what if? #2

Using yet another ‘fail’ piece of fabric painting, I placed the cut-out words from what if! #1 underneath and rubbed oil pastels and water soluble wax pastels over them before free machine stitching and couching too. I then roughly cut the piece into strips, and then small squares.

 

This simple six rows of five squares layout used all the squares and that was how I left it overnight.

 

This morning it seemed too safe and boring but more essentially, a pointless exercise if the text couldn’t be read. I also realised that I didn’t need to use all the squares so I selected the text squares, divided some other squares further and settled on this:

It reminds me of graffiti and I like that there are little pieces missing from the text. I also like how I succeeded in turning a fail piece into something I’d be happy to see on my wall.

The painted fabric is blackout curtain lining which doesn’t fray, accepts paint well and stitches through easily. The dark background is cotton sheeting and an additional layer of re-cycled white sheeting was stitched behind that.

what if?

I recently made this small collage piece and thought that if I could see it easily in my workroom and be reminded daily, I might actually challenge myself more often to take a familiar technique several steps further than I currently do. When I have a piece which I consider a fail, I try to work out what has gone wrong and mostly I think it’s my colour choices so even though I have two colour wheels and an Ultimate 3-in-1 Colour Tool within easy reach, and I decide to use colour combinations that compliment each other, what actually ends up on the fabric falls far short of the original expectations. I’ve also always known that putting random colours of paint on fabric and expecting the end result to look fabulous will rarely, if ever work, but I do it time and time again and get the same muddy results or clashing colour combinations each time. I’m never surprised when this happens and I don’t know why I haven’t stopped doing this, but I’m hoping that from now on, seeing my “what if?” collage will be like someone shouting, “STOP! What if you actually think about this before you paint/draw/sew/cut….” Maybe I need several of these collages in strategic places around my workroom. Hmmm.

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Not sure about the heavy border of black soft cord but I think the appliquéd letters are a success. The large piece of painted interfacing the letters were cut from was a fail, but in smaller pieces the poor colour combinations seem more acceptable. I would consider this collage a success but I can’t really explain why. Do you agree? I welcome your opinions and or suggestions for improvement. I’m already working on a second piece using the same letter cutouts but in a different “what if?” manner.

Cotton fabric background coloured with acrylic paints. Letters hand cut from heavy-duty interfacing previously splattered with acrylics, and free-motion stitched to the background. The blue rectangles (painted cotton sheeting scraps) were stitched around the borders using a normal sewing machine presser foot with reduced tension and a very short stitch length. Backing fabric (not shown) of bonded twill fabric.

 

zippered pouches

I thought it was time to start using up some of the odd bits and pieces of fabric that I have so I made these little zippered pouches which will go on sale in my son’s shop. Hopefully they will ‘fly off the shelves’ as they say!

an old fox cub

I’m still working on the roses piece but can’t seem to take a decent photograph to show where I’m at. When looking for something this morning, I found this fox cub that I embroidered during the summer of 1981. It’s about 16″ x 12″ (41 x 31cm) and I remember that it was a kit but not the company that sold it or even where I bought it. Storing it in various cupboards in several different houses for 36 years without much care has taken a toll on the background fabric which is quite stained in the area above the fox’s back but remarkably the stitching is still completely intact! I doubt I’ll ever have it framed and hanging but I might attempt to clean it. I’ve got nothing to lose.

painting the roses red 3

I lost a little interest in this because the cards seemed less challenging than the roses were but I’ve knuckled down this week and one card man is almost finished.

 

colour tricks

Yesterday I discovered that my new camera can isolate one colour from an image and render the rest of it in black and white so a little while ago I tried it with the coloured blackwork piece, selecting the four joined red squares as my colour. I think this might be a very useful effect for the future but it is just one of many things to learn on this Panasonic DC-FZ82 and it will take me lots of practice time to be able to use it without having to refer constantly to the 311 page manual!

painting the roses 2

I bought a replacement camera this morning (woo hoo!) so here’s a little peek at some more of my Painting the Roses Red piece from Alice in Wonderland.