Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Spiral Abstract II

The second in the series - the same size, fabrics, thread and techniques as before.  The transfer ironed onto the back of the lining linen:

And then after running stitches have been used to go over the design to transfer it to the front:

It shouldn't take too long to stitch.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Spiral Abstract I - going well

Early days yet, but my exhibition project is going well so far!

Last time, I'd ironed on a transfer of the design of the first (of five) abstract Celtic spiral designs onto the linen used to line the surface fabric.  This, I can now reveal, is black silk matka, the same fabric I used for Kate's Crow.  I've used matka in different colours for quite a few projects (cushions, pictures) now, and I really like it.  I like silk fabrics generally, but I think this is my favourite as it seems quite contradictory; it looks quite rough, almost tweedy, but is actually very soft, and is matt, without the sheen of most silks.  I'm particularly fond of this matt look, as it means that metallic threads look extra sparkly when stitched onto it. And, of course, that's what I'm using now: Gutermann metallic thread no. 41, silver.

(By the way, while I would love to be buying my fabric locally, there are no shops near me that sell it or pretty much anything else silk, apart from maybe a bit of habotai or sometimes some cream dupion during wedding season.  I buy the matka and most of my fabrics by mail order from Hansson of Guildford.)

So, back to the stitching.  To transfer the design to the front I used my long-winded but tried and tested method of stitching over the transfer on the back in small running stitches, in this case in a pale grey sewing thread:

I can then stitched over this is in the silver metallic thread, using chain stitch:

The great thing about this method is if I decide a line is in the wrong place, I can just unpick the stitches and it's like it was never there.  I'm always nervous of marking my surface fabric, and this is the least invasive method I know.

Anyway, a bit more stitching (I know it looks almost white in the photos, but it really is silver in real life):

And a bit more:

And finished already!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Spiral series - Spiral Abstract I

Apologies (again) for the silence - I've been busy, but I'm afraid on stuff I can't discuss as I don't have the clients' permission.  That all sounds very mysterious and dramatic, but it isn't really!

No difficulties in talking about my next project, though: I want to put together a small exhibition of work.  I don't have a venue yet (I know where I want, but I may not get it.  I'll keep you posted!), and have decided to do a series of pieces as variations on a theme.

The theme in question is Celtic spirals; I'm going to do 10 pieces in total, with two sets of five interrelated items.  They'll all be done in the same materials and technique, and the same size, providing continuity.

I'll get onto the second set later, but the first one is of abstract Celtic spiral designs.  Some of you may remember previous pieces that I did, Kate's Crow and Moon.  Both have a complex spiral design as a background.  This is probably cheating (I'm going to regard it as recycling), but I dug out the original designs for the backgrounds:

and to form the abstract patterns, I traced sections of these designs, mixing them up a bit as appropriate.

Here's the first one, as a transfer ironed onto linen which has then been attached to the surface fabric:

Time to start stitching!