easily cut them up and use them for something else. The idea however, will be to use this as a background cloth which will be painted over and then scraped back so that you get a glimpse of what's going on, but not a full colour image as you see above.

I'm trying to persuade someone to model for me at the moment so I can progress, but I have other work to do in the meantime. This will be the third piece for the "Through Our Hands" exhibition at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum.

If you like the idea of printing onto fabric in this way - whether large or small scale - do check out either Laura's blog (sixandfriends) or the new website (I don't think the website is live yet but should be very soon).

Monday, 13 February 2012

Progress and the start of a new idea.

Thought I'd show the above progress on the piecing over papers which is the next stage for Life 3. It's coming along and you might be able to see how the model will eventually sit on the will become more obvious when the quilting and painting are done. The quilt needs to be "knocked back" and the figure bought forward.

On the right is a photo of something else I've started to pull together for the Orientation exhibition in September. Just ideas at the moment but I'm thinking small, simple colouring on a black background, and a bit of gold.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Life 2 - Be the change you want. Finished?

Life 2. Be The Change You Want.

(56" x 39")

Applique, free machining, acrylic paint.

 For some reason, this body has been difficult to paint. It might be because I'm doing it from a photo taken with flash, and the picture is flat without much tone....I don't know. Perhaps I'm not quite in the zone!

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's the mostly finished piece. I have to edge/border, but that's all.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Paper piecing (for Facebook's Textile Arts)

 NB: For Jane Austen fans, I've found out that the Chawton House Museum do a blog, and have put a link on the right sidebar. Currently showing and talking about bonnets.

Following a posting on Facebook, I'm showing a little bit about English Patchwork, which is done over papers.

These photos and processes were for the Life (Measures of Time) quilt which was done last year, but I'm using the same methods for the new Life piece, so I hope you won't mind the re-hashed posting! (Those amongst you who follow DMTV can get better instructions here, as I know Laura's done a great video of this method - you may have to rummage in the archive though!)

To begin with, you need a pattern. By this I simply mean a drawing, photocopy, etc of what you want to piece.

This shape on the left is a small triangle from a larger photocopy, and very handily, the printed side is coloured so that I can tell the front and back of the piece; this is important as you will see below.  (The brown paper underneath it, with all the pencil marks is just to help me remember which bit goes where and is not to do with the piecing.)

Once you have decided on a pattern, and drawn it out neatly, you will need to cut out the individual shapes from it ( -or a copy of it, if you want to keep the original in tact.) I strongly advise you to do this one at a time, and not the whole thing at once! Mark the reverse side with a pencil or something so you can tell which is the front side and which is the reverse.

I've been thinking about making myself a little stamp with arrows on it, so I can mark the front and back, and which way is up, easily and quickly.

Lay your pattern piece on your fabric. IMPORTANT: You put the paper piece on the reverse of the fabric, AND you turn over the paper piece over so the wrong side is facing up. If you've marked the reverse, this bit is easier.

Pin your shape into place, and cut the fabric about 1/2 to 1cm bigger than your paper shape. Thread a needle in a colour that will show up well, and simply fold the material over the paper shape, and baste into place. It should be done so that the material is firmly held but not pulled tightly.

Pay particular attention to corners. I like to put a definite stitch into the corners so I can be sure the shape is right, and all is held firm.

The basted shape should look something like this. As you can see, I don't think there's any need to be overly fussy about your stitches at this point!

You can achieve piecing with really irregular or awkward shapes using this method. In this photo the front of the piece is now visible and I've held it next to it's partner so you can see how the pieces will fit together.

It's now a matter of using an overstitch to piece the shapes together. Take care with this to ensure a good fit. Make your stitches small and even if you can.

Tips: try not to sew through the papers themselves, and start your overstitching away from the corner and sew into it, then, sew back along the seam. This way you don't see lots of ends and it makes the finished piece smoother.

The photo shows the seam when it's stitched. I've finished off by going back over my sewn edge to secure and neaten the corner and ensure there will be no flapping threads on the front.

This is now the reverse of the piece. The papers are still in place and will be until I finish.

The front of the piece. Because the papers are still there, it looks a little stiff.

When completed, remove tacking, remove papers, and press.

I couldn't have joined these shapes in any other way.

It's also worth remembering that if you want your finished piece to end up at a particular size to fit into something else, you will need to slightly shave every paper piece before wrapping it in it's fabric. That may seem a real pain, but if you think about it, each piece of paper fits it's neighbour exactly. If you put fabric around the shape it increases it's size very very slightly. Putting lots of slightly larger pieces together will make the finished piece marginally bigger.  This may not matter, but it's worth bearing in mind.