A couple of weeks ago, I had an excellent day dyeing fabrics with Birmingham Embroiderers’ Guild. Edwina Mackinnon led the workshop, teaching us how to achieve lovely effects with procion dyes. This post has the finished fabrics.
We started by dyeing a colour spectrum. As this post was likely to be very pic heavy, I created some slideshows instead:
Most of the techniques involved mixing dyes in various proportions in sequential bags, and adding fabrics scrumpled to get these lovely patterns.
The next set of fabrics I dyed was with complimentary colours, on a scale from fuchsia to green:
My favourite technique was this colour family dyeing one, where we added one colour of dye, allowed it to fix for a while, then rearranged the fabric, and poured a second colour in. This took in different places, so produced lovely crystal-like patterns:
We also did some folds to use up leftover dyes.
Folded into a square and dipped in dyes:
Folded into a long thin concertina, rolled up into a pinwheel, and then dipped in one colour of dye, with others poured on top.
Randomly scrumpled, dipped in one colour with another poured on top.
The last piece I did was plow dyeing, tightly pleating fabrics to get these strong patterns.
It was excellent fun, and I love the fabrics I made.
I’m spending Saturday and Sunday with Hilary Beattie, helping her with her gallery stand at the Knitting and Stitching show. It’s likely that we’ll spend the quieter times colouring in our sketchbooks. There’s only one problem; I have not printed anything in so long, that I have coloured pretty much everything I had printed. Cue some frantic printing tonight. I found some jug stencils I had cut but not used yet, so now I have some lovely jug pages. I didn’t get any photos of them because I was working really quickly to fit the printing in before my husband dished up our tea.
The coffee pots made an appearance too.
After dinner I sploshed some dye around, and got quite a few hopefully gorgeous pages ready to go. As I set off at just gone 6 tomorrow morning, the books are all propped open and drying, I hope they will be dry in time!
I also printed another page in an altered board book I am working on, including some prints with my 4″ round Gelli plate, which is utterly yumbo! I think the dye on his page looks like a friendly monster waving… can anyone say “Rorschach test”?
Anyway, time for sleep, as my train leaves in 8.5 hours…
I have put together a (mostly) textile collage, with fabrics I printed based on Bumble Hole nature reserve. Here it is as a I put it together layer by layer:
The crackle print and butterflies are printed on deli paper, they add a lovely contrast to knock back the main colours.
I didn’t bond the main focal point images of Cobb’s Engine house down, as I prefer to do the background quilting without needing to work round the focal points.
These are the threads I used to quilt it; the yellow is a lovely King Tut, and the other two are Madeira:
Here’s the quilting I did, all in one day! The zigzags are done with the foot on, the rest was free-motion stitched.
I’m pleased with the quilting, my travelling stitches are getting better.
I had to dye one of the background pieces to go along with the collage, as I didn’t have enough comparatively plain fabrics:
I put my sketchbook with Bumble Hole images in it under the fabric while it was drying, and also pressed the wet roll of fabric on the page, so a I got these lovely serendipitous spirals and drips:
Today I dyed a lot of my materials, getting lots of lovely focal points and backgrounds all ready to go in collages tomorrow.
I ended up with this big, beautiful pile of papers:
I also finished printing in my altered board book:
And got the pages all dyed up:
I repurposed this old chocolate box sheet with some gesso, print and dye, to make a little zigzag tip in:
Yesterday, I made some coffee pot stamps to go with the stencils. They are both double sided, with the positive image on one side, and the negative on the other:
This morning I cut a couple of word stencils to go with the coffee pots; milk and coffee in Italian:
Trying them out with dabbers:
I did some printing with them and the stamps:
The Gelli plate prints were sometimes a bit indistinct, whereas I liked the crisp lines of the directly printed stencils, so I combined them both:
I love the way that dye transforms prints. I had about 6 sketchbooks on the go, so I have lots of lovely prints to work into in the evenings ahead.
Some of the pages in my small sketchbook:
I made this zigzag book and card to use as tip ins in my sketchbooks:
And I started decanting my dyes into pots that are all the same size. Previously they were in miscellaneous jam jars, which got me going using dyes, but wasn’t good for easy storage:
A lovely, long day of making.
The Embroiderers’ Guild West Midlands Regional Day competition this year is Within 1000 Footsteps, drawing inspiration from the local area. I live within walking distance of Turners Hill, near Dudley, which many Black Country folk will know because of its distinctive TV transmitter:
I cut a stencil mask of it, and a couple of stamps (both positive and negative) of the daisies which cover the nearby Darbys Hill in summer.
First I printed in my sketchbook, using the mask to print both negative images as normal, and positive ones, by rolling firmly over it onto other pages once it had paint on it.
I then went on to printing on fabric:
I worked into the sketchbook pages with gelatos, getting to know the colours better:
I also over dyed the background for this, my competition entry:
Sadly, when pressing it, I scorched it:
Gelatos to the rescue! They are opaque, so covered the scorch well:
I’m now working on adding hand stitching to the flowers, so I’ll share progress soon.
My WordPress app kept crashing whenever I added pictures to a blog post, but that seems to be fixed now, so hopefully I can get back to blogging more regularly.
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.