Saturday, 14 December 2019

My journal for 2019

My word for 2019 has been {Commit} or {Commitment}. In my first post this year I listed the things I felt I needed more of in 2019:
  • Read the Bible more frequently
  • Pray more regularly
  • Trust God more
  • Move every day (walk, exercise etc)
  • Create everyday
  • Finish things

Did I succeed in including these things?  Yes and No.   I don't necessarily do any of them every day but I have managed to finish things, including my A-Z journal.

 Let's look at my pages for 2019:

There were so many photos that I think I need to write another post about finding a word for 2020 rather than including it here.

Thanks for joining me today.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Piecing with Leah

The thing about printing is that you are bound to have fabrics you like and fabrics you don't.  You can always use the fabrics you don't as the backing for a piece of work!

Leah uses what she calls 'bricks' in a lot of her work.  These are rectangles of fabric which she usually uses horizontally.  I love the look of her pieces but don't want my work to be a poor imitation of hers.  I did however want to try out the method.  As much of my Venice work is based on the architecture I thought I would piece these 3"x1" 'bricks vertically.  I spent a long time cutting up fabric.  I spent even longer - nearly 4 hours ironing the bondawebbed pieces to the backing fabric.

It is now ready to machine stitch.  I may handstitch on it too before stretching it on a canvas.

I also tried making log cabin squares.

I also made 3 pieces that were 'half squares'.  Being pedantic they are two-thirds squares!

I didn't always get the hang of the pattern so sometimes the intended middle square wasn't in the middle!  Ho hum!

I was very fortunate that my table was next to the design wall so could pin my squares up as I went along.

Once I had finished all the squares we played with the placing of them.  See if you can spot the difference!

Then I 'auditioned' narrow strips of the solid colour on the pieces before sewing it all together.

Once it was sewn together I bondawebbed the small strips to the fabric.

It's now got a backing fabric and acrylic felt wadding, ready to stitch.

I learned a lot during this 5 day workshop - and not just about screen printing and piecing.  I know that I am a fairly slapdash artist which is probably why I like mixed media.  I like slapping paint down on paper or fabric and taking as little time as possible over it once I have the idea.  But piecing 3"x1" strips is a slow process, as is stitching log cabin squares.  But with Leah's constant support and encouragement I was able to stick with it and achieve the makings of two really good pieces.  I am hoping to continue to apply myself more effort to my work now that I've seen what results I can achieve.

I thoroughly recommend taking course with Leah.  And if you can't make to Urban Studio North you can always buy the book.

Thanks for joining me today.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Print, Stitch, Go! with Leah Higgins

The last of the workshops I had booked for this year was Print, Stitch, Go! at Leah Higgin's Urban Studio North

Leah suggested we choose 2 colours and work with a dark, medium and light version of each.  I chose Rust Brown and Black.  The Kemtex Black is quite blue.  I worked with Rust Brown last time I was at Leah's and didn't want my fabrics to be as dark this time.  Leah had mixed the dye powder with print paste already.  She suggested I then mixed my dark pot of black as 25% colour with 75% print paste, and the dark pot of rust brown as 50% colour with 50% print paste.  The medium is mixed as 1 part dark to 4 parts print paste, and the light is 1 part medium to 4 parts print paste.

We spent most of the first two days screen printing either with thermofax screens (as below) or with various methods of screen printing.

I used paper dots and bits of paper doily on my screens when I overprinted the fabric above.  I don't like the doily print but the fabrics were being made to cut up so not to worry!

It looked very dark when wet but when it was washed the next day it was much paler.

I printed this fabric with one of Leah's thermofax screens.

Then I made a masking tape screen and overprinted.

This was taken whilst it was still wet.

We only had time to make one breakdown screen and as I loved the arches fabric I made last time I decided I would use that technique.  As my theme for my fabrics was Venice (what a surprise!) I thought this would be sufficiently architectural.

I love what happens when you print it.

I used up the screen on another piece of fabric and then overprinted.

I also tried putting a commercial stencil under my screen and printed with that.

Here's a different stencil printed with the dark colours.  I had mostly been using medium and light on the other fabrics.

I also printed with my own thermofax screens.

Lastly on the second day we exchange dyed fat quarters in plastic bags to match our printed fabrics.  I had 8 pieces so I dyed six of them using the half rust and quarter black colours.

I used half strength magenta with a 'smidge' of black and half strength turquoise with a 'smidge' of black to get some accent colours.

On the middle day of the 5 day workshop we washed out all our fabrics and changed the studio over from a wet space to a dry space.  Then we talked about what we were going to do with our fabrics.

But that's another post!

Thanks for joining me today.