Wednesday, 18 February 2009

more scrim and a journal quilt

It's no secret I've been fascinated for some time by the effects you can achieve with cotton scrim dyed and layered, ironed flat or crinkled or scrunched; layered and cut back or not you can get the effect of various types of paint: I especially like the watercolour effect of layering scrim that has been stretched and ironed flat.
During the last few weeks I've been trying out various things - here are a couple of samples:

This one is based on the fungus on the felled logs I photographed when I was walking in Wytham Woods - just bits of layered scrim - not ironed, but as they come with free-machine zig-zag over. I love the different effects you can get with this stitch.

The second piece is more formal. Layers of pressed-flat scrim to start with, then the shapes are stitched in abd cut back through the payers with great care using reverse applique scissors (also called lace scissors) - an essential and sometimes difficult to find piece of equipment for this technique.

The third technique I tried is probably the simplest: layered as-it-comes scrim plus hand stitching: thicker threads - various kinds all hand-dyed including all six strands of cotton embroidery thread, perle and various silks and rayons - and big stitches so they show up (fine stitching tends to sink into the scrim and get lost):

The next piece is a finished piece using a technique I developed last year: ironed-flat scrim layered over hand-dyed wadding, free-machine stitched and cut back. In this one I was exploring the brighter-than expected colours of a rainy landscape through the window:

And finally, January's journal quilt for the Contemporary Quilt Group's challenge. This year's quilts all have to be 12"x 6" which is a good size to work with. This one is also as it comes with hand-stitching in thick thread, using hand-dyed wadding. The buttonhole-stitch appliqued shoeprints are also hand-dyed along with all the other materials used.

I've chosen a theme for the year (though I reserve the right to change/adapt if this doesn't work out) which is Steps. Instead of resolutions (I did make some but didn't keep up to them very long!) I decided to follow a really sensible suggestion of having a word that would keep me focussed on what I want to achieve, and the word I have chosen is steps. Literal steps in that I want to start going for long walks again, an activity I enjoy and which I had to give up some years ago when I had ME/CFS and something I need to do in order to get fitter. But also steps in terms of getting things done by dividing them up into stages (I find the decluttering is coming along wonderfully since I limited myself to one hour at a time); plus steps in terms of learning to do things a stage at a time rather than all at once!

Oh yes, the JQ - for January so it's a bit late - is called Magic Shoes.