Tuesday 25 August 2020

Screen Printing

 I have been wanting to play around with some screen printing for the last couple of years. I love the effects that some people get and really admire their quilts. I have the books and DVD's and have been reading and watching them for the last couple of weeks.

Most people seem to use thickened dye on fabric but my for trial, I didn't want to be mixing up dyes and soda soaking fabric etc. I didn't even cut any stencils, I just used what I had on hand and they were the ones that I had used a couple of months ago when I did some sun printing.

I used the screen-printing ink in black that I used recently for the mark making.

Oh, my goodness!! The mess! That black inky screen! The horrible clean up. It's just not for me. I have to admit I like things a bit cleaner and in control.

Here are the two pieces of fabric that I printed.

Now, I must admit there are some sections that I don't mind and could imagine them cropped and able to be used. 

There are other techniques that I enjoy so much more. I love sun printing, I even enjoyed that flour resist and the mark making. Love using a thermofax screen and mono printing. The screen printing is just one step too far for me.

I'll just enjoy other people's work from now on.

I think it's just as important to know you don't like as what you do like. I no longer have to fill up my head with ideas with this and imagining me screen printing.

Bye for now,


Tuesday 18 August 2020

Another Class with Nancy Crow!

Two and a half years ago, I did two weeks of advanced design classes with Nancy Crow in New Zealand. I was way out of my depth, I had never used plain fabrics before, I hadn't done any piecing for over 10 years, my fabrics were all the wrong values and it was an advanced, serious design class in work that I didn't do. I am much more comfortable with applique than piecing.

You can read my post about the classes with Nancy Crow in 2017.

I have been invited to attend two weeks of classes at Nancy Crow's barn in Ohio in 2022 and I said yes! Nancy only accepts advanced students, no new ones anymore. Of course, these classes will only go ahead if this virus is under control and international travel is allowed.

Why am I doing this! I am doing it because I know what I am getting myself into now, I enjoy working with plain fabrics and feel more comfortable with contemporary design. I don't know any person who teaches advanced design and will tell you honestly why your work is good or bad and why.

The other reason is that the two weeks with Nancy Crow were the most challenging but one of the best times of my life.

Even though it's two years away, I have started collecting fabrics, whenever I see them on special.

When the fabrics arrive in the post (no patchwork shops are open) I wash them and label them with their Kona cotton name and what value they are.

Look how gorgeous these fabrics look when they are in value order.

Value order

I have the Kona cotton chart with all the fabrics, so I know all the names.

My friend in Adelaide, Julie Haddrick who is also doing the classes, sent me a copy of the Circular Abstractions book, which is hard to get, so I can be further inspired.

Well, it's two years away and anything could happen in that time but it's something to look forward to.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Circle Series 7

I am still trying to continue with my circle series. They don't take long to do and they are really just design and experiment exercises. They are all fused and I don't do any stitching on them. The small A3 size means that they don't interfere with my more 'serious' work.

I drew up an idea on some paper first and then tried to put it together. 

It looks simple but it was actually trickier to do because some of the background stripes went under and over the fused circles. So, I was piecing some of the background and fusing some bit of circle and then piecing some more.

I left it overnight and the next day I thought the bottom circle looked to bare, so I added another inner circle.

Circle Series 7

The stripes look a bit wonky too and would need some serious blocking if I decided to finish it.

I am starting to see why I felt compelled to continue with this series, although I don't really like my latest one, it has given me an idea for the next one. In my imagination, it has some possibilities! Time will tell.

This is a photo of my previous circle designs.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 4 August 2020

Masterclass with Claire Benn

The UK Festival of Quilts was on over the weekend, but it was a virtual quilt show this year. They also had classes over the internet for the first time. I signed up for a Mark Making class with Claire Benn, I have always admired Claire's work and want to try and do more mark making and screen printing kind of work.
The class was for one hour and was on at 8pm on Friday night for my time zone. Here is my Ipad set up waiting for the class to start via Zoom.

I had my work space and tools all set up, waiting to go, it was exciting.

Claire Benn recommended that we only use white fabric and black paint to keep things simple. I used black screen printing ink.

Our first instruction was to put masking tape on our fabric to act as a resist.

Then we followed along with Claire starting with a gelli plate and foam brush.

I didn't take any progress photos after that because I was busy keeping up with everything.

Here is what it looked like finished.

I really enjoyed the class. I left it to dry overnight and I went and cleaned the paint off all my brushes and tools.

The next morning, I took off the tape.

I love it. Claire said that the idea was to try lots of things and eventually you will get to know the marks that you enjoy making and continue on with those that suit your own work.

Of course, this is just a practice piece and not a completed work, but I definitely think I could do more of this kind of thing. I have to start and try it soon though. I have learnt from the past that I can do a workshop and then go home, pack things away and get on with my life and lose the momentum and excitement of the class.

The zoom class worked so well and it was amazing that people from all over the world were doing it at the same time. Claire is a very experienced teacher.

I can imagine doing this sort of class again, so much cheaper than an airfare to the UK and hotel fees etc. That is one of the only benefits of this horrible Corona virus.

Speaking of which, my state, Victoria has now gone into Stage 4 lockdown. All retail and business closed except for supermarkets, banks, petrol stations, doctors and a few more things.
We have a curfew and are not allowed out from 8pm until 5am unless we are coming home from work.
Only one person may leave the house for shopping and it must be within a 5k radius and for one hour only. We are allowed to walk or run for an hour a day with only one other person from the family. We must always wear a mask when outside of our house. There are huge fines for disobeying these rules.
The virus had got out of control and we are having between 400 and 700 new cases daily and 10-13 deaths daily. Too many for the size of our population.
This will go on for 6 weeks. It will be spring before we are allowed out again. I hope this works!

Luckily, I have plenty of sewing to do and we can see friends and family over the internet.

Bye for now,