Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Certificate Module 2 Chapter 6


For my first few samples, the arashi shibori, I thought I would save the hassle of mixing up dye by using fabric paint.  However, it was so thick I had to dilute it to get it to brush on smoothly and the results were rather pale.  I liked the effects though, so I'll try again later using dye.

2.6.1 arashi shibori before dyeing

I wrapped 4 different pieces of cotton around the same plastic tube, wrapping with string and gathering up as I went.  The results are below:

2.6.1 arashi shibori after dyeing
 For the next set of samples, I mixed up Dylon Velvet Black Fabric Dye.  The instructions said to mix the sachet with 500ml of warm water, to stir 250g of salt into 6 litres of warm water, then add the dye and stir.  I mixed the dye powder with just 150ml of water, used the full 250g of salt, but used just 1.5litres of water.  This made a strong enough solution to give a really satisfactory black.  I used this for the tie dyeing and the tritik shibori.

2.6.2 fabric folded concertina style from short edge then tied at intervals
2.6.2 folded and tied fabric after dyeing

2.6.3 fabric folded in concertina folds then doubled over and held with a crocodile clip

2.6.3 crocodile clip folded fabric after dyeing

2.6.4 little buttons inserted and tied with string

2.6.4 little buttons after dyeing

2.6.5 fabric folded diagonally, twisted, doubled back on itself and tied at the loose end
2.6.5 after dyeing

2.6.6 tritik shibori before gathering

2.6.6 tritik shibori gathered

2.6.6 tritik shibori after dyeing

I found the shibori work much more exciting than I had expected.   I had never tried tritik or arashi shibori before and, now that I know the effects, I plan to do another dyeing session, using the stronger black I got from the Dylon dye.

Health and Safety measures observed during this exercise:
  • mask worn while mixing powdered dye
  • rubber gloves worn while dyeing
  • frequent breaks while posting on blog, to avoid neck and shoulder pain

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Seduced away from C&G but will be back soon!!

14th January 2012

Last year's Distant Stitch Summer School was no sooner over, than my husband Moray developed a serious infection in his knee.  (He had a knee replacement in September 2010.)  To complicate things, some of the medication he was prescribed attacked his already dodgy kidneys.  Between the stress of worrying about his health, the exhaustion of daily 64-mile round trips to visit hospital and the added burden of other aging family members needing help, I found it a really tough time.  Fortunately surgery and a lengthy spell of antibiotics put paid to the infection and his kidneys eventually recovered.  Moray remained cheerful and optimistic throughout, did his exercises diligently and by November was walking, bowling and cycling again.  At that point the reaction hit me and I just wanted to curl up on the sofa with a book or my knitting.  The last thing on my mind was my City and Guilds course.  I did find the Summer Sketchbook Project a life saver.  It didn't demand too much time or effort and it took my mind off worry for a spell.

At the end of October, a friend asked if I could give her 14 year-old son some help with his art work for school.  He has an extraordinary talent and so we started painting together every Saturday morning.  I hadn't done any painting for some years and had kind of lost my confidence.  It turned out to be a real joy for me to set aside a time every week to paint.  I rediscovered my love of painting and found it better than meditation to calm my mind.  When I paint, nothing else exists.  I was also quite pleased with the results.  No, they aren't perfect, but they are good enough to please me.  I find that if I leave my Saturday painting out in my studio, then I re-visit it from time to time through the week.  Several times I've gone upstairs to the studio to put something away and three or four hours later, Moray is saying, "When are we having dinner?"  We've had quite a few pub meals or takeaways lately!

So it has seduced me completely away from my City and Guilds work.  However, I have been preparing some pieces of fabric for the Shibori for Module 2 Chapter 6 and I will get going with that soon (Honest Sian!)

Here are some of the paintings I've been working on:-

Glentanar  Walk January 2012

Still life in acrylics December 2011

Still life in soft pastels January 2012
Crathes Castle watercolour January 2012
Fun watercolour flower exercise