Saturday, June 24, 2017

Nancy's projects

I have been very busy preparing for the League of NH Craftsmen's Fair. I have done a bit of Shibori dyeing, and a lot of felting. I have been working on poncho type garments as shown in the photos.All of the garments pictured were felted using shibori silk, some chiffon, some hauli, and one with the silk seersucker I dyed in class. The dyeing class has really expanded my horizons in terms of what silks I have to work with, and I feel comfortable doing my own dyeing for the first time.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A couple of finished pieces and one new collage from Jen

Jules is don't want to waste a thing when collaging.

So using the last 6 triangles and 3 rectangles that I had cut from the original green collage I did a couple of weeks ago (made a wrap and pair of wristlets from already), I re-collaged a headband for a new hat that I felted this week.

I've shown the hat here with the re-collaged hat band as well as with the satin ribbon I think I like better!  I love the re-collaged hat band -  but somehow not for this style hat. So I think I'm going to settle on the satin ribbon I pleated and then felt another hat (I have some Finn ready to go) for the re-collaged hat band. If anyone has any opinion , I'm glad of it!

 Since I'm still deciding which hat band to use, this is just pinned in (hence the yellow dots!) for the photo showing the back.

learning: reminded that the shrinkage rate on the re-collages is less than one would ordinarily plan on so this band came out WAY too thick and I cut it in 2 lengthwise and now I have 2 hat bands....or 1 hat band and maybe I'll take a note from Jules and play with some cuff ideas -maybe rough up the backside and felt it to some KAP wool for a good sturdy cuff?

My next finished piece is this clutch/bag.  Well, it is almost finished! I'm going to the opening of the VT Quilt Fest tonight and hoping someone there (there usually are some bag vendors) is selling metal straps so I can finish this (I envision this as a cross shoulder bag and don't like the idea of leather or fabric for this bag). This bag was felted from an original collage (i.e. I did not cut it up and re-collage it). I had loved the sample just as it was and it was the perfect size to felt down and have the perfect dimensions for a simple tri-fold clutch. Wish I hadn't used a flash for these pics since the colors are actually much deeper/darker than shown here - front and back of the bag pictured in that order. It's too bad since the colors are really rich - you know, the way I like them - very saturated and the photo doesnt' convey that.

learning - I started off by trying to felt this bag 3-d using resists and it was a nightmare that way so I pulled off my lining at the pre-felt stage and pulled off my gussets and felted it flat and then sewed!

Lastly, I worked up a small white on white (some of it looks yellow, but that is because the silk noil pieces are still wet and when dry they will be more ecru/light tan).  I'm gearing up to do some shibori dyeing and so wanted to make a white on white piece to shibori. I laid this out really thin so that when I re-collage it this weekend and then shibori dye it, it will still have a nice hand for a cowl. I used several silk fabrics: velvet, matelese, noil, dupioni, and satin as well as cotton cheesecloth, some linen blend and topped it off with a bit of wool/alpaca yarn. I used this array because each fabric and fiber will take the dyes differently and so that will add additional dimension to the finished collar.  The pics above are pre and post - doesn't look like much at this stage since it is really just going to serve as a canvas to dye on!

I was reminded:
  • white on white is hard to do when you have a chocolate lab that sheds!
  • using white thread on the white soluble stuff is hard to see where you've stitched - so I needed to go back in after dissolving the soluble in order to stich over a few places that I missed!

Having so much fun - you're keeping me going, Jules!  I am having to alternate between my knitting projects and my collaging. And of course I'm still up to my ears in hats because of the upcoming class I'm teaching and so I need lots of finished hats showing different styles, breeds, trim ideas and techniques to inspire the participants. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MY first projects with my sample collage

I have been slow to post so I thought I should get this one on this morning even though I still need to finish it!  I took my first sample collage which was a small square and used every bit of it to create this small collar.  I used a piece of paj silk on the back that I had eco-dyed many years ago!  I like the way it has turned out so far now to make the button hole and button.

Next I worked with some leather pieces I had and am working on a prototype for a bracelet.  This leather was from an old skirt of mine that I cut up and used!  Next I want to try it with a piece of leather that I boil.  With a bit more work these might be kinda nice!  I also took some small scraps of the collage, you don't want to waste a thing! and started a pair of earrings with leather!  This is some much fun, thanks Jen!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Susan's latest....

Shibori after they were felted....

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Don't give up on me, Jules!

Hi Jules.....been crazy since got back from NYC and new cabinets for workshop arrived so lots of organization/re-organization.
But I have 2 finished products ALMOST I promise I will get something posted tomorrow or Saturday!
Love this new size we're doing - it is perfect for bags.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Changing the size of the sample collages

Jen and I decided to ratchet it back a bit and only do one collage a week, not that we weren't having fun!  We just decided we had to add a new challenge of a project a month out of the collages we created to make sure that they work.  Well they obviously do cause Jen's cuff are great!

I decided to increase the sample collage size to make sure I have enough if I want to do a bigger piece.  My new sample size is 12x20 and I feel more comfortable with it.  I have finished days 10 and 11 and you can see them below.

I really am having fun working out of my colorway and adding things that just don't seem like they will work but they do!  No to create something out of one of these!  Stay tuned :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Collaged Cuffs from Jen

So Jules and I conferred and decided we would shift back from our enthusiastic, but exhausting "collage-a-day"  to a more civilized "collage-per- week" plus 1 finished product per month!

The reasoning (beyond that one per day was NUTS!) is that we need to take the collages to the next level of re-collaging into finished items in order to really learn best what we like in the initial layout.

So to share the first (post class, anyway) finished product I did, here are the re-collaged cuffs I did using up the ends from the original piece I made in class. The photo is coming out much lighter than they actually are (I used black merino beneath the collage pieces), but I don't know how to fix that! I cut a slit in the side for my thumb and did some selective shaping at the top and wrist for a snugger fit. The right hand isn't dry yet and so it is too dark to photograph - so here is the front and back of the left hand wristlet

Off to NYC for the weekend

...hitting some millinery suppliers, trim shops and fabric stores!!  Oh la la!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

More from Jules collages

The following pictures are of the ones I completed since we started.  It is really fun working outside your colorway, some of these I thought would be just horrified but once stitched I really kind of liked them.  The more embellishments you add, I feel the better, it really gives a lot of texture to the piece.  I love using the metallic pieces really gives the pieces some pop!  Also using a heavy lace gives a nice effect.  My next posts will just be a day at a time but wanted to catch up!  Love this!!  Thanks Jen and Melissa  xoxox

Finally figured out this blog! I am slow when it comes to computers!

Thanks Jen for setting up this format.  I think it will be a nice way to share our efforts and keep a record.  I am going to share the collages I already made and then make it a point to update them daily or as often as I can.  This has really been fun creating these collages, I think it will help to keep me creating and figuring out what works and what doesn't.  So here are the first 7 collages I have created,.  So this first one shows the layout and then the stitched piece.  Hard to believe it is the same piece.  The colors really toned down.  I really like the textured of the spiraled yarn.

An "ah-ha" moment for Jen....

Day 6 -
Testing: use of an off white thread since the colors I put aside to layout were tan, yellow, and pale so I thought black would be too harsh. Also wanted to eliminate the layer of wisps between prefelt and fabrics to reduce bulk.

Discovery: impossible to see the white thread against the white soluble stabilizer! Duh!
But it turned out to be so much easier in the long run- since I couldn't see what I was doing I didn't stress about where every free form stitch went!

After the initial few moments of "oh shit", I decided to just go with the flow and sew by feel rather than sight. I could occasionally see a little "puffy" spot which meant I had missed an area so that is how I figured where I needed to sew. Otherwise, I just let my hands guide it all blindly.

When I got to the end of stitching, I flipped the piece over to see what the stitching looked like on the prefelt side (I had used a grey pe-felt) and I found 2 spots, each about 1 inch square, that I missed. That's it! So I just threw the collage  back under the sewing machine - pre-felt side up -  and free motioned over those areas. Sample is 15 x 11

First photo is layout, second is after stitching from the back side, and third shows the right side after stitching and dissolving the soluble stabilizer.

Can't wait to cut this one up and felt it. It is very lightweight since I also skipped the layer of wisps between the prefelt and the fabrics!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Jen's first five from week 1

Day One

 Goal:  Test  fish skins from Iceland in the mix with assorted shibori from class and mom's fabric. Expect skins, which have scales and lots of texture, to look great!
Measures 35 x 27 post stitching. I had laid this out thinking of cutting it up and re-collaging it for a bag using a thick layout in the next step and my piece of shibori organza in black/amber as a lining.
.Analysis: 1)  don't bother with fish skins. The skins lose their scales in this step and so just look like any other piece of fabric (this close up shows the fish skins in there and you wouldn't know it was anything but a piece of fabric). I can only surmise that the Wet n Gone chemical is to blame, since otherwise it is only water that the piece  has been exposed to. Wet N Gone company will not reveal what chemicals are in the soluble stuff, but said it is "environmentally friendly" (I had emailed them after class because it was so gooey when dissolving it I wanted to feel ok about putting it down the drain!)

Day Two: Goal is to test two things: to use a soluble fabric that I can get locally that is neither the Wet N Gone Melissa recommended nor the Solvy , which she advised against. I used a Pellon that is about the same heaviness as the Wet N Gone. It is called Wet  N Wash! Secondly, I wanted to test some velvet and velvet burnout (devore) pieces to see how they worked 
1)I love the texture of the velvet and the burnout (see close up shot here).
2)The Pellon brand worked great. I can get it locally it will be cheaper using a 50% off coupon from Joann's.  And since I am going thru a lot of it, this makes sense.
 3) Also learned how much help the gloves are! Finished dimensions of this one are 19 x 22. Lost 1 inch in each direction from layout thru stitching. Think I will cut and re-collage this one for a bag. It definitely needs diagonals - it's very square because I was using up all these little 3" square fabric samples in black and white that some company had sent me once!  

Day Three:  Testing two things in this sample:  working outside my color range (like eating turnip because it's good for you) and to try a different and very consistent motion while stitching. Oh...and to test an unusual iridescent fabric I got at Joann's (second photo showing fabric beneath my finished sample. It is almost like plastic and changes color depending on what angle you are looking at it from . I'm finally catching on -  this sample is just 8 x 10!
Analysis -
1)  I don't like the consistent stitching - for me the randomness of freeform is more attractive and I didn't really find it any easier to try to repeat the same motion throughout.
2) I still don't like working with blues and pinks!
3) The fabric from Joann's worked great and kept it's iridescence even if you can't tell from my photo.

Day Four: Sampling goal is to work with contrasts, which I love (and feel I deserve after making myself work with the pink/turquoise yesterday!) and also to test a few new fabrics and yarns - nuno felt I cut out of another piece, a cotton boucle yarn that has a lot of texture and a pleated fabric. 
Analysis: 1) the boucle cotton yarn caused a lot of thread breakage. Don't use that again!
2) Wish I hadn't used black as my thread.
Will get some colored threads to test next week.
Left photo is layout before stitching, center is closeup post stitching and right hand photo shows stitched piece with the cotton boucle yarn, the aqua pleated fabric and the knitted fabric I was experimenting with.

Day Five: Testing a slight variation  on the contrasts from yesterday. Today did the same oranges with purples/blue-violets instead of turquoise.  Also wanted to see how the rolled edges of silk scarves which I had ripped off of scarf blanks for other nuno projects would look in a collage. And also testing a new plaid fabric Jules shared with me.

Analysis: love the plaid and the torn off rolled edges (see below in gold). They don't add texture like the cotton yarn, but they are a lot faster to sew thru!

Photo left shows layout before stitching.
Photo right shows fabric after stitching and with a piece of the plaid beside it