Monday, 21 March 2016

Indigo Blues

I love dying fabric! Contrary to my scientific training of precision and reproducibility, I love the serendipitous nature of hand-dying: the lucky chances that place colour on cloth.

Last week I learned how to use indigo - a very different beast from the Procion dyes I had worked with on previously.  Indigo doesn't react with fibres, it is insoluble. It has to be altered, chemically, to a soluble (yellow) form which allows it to adsorb onto the surface of the fibres. When it is removed from the dye-bath and exposed to oxygen in the air it converts back to its insoluble blue form. 

It's perfect for shibori techniques - once exposed to air, the intense blue dye will not migrate onto other parts of the cloth.

I spent a lot of time tying and stitching cloth to create these lovely patterns, but I think my favourite piece was one that was simply folded, concertina fashion. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Spring chickens

I wanted to keep a simple drawing-like approach to this work so I used small back stitch in a single strand of cotton. The lines at a little wobbly - just like my original drawing and I've highlighted small areas with patches of fabric appliqu├ęd with Bondaweb and running stitch.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Snowdrop brooch

Hurrah!  The Contemporary Stitch group has resumed and I'm very glad to be teaching again.

This week's project was inspired by a single snowdrop in a teeny-tiny vase which was given to me by my next-door neighbour.  The brooch is worked on silk with layers of hand-dyed cotton organdie, vintage lace and ecru silk organdie.  It's just a few simple stitches but the effect is stunning and almost as lovely as the pots of snowdrops outside my house.