Friday, 30 November 2012

Fork Pom Poms

Happy 1st December!!! I'm so excited! It is the official countdown to Christmas and I have started on my chocolate advent calender, lovingly bought for me by The Mother.

To celebrate, I have been making pom poms using a new technique that one of my friends described to me- fork pom poms! All you need is a fork, wool and a pair of scissors. They literally take two minutes from start to finish and are really cute.

I am going to write up a tutorial so you can all be pom pom mad too!! A great festive craft to do with kids, just use green/white/red wool, tie a thin ribbon around the middle to form a loop and then you can hang it on the tree!!

Ooo, whilst I am on the web, today's ATC exploits....

Edited to add: the tutorial for the fork pom poms is now up and running. Click here to have a go yourself!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Shibori Samples

One of my more technological modules at DMU involves being in the labs wearing the highly fashionable white lab coats and layers of rubber gloves. In previous weeks we have been testing fabrics for abrasion resistance, stretch resistance etc and looking at how the fibres have been twisted into yarns and the yarns turned into fabrics- all thrilling stuff....
This week was much more interesting as we turned our hands to a spot of shibori. Using the fabrics we have been testing we tried out several kinds of shibori. At the top there we have a common type of shibori which involves tying objects into the fabric (I have used coins and marbles).

For this one you fold the fabric over as if you are making a pleat, do a running stitch along the fold about one centimetre in and pull as tightly as you can. It is easier to do two folds and then pull them so that you can tie the ends together to ensure a really tight fold.

This one is also really simple, just draw lots of parrallel lines and stitch running stitch along them, don't tie off the ends. When you have stitched all of them, then you can pull the ends and as the previous technique, tie two together for a tight finish.


Oh this one was fiddly!! Using a pencil, fold the fabric over the end and pinch the bottom, remove the pencil and tie your thread where you have pinched. Then twist the fabric whilst twisting the thread around it to hold the twist.

Once we had finished preparing these samples, they went into different coloured dye baths, depending on what kind of fabric we were using. They were dyed for about half an hour and then rinsed and spun dryed. If the fabrics were synthetic we also bunged them into an oven for a few minutes to heat set them into position. Then the fun began!!

Take out all the stitches and see if you have been left with any patterns!

This fabric is polyester so was put into the oven after dyeing. The thread has resisted in rings of lighter green which looks quite pretty, as well as the fabric being heat set into position.

This is the second sample which worked fabulously well!! One side looks like little teeth! What you can't see in the photo is that the fabric has also been slightly heat set into bobbles as it is made from nylon.

The third sample didn't work at all- although we aren't sure whether it was because I didn't pull tight enough or not as apparently fabrics in the blue dye didn't really do anything exciting pattern-wise for many people in the class.

And finally, all that hard fiddly work with twisting fabric and threads paid off as this is one of my favourite samples. The fabric even stays creased in the upward spirals so looks really nice and textural as well.

Not only did we have some fun dyeing fabrics, we also painted on some interesting dyes- photochromic and thermochromic. The thermochromic is currently the most interesting as the photochromic one we have to wait for some sunlight....whereupon it apparently turns pink.

The blue swirls are the thermo and the very faint white swirls are the photo. Want to see something cool? Watch this!!! (hopefully it works)

Christmas Patchwork Hanging

Whey!! I have finally finished them! My 5 x 5 inch squares for the Christmas Patchwork Hanging with the MixedMediaGroup_UK ladies (by the way, we have changed our name slightly and dropped the ATC bit to try and encourage new members, so feel free to check us out).
Anyway, they are all different so I thought you might like to see them all individually...

I am so looking forwards to getting the new ones back and stitching them all together!! It's so exciting!!

My Final Collection!

So as you all know, for weeks and months I have been working on a project based on bugs. It started in the summer looking through my brother's bug collection and drawing the creatures inside the perspex, then moved to looking at the eyes and developed into a physical textural form! These are my final samples!



 There are a few key materials and processes here- buttonholes, big circles, vinyl/flock, cotton buds...

And my final four...

Paverpol hardened crochet pods, hand stitched with cotton bud beads and arranged together to create a display.

Three layers of fabric, white cotton poplin, white net, blue cotton muslin. Reverse applique.

Flock circles on habutai silk. Paverpol hardened crochet circles, tied together with cotton bud beads (previously stitched to each other to form a chain) stitched on.

Flock and vinyl circles on habutai silk. Cotton bud beads embellishing the middle of the flock circles.

My favourite are the crochet pods, I just think they work so well either together or alone. After this project is marked and finished I may just keep a few around the house for decoration!