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

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Certificate Module 2 Chapter 12 (ongoing) - some more printed fabrics

I thought I needed some more fabrics for a large object like a kimono.  I also wanted to make some of the patterns reflect something about Nanki-Poo in The Mikado.  So I revisited some earlier chapters of the module, doing some drawings of birds, feathers and wings and using them to make some print blocks and some monoprints.  By chance, I attended a weekend drawing workshop led by the brilliant Jane Milloy (worth checking her beautiful website and did a detailed drawing of feathers along with some other drawings of birds and animals.  These drawings made me really look at the subject, which helped me when I then tried to abstract some patterns from them.

2.12.drawing 1 - detailed feather drawing

2.12.drawing 2 - duck swimming - tonal exercise

2.12.drawing 3 - quick sketch of 3 ducks

2.12.drawing 4 - wildcat - using marks to indicate texture

2.12.print 1 - a selection of prints from print blocks I made based on drawings

2.12. print 2 - monoprints

In all the prints, both using print blocks and monoprints, I used acrylic paint mixed with a little retard gel to keep it from drying up too soon and some fabric painting medium since I wanted it to make a garment which would be washable.  I had deliberately kept my shibori fabrics from chapter 6 for my 3D functional object.  Although I had used a black dye and mixed it twice as strong as the instructions said, the result was an indigo colour rather than black.  I rather liked this colour and Sian said I could just make the indigo my black.  Accordingly, for the printed samples, I mixed monestial blue (phthalocyanine) acrylic paint with a little mars black to give an indigo colour.  The blocks I used were mostly funky foam cut out to a shape and textured with a ballpoint pen before being glued to a sturdy backing.  I also used one lino print.  To use the lino block, I applied paint with a brush before pressing it onto the fabric with hand pressure alone.  However, in a couple of weeks, I will have the use of a printing press through a local artists' society and would like to try to see what results I get with it.

I am quite pleased with the results I have had so far.  From here, I would like to use some plain indigo fabric to stitch some sashiko designs, by both hand and machine, to interpret some of the shapes and textures of my drawings.  Then I should have enough fabric to start creating some pieced blocks, using the techniques I explored in the samples, before trying out various placements of the blocks on the kimono.

My main recent problem has been lack of time, with various family duties pressing heavily on me.  However, I am feeling optimistic that, during a few exceptionally busy weeks, I have still managed to do some work which I have enjoyed and with which I am reasonably satisfied.  I am now becoming excited as the finished kimono is beginning to seem (for the first time) real and achievable.


  1. I can hardly wait to see the finished kimono!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment.I think sometimes we expect to do so much and are disappointed when things go awry.
    I love your drawings and prints and await developments with interest.

  3. Hi Catherine, I didn't know you're working on the same Module and Chapter, I love your drawings and your ideas about feathers, you're so talented. Unfortunately I also don't progress as fast with my Module as I would like to. Somehow there's always something else to do at home. You'll need a lot of fabrics for your kimono, so a lot of work lies ahead for you. I'm very curious to see your finished piece

  4. Hi Catherine,

    I was wondering if maybe I can have your permission to use your drawings of the feathers (the one with the five feathers) for the header of my new blog: I think your drawing would really compliment my header, your drawing is beautiful!

    Thank you in advance,