thank you so much for following along with my little allotment series. I'm now about to list the materials and talk about the ingredients
suitable for all levels
I will post a tutorial here tomorrow which will be suitable for every level from beginners and students to more experienced embroiderers and artists. I will be sharing the basic ideas and it is up to you how far you take the technique. If nothing else, the little textile pieces you will produce are a good platform for practicing hand stitches and exploring colour and texture. If you choose to produce elaborately decorated pieces then you can take them further by putting a view finder on your piece and developing your work in your sketchbook
nothing fancy required
I will list the materials | requirements ahead of the tutorial. I just wanted to say that it's a great technique for using up what you already have. So raid your stash boxes, use up your old paints and when it comes to decorating your little pieces remember that anything goes ... including couching on found objects and using up left over bits from other projects ... I'm all for recycling in textiles. You don't need very much of anything ... variety is the key when it comes to selecting fabrics and papers etc.
inspiration | starting point
sometimes it helps to have a colour scheme or theme in mind when gathering your materials. If you are stuck for ideas on this ... cut out a magazine image you like or think seasonal colour ... ie. I chose autumn tones and I was also inspired by this postcard that my dear friend Colette Copeland sent to me ...
I felt drawn to these particular tones of orange, yellow and green
it was my starting point ...
and I was further inspired by this bowl that was on my desk
a gift from my friend Lesley Ninnes
materials you will need
a base layer - some stiff fabric on which to work on. I used a stiff Vilene (used to stiffen shirt collars) but if you don't have any you can use stiff calico or cotton or some other stiff interfacing fabric. You will be gluing fabrics and papers to this base layer so bear this in mind when making your selection
I chose to use this Vilene because I'd had it forever and it had started to look very yellow with age. It's stiff enough to be an excellent base but soft and pliable enough to stitch through the layers
fabrics - a selection of fabrics such as cotton, silk, hessian, chiffons (melted or not), velvet, ribbons, pre-bought patchwork fabrics, lace, hand dyed or eco dyed fabrics, small snippets of fabric that might be too small for other projects, cellophane sweet wrappers, man made fabrics such as nylon and lining fabrics, woollen blanket pieces, man made or hand made felt, etc. Fabrics with pleats, tucks, folds and ripped fabrics with raw edges are particularly lovely. Vintage images transferred to fabric (or paper) would be ideal. You can also consider cutting up old projects, old cross stitch bits or old work in progress pieces that you know you just aren't going to get around to finishing off. The only fabrics that might not be suitable are ones that you would find difficult to sew through either by hand or sewing machine. These are just ideas ... you don't need it all!
papers - ripped and torn are best (but cut with scissors if you wish) - papers from magazines, hand painted papers, postage stamps, hand made papers, silk paper, craft papers, printed and stamped papers, torn envelopes, vintage letters, paper bags, images cut from plastic bags and packaging, cellophane sweet wrappers etc. ... anything goes
tools - scissors for fabric, scissors for paper, glue sticks, needles, threads, paints, optional glue gun for gluing on bits after machine stitching. A sewing machine is handy but not essential ... if you don't have one you can hand stitch your pieces
paints - acrylics are probably best but you could use dyes or inks if you are used to using them. Don't use anything too watery or you may not be able to control the colour run on the fabrics (unless you want colour runs, of course). I used acrylics ... I have quite a range of acrylics from very cheap ones from the pound shop to more expensive ones that I like to use - it's personal choice. I do sometimes dip my brush in water to help spread the acrylics on fabric ... but I don't water down my paint. You can use what you already have
gilding flakes (optional) - I applied gilding flakes to the paint when wet, you can also apply the gilding flakes with glue stick or pva. You will need to let the paint or glue dry, then carefully cover over the flakes with a thin piece of paper and then burnish the gild to a finish that pleases you. I use Clarity Stamp gilding flakes and for this project I used "variegated green". In the UK you can buy gilding flakes from Crafty Notions and other very good suppliers (I am sure)
threads - a variety of threads (but you don't need much) ... cotton embroidery threads, wool and woollen yarns, string (optional), metallic threads, variegated threads (threads that change colour), hand dyed or hand painted threads, one strand sewing machine thread, sari silk ribbon or make your own "thread" by tearing up a chiffon scarf or other fabric (you will just need a needle with a bigger eye), etc. any threads ... anything goes
I think I've covered everything ... but if you have any questions leave a message in the comments box and I will either reply to you in the comments box or send you an email
tomorrow ... the tutorial which you will find here
Posted by Carolyn Saxby