Tuesday, May 29, 2012

dyeing results

i've been quite unwell for the past few days so the dyeing was left in its pot for longer than i had planned. but i unwrapped everything this afternoon and am extremely pleased with the results

the alpaca took the colour from the eucalyptus leaves beautifully: the silk thread went a brownish colour but the alpaca has turned the most glorious orangey-red

the leaves must have been pretty potent - even the bubble wrap took up some colour!
silk organza gathered with silk thread, needlefelted with silk throwsters waste and alpaca

silk clamped with bulldog clips
alpaca fleece wrapped in silk chiffon

Sunday, May 27, 2012

some experiments with silk and alpaca

i've had a lovely play this weekend with silk and some of the beautifully cloud-soft alpaca fleece i got from fiona at melrose alpacas.
we rented fiona's beach house at airey's inlet and somewhere along the way the conversation turned to textiles....  and i ended up the proud owner of 2 luscious fleeces - one creamy white from ms francesca and one inky black from ms andalucia
it felts beautifully and i hope to find out how well it takes to eucalyptus dyeing. there is a large stock pot on the stove brewing away....

this is a length of silk organza with lines of gathering, then silk throwsters waste and alpaca fleece needle felted
and this is alpaca fleece wet felted onto silk chiffon, then machine stitched
the fleece is at right off the animal and is remarkably clean - i haven't washed or combed it,  just pulled it straight from the bag and onto the silk. there are a few seeds in there but not many and i have kept them in, being a) lazy as all get out and b) always keen for more texture.

i'll be back tomorrow with photos of dyeing :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

time challenge

here is my piece for the latest international quilt challenge.
 i wanted to demonstrate a process rather than explore an idea or a feeling so it is about the effects of time and weathering cloth and stitch.
i machine stitched strips of vintage linen, silk and cotton; then hand stitched lines of running stitch in silk and cotton thread. there are also a few loose clusters of french knots as a vague reference to the pleiades - my favourite constellation.

 i then stitched a labyrinth of copper wire which i hoped would weather and verdigris and colour then colour but quite early in the weathering process it became clear that this wasn't going to happened so i intervened with a stout piece of rusty iron. once the piece was rinsed of potential nasties and left to dry in the sun for a day or two i outlined the rust marks with red thread and burnished the centre with some copper and pale gold paintstick.

this piece took much longer than i anticipated:  it needed much more macerating in the garden that i thought and we have had remarkably fine weather for most of the time it was out under the feijoa tree.... here it is before rinsing and gussying up....

Thursday, May 03, 2012

finished khadi piece

it started as an experiment to see if i could, and now i like it so much it is a piece in itself :)
 it's 9 by 4 and a half inches: khadi paper, graphite pencil, graphite thread.

stitching on khadi paper

i've just discovered the delights of stitching on paper - once i worked out (thanks to uncle google) the importance of wielding an awl, it all became much easier
tonight's playing so far - khadi paper, graphite pencil marks, caron wildflowers hand dyed cotton in graphite (a lovely serendipity - i didn't realise until i just checked the label)
and i especially like the french knots

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


i just signed up for the sketchbook project 2013! very excited :)

now if i could just work out how to put the badgey thing in my sidebar - since the new blogger interface thingy set in i haven't been able to work out how to update anything just there on the right hand side - so there are a whole bunch of new blogs i love but can't share. which is a large bummer