Tuesday 23 September 2014

Printing Christmas Trees

The Hue group are exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitch Show this year and I have been working on three pieces for the exhibition. Finally, finally, I have finished all the stitching! One piece has been stretched and I hope to collect the other two pieces after stretching this week. 

So having finished the stitching, it was nice to have a relaxing day block printing with Jamie Maldon from Coloricious at the local branch of the Embroiderers' Guild. I have done a fair bit of printing but I haven't really used block printing in my work and to be honest, I haven't had much success when I have tried it previously.

Jamie's Christmas blocks had just arrived and so we learnt the printing techniques by printing on an apron. I look quite proud of mine don't I? Jamie's simple instructions and tips were very useful and I'm definitely more likely to include block printing in my work now. 

I'm rather fond of Christmas Trees but as there were so many blocks to choose from and as I'm a little indecisive, I printed a number of them side by side to make choosing easier.

Printing Christmas trees on fabric gives lots of opportunities to embellish with stitching and beading (think tinsel and baubles) and I took a shine to this tree - lots of room for things to dangle from these branches. This one was printed on upholstery fabric but I should have used more ink.

This one was printed on some green fabric and looks a little...well green...but I think that the addition of beading could bring it to life.

But this was my favourite one and most closely resembles my usual work. I used the tree block to print a background pattern in light blue and silver paint and then overprinted the tree. This was the block I wanted to come home with.

But whilst I was waiting to pay, I noticed another tree block that I had completely missed and I couldn't resist this one either.

So now I'm the proud owner of two Christmas Tree blocks but I haven't used the block on the right yet and I am looking forward to printing with it. Before I do use it though, I need to work out how I'm going to package my work for the Knitting and Stitch show. When I decided to include 3D elements on my work, I didn't think about how difficult it would be to ensure that it travelled between venues unscathed. I'll think about it next time!

Sunday 7 September 2014

Denise Lach - Designing with Letters - Part 2

I'm just back from a lovely week spent in the south of France and I had every intention of post the 2nd set of pictures from Denise's course before I set off but by the time I had got one piece finished and ready for the framer and another ready for stitching on holiday, I just didn't have the time. 

So here they is some of the work from the 2nd half of the Denise's course and you will see that I started to work in a less controlled way.

This basic design was built up using a few selected words, with the letters elongated and stretched to make a pattern. I then took photocopies of the design and started to work into and over it by blocking areas out using pens and using ink and tools that were less controllable and dripped ink down the page. 

When I was on holiday these buildings reminded me of these designs, minus the dribbles, obviously. This idea/link might be something worth following up when time permits.  

So going back to the course... I also started exploring how I could use lettering to represent a landscape and started by creating tree trunks and under growth with letters.

I then tried using some coloured ink and a slightly different approach to creating the landscape but still using letters..

...and then a slightly looser style...

You can see from my design board below, that the work I was producing in the 2nd half of the course was much looser and that I have only shown you a fraction of it. My aim was to explore as many ideas and avenues and possible, rather than creating a finished piece of work and I think I did that, I came away with lots of ideas to develop. 

You may know that last year's holiday inspired my Barge in the Mist piece piece and so I was hoping that I would come back with inspiration for my next 'must-make' piece but unfortunately I didn't. I saw some lovely landscapes, architecture and wildlife but when I look back at my photos, it's this one that's giving me food for thought:

This was taken from the train in France and I wanted to see how much blurring I would get when I took the photo from a moving train and whether it would create any interesting images. I didn't get any blurring at all and I guess that's down to the wonders of technology but I did like the way my red top and yellow fabric reflected in the window and created a colourful and interesting landscape.  Something else to think about because a lot of landscapes can be very green, certainly in this country and this could be one way adding some additional colour interest.

And when I returned home this is what I found on my doorstep....

...what a lovely surprise! I had won Gina's giveaway and as ever, Gina had presented the buttons beautifully. I'm not sure how I'm going to use them yet but in the meantime, I'll just enjoy looking at them as they are.