Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Samples 2016: Week 3, Network/Roses

Network is the design idea, roses the colour palette - it's not meant to look like flowers!

I started with little circles of red felt sandwiched between two pieces of Romeo dissolvable fabric. Red free machine embroidery linked the dots.

Each circle was then buttonhole stitched in a range of rose colours, before dissolving.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Samples 2016: Week 2, Wavy/Black and White

I like the boldness of this one. Starting with black felt, I used the embellisher to apply strips of felt and thick yarns, then added simple machine and hand stitching to get a variety of lines.

It's the felt strips that give it impact, I think - pleased with that effect.  

Monday, 11 January 2016

Samples 2016: Week 1, Crackle/Sweet peas

My first random pairing suggests “crackle” pattern/style, in “sweet peas” colours. Doesn’t seem a natural combination, does it? But it’s only a starting point, I’ll do what I fancy with materials I’ve already got.

So I chose to hand stitch a pattern like the crackle you see in ceramic glaze or paint effects. Instead of fabric I used paper, for crispness. The closest thread I could find with sweet pea-ish shades  of white, pink and purple was an Anchor pearl cotton.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Weekly Sample Project 2016 - Intro!

Here we are then – year 10! 

I’m anticipating a chaotic year on the home front, but I still need (maybe more than ever) a weekly mini textile project. I’m addicted to my little samples for the fun, challenge, variety and serendipity. And the ever growing collection is a fabulous resource.
2015’s project was tougher than expected. Finding an image to start from on the Guardian’s website was difficult and took me ages. I couldn’t plan ahead at all as I could with the illustrated diaries I’ve used some years, so I fell behind every time I went away.

But 2014’s completely free project (anything on a 5cm card) showed me I prefer some direction, and to be pushed outside my comfort zone from time to time.
I do love the box of tiny samples though!
So here’s what I’ve decided to do for 2016:
52 styles or visual hints + 52 colour ideas = 52 random combinations!
I got Excel to mix up my two lists and combine them completely randomly – no cheating, that’d spoil the fun, so there’s some pretty odd pairings. But all allocated in advance, so I can make up little kits if I’m going to be away or something. 
I’ll try and post my efforts… starting with “Crackle” in “Sweet peas” colours. Hmm… is this really such a good idea?!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Samples 2015 - finished!

My weekly sample project for 2015 is now complete. Yay!!!

The full set of samples is on Facebook HERE (you don't have to belong to see them). These are a few of my favourites:

Bit of a struggle that one, tbh. I chose to use a picture from the Saturday Guardian, especially so I could share (and credit) the inspiration on this blog and my Facebook page. But the paper made it harder than I expected - the photos in the physical paper often weren't in the online version, so I was limited to what I could find on the website. And once I'd ruled out all the photos of people, there was very little left to choose from!   

So, that's NINE years of weekly samples  I've completed now - see a summary of the different projects HERE if you're interested. Sometimes they drive me crazy and I wonder why I'm doing this, but I really miss the challenge and variety if I don't. And I adore having the sets to look through for ideas.   

Maybe you'd like to try something similar? I'd love to see if you do!

I'm just finalising a new challenge for 2016, something simpler. Watch this space...

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Samples 2015: Week 52, Train in China

Background of layered blue chiffon and hand dyed green muslin bonded to pale blue polycotton using MistyFuse. The train is a strip of Evolon. Then tacked to white felt for easy hand stitching. My favourite French knots, plus a little blanket and straight stitch. (About 7 x 9cm.)

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 26/12/15:
“China's 'train hunter' on a quest to chronicle its fast-expanding railways. Wang Wei has spent 10 years travelling all over China to photograph trains and new lines, but can he keep up with the incredible pace of the country’s rail boom?”
A train on the Xianggui railway in southern China. Wang Wei’s photographs show off China’s natural beauty as well as its trains. Photograph: Wang Wei​
Sample design
Loved the brilliant flowers against the subtle blue shades of the mountains. And that would’ve been it, if I hadn’t had a time to kill over the holidays – in the end a bit of train came in too!