Archives for the month of: April, 2014

FOR SOME REASON THE PHOTOS ARE  ALL IN THE WRONG ORDER IN THIS POST – SORRY

I’d got a couple of manky looking pomegranites, some dried up lemons, and a few shrivelled oranges in the bottom of the fruit bowl. I’d read that pomegranites can be used for dyeing, and on further research found that they don’t need a mordant. I boiled up all the fruit for an hour, strained it, split the fabric in half and micro-waved it for about 10 minutes, and left it to cool. I also reboiled the mush with more water for another hour, which gave me a much paler dye bath, and again micro-waved it for 10 minutes. Left them both for several hours before rinsing out the excess. I also did a load of cotton strips in the two baths mixed together as there still seemed a lot of colour left.

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First dye bath and fabric on the left, second on the right.

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Rinsing of second dye bath.

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Second dye bath cooling

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First dye bath cooling

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Dry fabric and threads

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Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble

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Dried fabric

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Damp fabric from first dye bath

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Strained dye bath.

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Soaking a mix of cotton, silk, muslin and some cotton thread.

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Looks pretty revolting, but smelt wonderful.

 

The finished results are a pale, creamy yellow, the first bath slightly deeper. The silk has taken the colour better, a lovely warm gold tone. Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet, but a couple of ideas simmering.

 

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I’ve finished the side panels of the cushion. They are deliberately not symmetrical, something that I have struggled with in canvas work in the past. I just want it to look balanced overall. The first photo shows a section round the edge that needs completing. Then it’s just the narrow strips on each side to do. And, the dreaded ends – always the last bit to drag my heels about!

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Close-up of centre of one side panel.

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Close-up of the centre of the other side panel.

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The side panels completed.

 

I’ve found some brown denim type fabric in my stash, that will look good for the back and round the edges of the canvas work. It must be cut out soon while the dining table is still clear (needed for eating at on Easter Sunday, too many of us for the kitchen table). It is a superb space for cutting out on and working on big quilts, but I tend to fill it with many and varied smaller projects when we’re not feeding the masses.

I’ve finished the miniature embroidery, from Alison Larkin’s workshop at Scunthorpe Embroiderer’s Guild from a couple of weeks ago. I needed good light, my reading glasses and a magnifier to see what I was doing. I’ve seen a couple of the other’s finished work, we had all got favourite areas on our own work (mine was the bottom leaf) and bits we weren’t quite happy with (the centre flower). However, several of us found this small scale a challenge, split stitch with a single strand of floss is not the easiest thing to do. I have often admired miniature work in the past and thought I should have a go while my eyes were good enough to see small scale. Whether I will do more I’m not sure, it certainly needs lots of patience as well as good eyesight. I just need to make it up now.

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Close up of miniature embroidery

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Detail of miniature embroidery

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Finished miniature embroidery.

We had a choice of three kits; burgundy / maroon (the bottom image is the truest colour), blue or green. It looks very different in other colour ways, have a peak at Alex’s  green version at underatopazsky.wordpress.com/‎          

 

The first photo I took in artificial light so the colours are not true, but it shows the progress I’m making.

I realised that it won’t work in the same way as the centre panel and that I’ve ended up with a triangle leading inwards in the middle. I tried carrying on varying the colours and stitch widths and meeting at a centre point. But I’m not sure that it looks right (right hand side). The other side has ended up meeting with the same colour which I think looks better. I’m going to try doing both sides the same and seeing how that looks before I do any more on the right hand side section. It might need pulling out again!!

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The colours are not good on this photo,but it’s making progress.

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Filling in the last triangle on each side.

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Not sure I like the meeting of the ways.

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This side ended up meeting with the same colour, but different width stitches.

 

 

 

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Starting one of the outer sections.

I’ve been quietly working away at this in between other things. I’d not realised how much more I’d done since I last posted about it until I looked back at my blog. It’s gone to several classes since you last saw it and picked up and worked on while talking on Skype, and in front of the telly. Still have to unpick bits when I can’t count up to four. One tutor has suggested working on the diagonal makes it more difficult (but I suspect she’s just being kind!). The colours are being admired and the basket of yarns are covetable (see earlier post). It’s usually me wanting everybody else’s threads. I’m like the kid in the sweetshop with threads and want them all. I just love colour and it fascinates me the variations we pick as individuals. I tend to choose autumnal tones; reds, oranges, rusts, yellows, golds, greens and browns, both to wear and to work with, but challenge myself every now and again to use colours out of my comfort zone. It frees up my thinking somehow, and challenges me to push my own boundaries.

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Second corner on the outer section

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Third corner on the other outer section, I got carried away here and forgot to take photos.

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Considering the overall balance. I’ve left the last bit of border to do when I’m talking – it needs less concentration.

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Again worked away without taking photos. The stripes are over differing number of holes, giving variation in the width of the stripes. The threads are all different weights and textures and need a varying number of strands to cover the canvas.

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Trying out colours and a different stitch for the bands in between the diagonal sections. I’m not sure if I like it, so leaving for the moment, probably until I’ve finished the outside sections.

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The outer sections have more colours than the middle section, slightly more subdued, it’s not so noticeable in reality as it appears in the photo. I’ll have another good run at it on Friday at one of the groups I go to.