Thursday, 18 February 2010

Spirograph hangings - preparation for fabric tests

So, I have the designs for the hangings, but I need to decide which fabric to use. The look I'm after is for a sandy/neutral background, with the designs couched in gold. The gold is straightforward enough - I'll use the same gold passing thread I always do - but what about the background?

I've narrowed it down to two, and will stitch the same design onto both and see which I think works best. The fabrics I'm looking at are a natural linen, and silk matka (the same fabric I used for Kate's Crow) in a sand shade.

To do this, I used the simplest of the Spirograph spirals from the hanging designs, and traced it with a transfer pencil to make an iron-on transfer. (The tracing paper is such an odd shape as I never throw any usable bits away on the grounds that they'll come in handy for something eventually. And this one did!)

Transfers made with a decent quality pencil can be used several times, so I just needed to make the one to be ironed onto two pieces of fabric, a square of natural linen, and another square of cream linen, to be used as a backing to the silk.

I always stitch the transfer in place rather than pinning it, as then I can iron the whole of the paper and fabric without anything catching. I also find that the transfer is less likely to shift when it's tacked down. I do leave a gap somewhere, though, so I can check how well the transfer is coming off onto the fabric without needing to remove it.

I ironed it onto the natural linen first, as that's the darker colour, and I thought that if there was any loss of quality, it would be better to have the transfer at its best on this one, though as it turned out they were much the same.

I've neatened the edges, as you can see, and I've attached the matka to the front of the cream linen, so now I'm ready to start stitching!

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