More dyeing

I dyed three of the fabric lengths today. As I’d run out of violet dye, I dyed the purple printed fabric and remaining purple papers:

  
  
  

A close up of the gorgeous colours:  

 

Here is one of the prints on paper.

  
I need to mix up a new batch of violet dye, finish dyeing the yellow printed pages, and then I can get on with composing some pieces.

  

Just add dye…

I added some dye to the papers I have been printing, using orange, violet, fig, pink, coral sand and yellow dyes:

  
The dye really lifts pale and faint prints. From this…

  
To this…

  
The dye is really lovely over the Rollagraph prints:

   
 
It also works well over faint prints, these are the remnants of paint on a stencil, applied to a piece of paper with a brayer:

  
This is my printing by the end of the session. I’ve got some lovely coordinating papers to work into:

   
 
I also have these 6 metre long lengths of fabric, which I didn’t dye tonight. I will have to dye those soon:

   
 

Playing with Rollagraphs

I got a Rollagraph and 4 pattern wheels from Hilary Beattie’s shop recently, and had a chance this evening to try them out. 

  
L to R: Floral Blocks, Jumbo Weave, Alphabet B, Happy Hands (in handle).

They are basically big rolling stamps which you snap into a handle, and they are a great way to make quick patterns and layers.

I decided to overprint some of the fabrics and papers I had Gelli printed the other day, adding more layers of colour before I add dye.

  

A page of happy hands on the left, and a stripe of Alphabet in orange, over some plain roller printing. I found that the paint on the pallete needed to be rolled out flat first, so as not to clog the detail on the stamp. This left me with paint on my brayer, so I rolled this gently on various papers, to add another texture.

  
Rolling in a curve was fun!

  
The rolling was also useful to go over the white bits at the edges of my Gelli printed pages – as my Gelli plate is less than A4 sized, I always get white margins, and this will add another layer under dye. 

  
Lovely and mucky!

  
I also rolled a row of each pattern onto the front of my softback Khadi sketchbook.

  
And they have added another layer to my exciting print table paper!

All in all, a fun and exciting tool, a quick and easy way to add another layer, and quick to clean too – I just washed them in the sink with warm water and an old washing up brush.

Finished Free Motion Embroidery on the Pear

I have now finished free motion embroidery on the pear:

  
Overall, I am pleased with it. The purpose of the project was to give me more free motion practice, and I feel that my control over the fabric has improved – I no longer feel the need to grip it tight. I am better at travelling along previously stitched lines, too.

I now want to do some hand stitching into the pear, to add a stalk, and perhaps some more texture.

In future, I think I need to leave some overlaps between the pieced backgrounds, as they are bondawebbed down, and there are gaps in places.

Here is a little video of how it developed:

As an aside, one of the small things I liked about the 365 days of creativity was the lack of need to think of a title for each post, so if the titles are a bit rubbish, they are not my forte!

Finished Free Motion Embroidery on the Pear

I have now finished free motion embroidery on the pear:

  
Overall, I am pleased with it. The purpose of the project was to give me more free motion practice, and I feel that my control over the fabric has improved – I no longer feel the need to grip it tight. I am better at travelling along previously stitched lines, too.

I now want to do some hand stitching into the pear, to add a stalk, and perhaps some more texture.

In future, I think I need to leave some overlaps between the pieced backgrounds, as they are bondawebbed down, and there are gaps in places.

Here is a little video of how it developed:

Lemons and Limes

I had a couple of lemon and lime halves left over from my water bottle yesterday, so I dried them out on the radiator overnight, and set to printing with them today.

  
They make a lovely textured print:

  

 My camping washing line came in handy to dry prints again:

 

 I got some lovely sketchbook pages with the off prints, which will give me good colouring in fodder in the evenings: 
   
  
  

Happy hands!

  
 

Another Friday Night Collage

Taking lots of strips of torn paper…

   
Some gelatos and stamping…

  
To produce another sketchbook spread. I have written the word ‘us’ on the right hand side, but the permanent pen I had to hand  wouldn’t ink over the gelatos, so I need to paint over it tomorrow.

  
The quote says ‘Life does have a random feature… Us!’

It’s a lot more random than I would normally do, but that is fitting. It  was enjoyable to tear all the strips and fit them into the spiral.

A new sketchbook

I really enjoy working in a very long and thin landscape format, hence all my favourite sketchbooks being this shape. I decided to try to push myself a bit, and start work in a square book.

I have another lovely khadi sketchbook, this time a soft back book about 20cm square.

Last night, I made this collage, the orange page was the first page in the book.

   
 
The orange page is a bit narrower than it started out, as I tried to punch a hole in it, but it gummed up my circle punch. Luckily, my husband was on hand to de-gum it, with the suggestion that I avoid punching through khadi paper in future!

 This is under the tag on the left:

  
And under the tip in on the right:

  
And tonight, after quite a tiring day at work, I turned three printed lemons into this collage page, with quite a bit of use of gelato silhouettes, some other papers, a bit of colouring with the Pablo pencils and some Neocolour 1s:

  
  
Rather enjoyable, and a good way to relax on a weekday evening.

 

Free Machine Practice

My last piece of free machining wasn’t as fluid as I had hoped, so I decided I needed to make some practice pieces. Taking inspiration from the stitch retreat, I created this piece, with a background of half-square triangles:

  
The purple strip at the bottom is from the first quilt I made. It is 10 inches high by 8 inches wide, and as it has an inch or more of solid purple it meets the requirements for the Contemporary Quilt Groups Journal Quilt project. I am not a member of the Quilters’ Guild, but I wanted a monthly challenge, and my friend Judith does this one, so I decided to play along!

  
I have started the machining, with some wiggles along the bottom, inspired by Leah Day’s Etch’n’Sketch pattern.

I wanted to practice my pebbling too, so I watched Leah Day’s pebbling video, and then had a go. I am pleased with it for a first attempt, it is a pattern I enjoy when doodling, but had never succeded to make anything more than a messy scribble before now.

  
About 45 minutes of machining. It is quite time consuming, but very enjoyable. I am getting better at relaxing, moving my hands slowly and travelling neatly over my previous stitches. I love how repeatedly going round one circle really lifts it.

A Year of Image Manipulation

A year ago, I discovered the joy of taking photos, mainly of my own work, and editing them. I started using Aviary, which is quite a straightforward program, which I mostly used to make colour changes to images.

I moved on to using iColorama, which is far more powerful, primarily as it allows you to use brush masks, so effectively you can merge two images, using one as a mask when applying effects to the other. It has a much wider range of controls, and while it took some playing and experimentation to get used to, that was time well spent.

Here is a round up of some of my images: