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



  1. Holy crap I need o catch up! First week was a learning experience found that the 10x12 piece just doesn't feel like it is big enough to work with. Have cut out some at this size so will use them up but then go to the 20x12 size. It seems big enough but not too big and works will with the size of the wet n gone. 20x10 yards so from a package I can get 30 samples.

    Finshed two more smaples tonight need to get pictures when they dry. Jen how do I add pictures to this thing!!

  2. Wow! I'm in awe! Ha, I'll never catch up but expect to get in some play time after I get back from Denver next week. I think I might need to spend a few days coming to an agreement with my sewing machine 🙄 I really appreciate the heads up on the stabilizer and the colored threads ... I'll give that a try as well!