Monday, 29 April 2013

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Soldering irons, LEDs, wire and batteries may not be the average textiles equipment, but I wanted to make my sheep truly electric! 

All I need to do now is tidy up the wires on the back, stretch it over a canvas and my response to 'Dreams' will be complete!

Now I can think about 'Revival' - Becca

Still Dreaming

Margaret here, Susan, one of our talented Textile Maids is having computer problems so I have offered to upload a photograph of her latest challenge and here it is:

Susan says:

My Dreams piece is a collage of monoprinted paper, overprinted with text, and monoprinted fabric. Free machined with various coloured and metallic threads. The collage represents the fragmented aspect of my thoughts of dreams which can be vivid or hazy - hence grey/blue and bright orange.

Best wishes Susan

Friday, 26 April 2013

Sweet Dreams Baby

I found this month's challenge a real tough one. I had loads of ideas, mostly from 60's and 70's song titles but somehow they just didn't gel. Looking through my stash of hand dyed fabric I selected one that looked a bit psychedelic (good 60's word)in mainly red and yellow. I kept looking at it for a couple of days desperate for inspiration. During this time I was hoping I would remember some actual dreams to give me a direction but those that I remembered were best forgotten so there I am, still looking at the bare fabric. I decided that as my dreams are very 'wordy' I would stamp some words on the fabric and after adding some printed cotton patches I laid a piece of rainbow coloured organza over the whole which subtly altered the colouring. I then machined around a star shape to make it seem like the light at the end of the tunnel effect.

Is it the light at the end of the tunnel or is it another train rapidly approaching? It is a dream so who knows!

Now I have to think about next month's challenge 'Revival'

See you soon


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Felting is irreversible.

That was one of the definitions that an on-line dictionary gave me for felting....

And aren't we glad that is it.  Thanks to Margaret and her clear instructions, we had an excellent afternoon of creating our very own fabrics from the multitude of fibres that Margaret bought with her.  As ever the out comes were varied in colour and texture, with each of us trying something new; whether that be making felt for the first time, using half felted backing or adding all sorts of lovely extras to create a more interesting surface...

Thank you to Margaret for being so prepared with so many resources and being patient with all our questions!

I am setting myself the challenge of using my felt in this months sqaure - quite how I'm going to incorporate a grid into 'Revival' I'm not too sure at the moment, but I will certainly give it a go!

It's really great to be able to share our experiences with the group and I really look forward to the next dem!

- Becca

Seeding thoughts..

Our third challenge planted many different ideas in each us and as ever, the outcomes to 'Seed' were vastly different.  Some chose to incorporate actual seeds into their work, while others gave the impression of sewn fields via the techniques they used.

It was also interesting to see that, on the whole, colour palettes were fairly similar - although a couple of the group, myself included, forgot to bring this square along! I'll be adding mine later and I'm sure Margaret will too!

We all shared our 'Dream' responses, however, you'll have to wait until next month to see the outcomes from that challenge!

In the meantime our most recent topic is 'Revival'  I can't wait to see what everyone produces for this - especially as I have absolutely no idea where to begin!

We also look forward to seeing the responses from our new members for their first challenge - and it couldn't be a harder topic - oh well, best of luck everyone!!

- Becca

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


After doing the challenge I decided that my stitch practice piece was too good to discard, so I decided to finish it.  and here it is.

Im so pleased I made the effort.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Do we dream in colour or black and white?

Dreams - Design work
It has taken me a little while to get my head around "Dreams", but I am eventually getting there; which is a good thing as we are meeting again on Wednesday and I do really need to have something to show.

Now the question for me was........"Do we dream in colour or black and white?", which may become my title.

I have chosen a photograph taken on a special day that my daughter arranged for my husband and I, as the theme or background for my piece.

I am hoping to work on it this afternoon and will show you the results when I have something.

Hope you are enjoying our blog and the challenges that we are setting ourselves.

Bye for now


Sewing the Seeds of......


I thought that is was about time that I popped my Seeds project onto the blog.  I finished a while ago, but hadn't taken any photos of it. it is:

Close up of "Sewing the Seeds of....."

I was inspired by Wassily Kandinski's "Varied Rectangles" 1929, a picture I had liked while doing my College work, and thought that this was just the right time to use it.

Early design work
 At the March meeting Margaret had mentioned a programme she had been watching were a blind gentleman worked successfully in his allotment, using a variety of different sized squares!  So using both Kandiski and the image of this gardener I made "Sewing the Seeds of......" 
Fabric collage 
The background is made up of  a variety of fabric loosley woven

and bonded to a backing fabric.  I then made some cord to section off the piece and machine and hand quilted.  The edge is finished with a thicker piece of cord.

I am happy with this piece and pleased with how easily it came together.  "Dreams" has been quite a different story!!


Friday, 19 April 2013

Other things I've been doing...

Alongside our monthly challenge I have recently been on a one day workshop with Cat Rowe at Cowslip workshops, and really enjoyed making this landscape inspired but one of my photos. Its bondaweb applique with free machine embroidery. I love this technique, it may be just what I've have been looking for making the landscapes and seas capes that I want to make.

Then it was my daughters birthday last week and in great haste I decided to try the same technique again and made her this card, its one of our favourite north coast beaches, Godrevy. I was quite pleased with the effect!

Now it time to start to focus on our next challenge-  "dreams"- which yet again I am very behind with....

see you all next week,

Friday, 12 April 2013

'Seed Bank'

The obvious choice for my seeds challenge was the Sycamore. We have an avenue of Sycamore and Ash trees outside our house and the seedlings from the Sycamore are the bane of my life. I'm constantly pulling them up, even between the bricks on the drive.

I'm painting this tale of woe so you understand the craziness here over the past month, not only by me but my husband as well, as we search for the little helicopters and the joy of being handed one. At this time of the year they are quite brittle, but covered in gel medium I was able to print with them and enclose them in organza.

I felt quite sad when I finished my piece and had to clear away my finds, so much so I trapped some of them between bubble wrap, more craziness.

Here are some pages from my sketch book.

Sycamore leaves glues to the page
Printing with a leaf, seeds trapped under organza
Lino cut print

Torn paper seeds, lino print seeds, paper sample

Finished piece  'Seed Bank'

Detail of layered helicopters

I used a variety of mixed media for the helicopters, painted bondaweb, organza cut using a soldering iron, purchased hand made paper and used tea bags which I waxed to bring our the colour.
The background was constructed with raw edge appliqué and free machine quilting, using the mono printed fabric we sampled at our last meeting and adding leaf and lino cut printing.

Now, onto the next challenge.........Dreams.

Bye for now

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Sewing The Seeds

I sent my husband out on a mission to pick some wild seed headed grasses at the same time as walking the dog.
This was the starting point of this challenge.

I did some drawings and practiced stitching some of the grasses.

I chose a hand-dyed fabric and a pretty spotty fabric which I intended to overlay with organza. 

 The techniques I used included silkscreen printing for one of the varieties of seed head. Fabric Painting. Free machine embroidery. Couching and Hand Embroidery.

I was just finishing the last border edge when I took my finger off the pulse for a split second and disaster struck - pressing the border too near the organza I melted a big hole in it.  I was upset and cross with myself.   
Reverse stitching always takes so long.  But one good thing did come out of it.  I decided to use a gold sparkly net instead of organza and I like it better.  I love bling!

p.s. Also the piece I had practiced on originally looked so good its well on its way to being 
"Sewing The Seeds 2"