This one day workshop gives the opportunity to bring stitch into the fabric design process. Stitching before and/or after transferring designs onto the fabric gives some beautiful effects and is fun to explore.
You can bring your own sewing machine or use one of the studio’s machines.
With an idea to create doll I drew sketches then began assembling pieces of fabric that I had created through exploration with free machine embroidery techniques and heat sensitive fabric paints.
I’ll be demonstrating how to design and colour fabric in this way at a workshop on Sunday 2nd June. More details here and to follow.
I arranged the fabric pieces I’d created and stitched them together on my beloved Bernina before free motion embroidering further details of my favourite things, swimming fish, tulips, spiral shapes, hearts and flowers.
Once I had the assembled and embroidered a length of fabric I drew pattern shapes and then cut them from the fabric thinking carefully about the placement of the different designs, details and colours, so as to create a striking bright design and balance where the colours popped against each other.
I stitched the legs and arms front to backs and she started to take shape.
My optician had asked me to capture my colourful Johann Von Goisern frames with my artwork so this seemed a good opportunity for a shot for this. The optician called it ‘frames and threads’ and shared it on their social media.
As the doll has two facial expressions one eyes open and one in calm restful bliss I needed only a little hair. I had a small piece of the bias binding leftover that I had pressed with magenta coloured heat sensitive paints, and wax relief of Passion flower tendrils, for the draught excluder project.
Turns out she’s a sun lover, I spotted her relaxing in the sunshine as I rethreaded my needle.
This work gave rise to the idea of placing supportive words and phrases on a doll to reassure and inspire the owner when life feels its most challenging, I’m going to develop that idea further.
Try it yourself:
All of these pieces of fabric were plain white when I began this project. Using heat sensitive paints I added colour and design to the fabrics to create something unique and original.
You can learn and explore these wonderful dye and stitch techniques, creating with colours and designs that you love to make something beyoutiful and uniquely you.
Join me on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced in Sheffield. 10 – 4 pm, £60. A wonderful day, no experience necessary.
You can book now by messaging your interest at this link.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this work.
I’m off to draw the doll now in different poses and develop a story around her.
If you’ve enjoyed this post these are other projects that you may enjoy seeing…
Now there will always be flowers 🌷 by my window. Started with plain white fabric and hand painted the design before printing it onto the white fabric.
From my initial marker drawing to being in use, my designer draught excluder, here’s the story in a less than 40 seconds video.
Painted designs ready for pressing into the fabric.
I reused filling from the previous draught excluder, which the fabric had worn through.
I’m delighted with the end result it’s practical and pretty at our juliet balcony.
I like the immediacy of these fabric design techniques. It takes just 30 seconds to transfer the painted design from paper to fabric. I only use the fabric I print, not having to buy patterned fabric by measurement and trying to match up the patterns, with lots left over. I can just work with white fabrics and print the panels to the size and scale for whatever I am making. This can be reusing and repurposing fabric, anything from clothing to pillowcases. The designs are entirely my own and are unique and unrepeatable. This uniqueness and bespoke nature of these techniques is the magic that I’ve found, and that I enjoy sharing through workshop sessions.
Follow my blog to see dates of upcoming workshops or email me if you’re interested in a one to one session email@example.com
Now don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like peppers. I find them deliciously tasty, but it took some years to pinpoint that being doubled over with severe stomach cramps, hot and cold sweats, three days when I couldn’t get out of bed, diahorrea until my system was empty, was due to eating bell peppers.
Give me a chilli and I’m happy and fine, but a fragment of bell pepper or a pinch of paprika and I loose the next few hours at least. Until my body has painfully fought the peppers and kicked them back out of my system.
It was suggested to me by a GP that it may be IBS, which is why I believe some people could be thinking and dealing with what they believe is IBS when they might just need to drop peppers from their diet.
Heatpressing hand painted peppers
Machine rendering after hand sewing
Now peppers are very nutritious for some people, but they can be anaphylaxic for some. However they are almost never listed on food menus and food packaging as allergens. Often they’re not written on food menus, despite them being part of the dish. Due to their colourfulness peppers are often used in ‘food on the go’ meals such as salads. Really helpfully they’re often finely chopped and written in minuscule font on the ingredients list on packaging.
So I just want to make people, you even, more aware of the possible reactions and physical responses to peppers. Maybe this work can take away someone’s pain or discomfort.
So I’m asking people to think before they eat and serve bell peppers and paprika, I’m asking food retailers to think before they add bell peppers and paprika and to make it as an allergen, and for restaurants to always state where bell peppers and paprika have been used in their dishes. And please use a different chopping board for peppers.
Thank you for reading to the end. Next time you eat peppers just observe in the time afterwards how you feel. If you have any of the symptoms listed in this article you might want to see if the symptoms clear up or cease.
Eat happy, be happy, consider pushing aside the peppers.
Free Download – I’ve created an illustrated download for those with Bell Pepper allergies and intolerances. This is for use in restaurants, hotels at home and abroad. Please feel free to print and/or share this with someone that it may help, and to raise awareness of this food allergy. Card size set to 9 x 13cm.
Related work: Work that relates to the techniques is at the following links. I often find that the work is stepping stones to the next creation, like a bright creative path where the next step is revealed upon completion of the present one. These creative projects led to this work.
Thanks so much for reading to the end. I’m delighted with this work and will be looking at the display of it. So watch this space by popping your email address in the box at the top of the page to follow my blog. Normally a maximum of one post per week, a little bright creativity into your inbox
Here is the work that led to the passion flower creation.
And finally here are flowers I painted in pomegranate juice (and a little green watercolour). The juice was a stunning pink so I could resist making art with it. The work is inspired by a great book I’m reading The Joy of Watercolour by Emma Block.
I was asked to make a colourful cushion featuring a bird and flowers with this drawing from a lovely customer:
I thought about whether I might seek such a fabric design, but I didn’t have the desire to go hunting for a fabric, so I designed my own.
Having found painted designs that the dye colours can mush together I decided to try a collage technique, as developed in some of my favourite work, my paper cut pictures.
I firstly prepared papers by carefully painting them with transfer dyes then cut and assembled pieces to build a design. I liked the composition on a cute practice design (above), but felt that the colours lacked texture and depth. So I tried wax relief frottage techniques learned at UAL Chelsea and also hand-painted my favourite flowers inspired by our own garden and a visit to the wonderful tulip gardens of Keukenhof and the Botanical Garden in Leiden earlier this year. I challenged myself to limit colours to the wine red, golden yellow and turquoise Colourcraft Transfer Dyes.
I cut shapes and enjoyed assembling these to form the design for the main panel of the cushion.
White dog portrait created in silks, yarn and thread on dyed fabric.
After the success of the embroidered portrait earlier this year I decided to try to create an embroidered portrait of Sam, the white dog that has featured in a number of my paper artworks, and whom I painted previously in acrylic paints before, paintings which became an illustrated children’s book.
I chose a teal/ turquoise cotton fabric that I had dyed. I chose the colour as it was the colour of Sam’s favourite toy, and echoes the style of the portraits that I painted on bright bold coloured backgrounds.
I gradually built the design using hand sewing, deciding to add fluffy white yarn that was left after I knitted the jumper on jumbo needles.
I was struggling to get a likeness and lost momentum in the project so decided to inject some energy by continuing the piece on my sewing machine with a transparent foot, and also with a darning foot to use free motion embroidery techniques.
This worked and I was able to sew into the design, develop the likeness and then finished the final elements by hand. Here’s a 43 seconds short video of how the work developed.
I’m pleased with the final outcome and can now decide how best to display the work in my gallery.
Related posts which feature Sam or similar techniques are here…