Saturday, 24 January 2009

Felting and book covers

I was reading the latest Quilting Arts magazine - Dec/Jan 2009 - and found an article about felting various fibres together to make a surface ... so I had a go. I can't tell you what the fibres I used were, as I just grabbed things from my stash. I used 2 different bases for the needle felting - a grey dense piece of foam, and the small 'brush' base that came with the Clover felting tool. While the grey foam has worked well for some things I've done, and it is much larger, the 'brush' was better for this piece. The fibres were placed between 2 layers of fine tulle. When finished, they stay felted to the base, but the top layer peels away. In the magazine, an embellisher machine was used, but I was pleased with the results I achieved with the hand tool. I'm intending to add some embellishment, and ... who knows??

Helen, in my textiles group, was cleaning out her stash, and giving things away. I was lucky enough to score a piece of collaged/ machine made/ 'fabric' - not really sure what to call it, but I love the colours and textures. I hope you don't mind, Helen, but it is now in 3 pieces - 2 of them on a book covers, and 1 waiting on my sewing table to be put on another one. The red cover is actually on my new 2009 diary, so I'll probably get to enjoy that piece every day for 12 months.


Wednesday, 7 January 2009

fabric dyeing experiment

Some of you know that I've been thinking of trying some fabric dyeing - let me tell you about last week's experiment ...

1. Buy 2 new shirts on the pre-Christmas sales. 1 x white, because white goes with everything, and 1 x deep green, because a bit of colour is a good thing.

2. Take them on holidays.

3. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART - find a washing machine without any words on it, in any language, and try to decipher the symbols on the panel. What on earth do a leaf, a cloud, and what looks like an upside-down plumber's plunger, have to do with washing cycles? Find the on/off button.

4. After a very long time, take the washing out and realise that you've run a very hot wash (something you'd never do at home - always cold water) and seem to have dyed and heat-set the white shirt, a delicate shade of blue/green.

5. Complete the heat-setting process by drying the wash in the tropical/sauna-like breeze on the balcony.

6. Ignore your husband's comments about the colour of his new underwear - it's a holiday, so he's lucky you washed for him.

7. Wear your newly dyed shirt with your blue 3/4 length pants - nice match.

Why do we spend so much time worrying about setting dyes, when they seem able to do it for themselves???