Monday, 17 October 2016

Travelling Sketchbook - Scrap Buster Reverse Applique

My latest page was inspired by a quilt I saw at the Festival of Quilts this year made by textile artist Louise Baldwin using a technique called reverse applique. Unlike traditional applique where a fabric shape is sewn on top of a base fabric, reverse applique involves cutting away a layer of fabric to reveal a shape appliqued underneath.

It's also a brilliant way of using up all your scraps of fabric.  As any textile artist, sewer, maker or crafter knows, it goes against the grain to throw away any offcuts of fabric from a project, however small.  This of course results in burgeoning shelves and bags full of scraps but you never know when these itty bitty scraps will come in handy as the last thing you want to do is cut into a virginal fat quarter just for a tiny scrap of fabric.  Thus reverse applique, in fact any kind of applique is the ideal scrap buster. 

Above is a picture of Louise Baldwin's quilt shown in detail. 

For my version I kept the shapes similarly abstract and by layering many scraps of fabric onto a calico base this allowed me to cut back and expose the many various coloured fabrics underneath. I then used a teasel brush to fray the raw edges even more.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Travelling Sketchbook - The Cobalt Blues

My inspiration for this month's pages was a workshop I went to probably getting on for about five years ago now, at Unit Twelve Gallery near Stafford, led by textile artist Emily Notman.  Unit Twelve is a great gallery and exhibition space run by artist Jennifer Collier and if you have never been it's well worth a visit, as not only are there great workshops and exhibitions but it's a chance to see the participating artists making work in their own studios there. In the workshop Emily got us to dye strips of various neutral coloured fabrics with ink. These were then hung up to dry then assembled and layered ready to add stitch and embelishments. 

I have done the same here dipping strips of fabric into Cobalt Blue acrylic ink which I diluted with a little water.  It was interesting to see how each of the fabrics took on a different hue depending on their content and texture. 

I then layered them all together on a backing of calico and then free machine embroidered them together adding some beads as a bit of embellishment.

My original sampler from the Emily Notman workshop hangs on my sewing den wall.  I had combined strips of pink dyed fabrics with lace, netting, threads and sequins.  It's actually not finished as I meant to work back into it with more stitch and embellishment.  Another PhD!  Please do visit  Unit Twelve Gallery if you get chance as it's not that far up the M6 from Brum and nearby Stafford is a lovely little market town with lots of little cafes plus of course Shire Hall Gallery which has a changing programme of exhibitions often textile based.  A grand day out!