It hardly seems possible that a week ago I was enjoying a wonderful weekend in the company of some lovely ladies who share my passion for Contemporary Quilting or textile art. Belstead House in Ipswich was the venue for a whole weekend of hard but stimulating work with Jo Budd. Other classes being held were with Linda Maynard for Screen Printing and Helen Parrott for hand stitching. My class with Jo Budd was titled 'From Microcosm to Macrocosm' and would involve painting and printing fabric with a view to producing abstract textile pieces.
I have to confess to being apprehensive about the whole experience but I needn't have worried. Jo was a very sympathetic and supportive teacher and my fellow classmates were all very friendly.
On Friday night, after a very enjoyable dinner and a welcome drink, we adjourned to the classroom for a very hectic time making marks with different types of binders, both opaque, white and clear, on different weights of fabric. These were left to dry overnight and would form a starting point for applying dyes on Saturday morning. Sadly I didn't photograph this stage of proceedings and anyway, it would have been a very boring photo as some of the marks were barely visible.
On Saturday after a hearty breakfast, yes, even I ate a cooked breakfast, we got into the business of applying dye mixed with a binder to the prepared fabric and then moved on to making monoprints.
You can see that our workspace was a hive of industry with none of us really knowing where we were headed.
To help us view all of our pieces we each had a display board or sheet of insulation board.
This was my board. You can see the results of the 'resist' technique at the top of the baord. I still have to wash those pieces out so Iexpect they will look much different when I've done that.
After dinner on Saturday we adjourned to the gardens for a review of existing work that we had all brought with us.
The yew hedge provided an impromtu display wall.
Sunday morning saw us up bright and early and back in the studio ironing the fabrics we had printed the day before (before breakfaast, I might add!). Then the real work began (not that we weren't exhausted already!).
Jo was keen that we should all work in natural daylight so work stations were moved to take advantage of any available daylight, including the garden.
I had really looked forward to this final part but I found it soooo difficult! My planned method of constructing a layered seascape didn't seem to work and eventually I threw everything back down onto the work bench and started again.
These were my second attempts:
While I felt that a lot of my fabrics had similar marks these three above, together with a sheer overlay on the lower right area, looked as though they would work. With Jo's input they grew into this:
It made quite a difference widening the view and I don't know why I didn't try this myself.
The arrangement above became split to give this
and I have a couple more possible compositions to work with. The idea now is to use stitch both to bond the pieces to their base fabrics and also to provide surface interest and texture. You may have a while to wait as I have to finish my quilt for Festival of Quilts first.
A quick glimpse of the screen printing room.
and of the hand stitching room. We were all so busy that there was very little time to look at everyone else's work although there was provision in the schedule for this.
Well, I have more to bring you up to date with but I'd better save it for another post or you will be nodding off! I apologise for the randomness of image size when you click on in this post but I've got a new laptop and I am also working with Photoshop Elements 6 and I'm not familiar with all its eccentricities, most particularly how it stores it's photos. I seem to be saving countless copies of things in various folders. I've also taken so many photos lately that I just havn't had time to re-size them all.