Saturday, 7 June 2008


I've been a bit lacking in creative posts recently for which I apologise. I must admit I haven't been doing a great deal on the creative front but I have been taking a couple of half day workshops at the new craft shop in the town. The first class was an introduction to layering sheers and nets to create other colours and effects.

This first A4 size piece of cotton has layers of peach, orange and blue arranged in various ways. It's surprising how long it took to set this up and then machine stitch it. This is obviously only the beginning as I need to carry on making sample sheets with lots of other combinations of net.

This sheet is of beautiful layers of organza. I was slightly less methodical with this sheet as I didn't stick to just 3 colours but I like soem of these combinations and you have the added bonus of the frayed edge of the organza to play with. More experimentation again required.

This third sheet is a mixture of net and organza layered together. You can get some beautiful effects with these combinations and I'm sure it would give some lovely textures in a landscape quiltie.

Talking of landscapes our final task was to layer organzas to produce a small landscape. This has been machined to hold it together but I need to add handsewing and maybe some beading. I think this would actually be more effective layered with other fabrics but it is interesting to explore the possibilities of layering. The edges of the organza have been frayed but you don't have to do this.

To make life easier for us in the workshop we prepared a template for the landscape pieces. Each shape was traced off being careful to trace the whole shape taking in the square below it, if you see what I mean!

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For the second workshop we painted fabric and threads to match.

This cotton was painted (paint was mostly flicked on and then a little water was used here and there to spread it a bit) having been dampened first. Salt was then sprinkled on top and it was left to dry.

For each of the fabrics a selection of white/cream threads were painted at the same time so that the colours co-ordinate. You need to turn the threads over and paint both sides. We used a dabbing motion with the brush to paint the threads.

This is muslin which I laid, dampened, onto the wet plastic where the cotton had been. It has picked up the colour which had soaked through from the cotton. It has dried very, very light so I may heat set it and paint it again.

This is silk and a piece of net which were dampened and then painted along with its threads. Apparently it is easier to paint net along with a piece of fabric so that it saoks colour up from the fabric otherwise it does not colour very well.

This, believe it or not, is white organza. I wet it with clear water and then made it stand up in peaks. I then touched the silk paint on it along the edges and let the water carry the paint around the fabric. Again this has dried slightly lighter than the photo above. (The turquoise is the plastic sheet underneath).

So, this is the dried cotton fabric and threads. Can you believe the difference with the original wet fabric?
The dried silk,net which you can hardly see, and threads,
Finally the dried organza which has some lovely marks in it and which is very delicate.
The next trick is to decide what to use it all for!

BTW, I haven't forgotten about the catching up....I still have Alnwick Garden and Holy Island to show you.


Diane said...

Can't believe I found you by clicking on "next blog"!! LOVE your work. Can you tell us what kind of paint you used on the fabric and threads? And please show us what you made with them!

Thanks for sharing...

Julie said...

Hi Diane! :o) Thank you so much! The paints I used are Setasilk made by Pebeo which I think are quite widely available. Marabu also make silk paints and you can also use fabric/textile paint but you would have to dilute that with water.

I think these pieces may well remain as samples but I will get round to making some more to use. I really like the idea that you can paint your own threads to match your project - very exciting!

I will be looking in on your blog later as I am short of time tonight - going out to friends for a meal and a glass of red!

sharon young said...

You lucky thing having such a great workshop near you. We don't have anything like it round where I live, I think there's too many people trying to make money in this area and the interest isn't there.
I love what you're doing with the small squares on the A4 and the seascape looks as if it will be great.
Thank you so much for your detailed explanations.

Gina said...

I like the ladscape made with sheer fabrics Julie - it's very effective. The dyed fabrics and threads look great too.

Anne Wigfull said...

All very luscious stuff, particularly the last bit of organza. How did you decide on how much thread to paint- were you guided by the course leader and were you organised enough to remember what paints you used on each piece? I always think I'll remember and of course I never do. It must be difficult when you haven't reached a decision on how to use the painted pieces yet.

artisbliss said...

Wow, Julie, what fun! I love the layered netting/organza. The painted fabric and threads look like fun, too.

Mai-Britt said...

Wow from me too.......... Living in a small island, I don't get to go to classes very often, so I'm thriving on inspiring blogs like yours. It's making me feel less isolated, so thanks for sharing.

Ro Bruhn said...

I love coming to visit and seeing all of your wonderful decorated fabrics, you must have quite a collection now. If you're into creating rust, I have a link on my blog to a lady over here who has created some wonderful stuff.

silverpebble said...

Such lovely projects and beautiful rich colours - I love the gauzy fabric landscape. The whole post leaves me feeling as though I want to make something - or at least go to a workshop!

katelnorth said...

love this layering technique for landscapes - I might have to add that to The List of things to try...