Sunday, 29 November 2015

Sari fabric

I played around with some of the sari fabric that I wrote about here today. The fabric is very thin so I used a piece of muslin to back it and created a more robust fabric using stripes of the different saris. I really like it but I'm not quite sure what I'll do with it yet. I might cover a note book with it or applique it to a T-shirt. (Or leave it in the drawer like most of the things I make!)

Sari Squares bead quilt

A few months ago I bought four damaged saris over the internet. Although they're sold as damaged there are literally yards of perfectly good material in each piece. The pictures are here.

Although it was hard to take a pair of scissors to them, I finally did. I've made a small beaded quilt with squares of the sari material joined with navy blue ribbon. I tried lots of different coloured ribbon but the blue was best as it seemed to bring them all together. I've tried not to overdo it with the beads either. This is the final result. It's about 13" square.

I like how this has turned out. I've done a close up of each of the squares below.

I did plan to include some embroidery and there is some on the yellow square but I didn't particularly like it and I didn't enjoy doing it much either so I went back to just beading for the other squares. This afternoon I'm going to play around with some more of the material and see if I can create some interesting fabric from it.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Fabric design and printing

There are a number of companies now where you can upload designs and have them printed on to fabric so I've been experimenting with this. I used Print Me Pretty which is a UK company.

The first set I did were based on some photographs of pebbles I had. I wanted a set of three fabrics that could be used together so I used to alter the photos till I had three designs; small pebbles, large pebbles and lines. The original designs were grey and brown but at the last minute I changed the colour to pinky-purple and I wish I hadn't now but there you go. You have to fiddle around so that the repeats work. There's a tutorial on the site showing you how but because there was no blank space in my designs it was pretty tricky. Here are photographs of the three pieces of fabric all printed up.

The lined one was created from this picture which I took on a beach in west Scotland about three years ago. I like the lined piece better than the pebbles.

I didn't really feel the photos worked that well, so next I worked with an idea based on a mosaic. I created the mosaic outline then experimented with different background and colours. In the end I had two pieces printed. The first is a fat quarter which contains three different coloured mosaics plus some blocks of the background designs and some plain colour. I think this might cut up nicely for beading. The second pieces is a test swatch (20cm x 20cm) of one where I coloured each tile by hand - took ages. Here they are.

The final piece is another test swatch of a design I made based on a photo of some Moroccan tiles. I think I like this one best but it might be less useful for beading on to.

I got the repeats wrong in this and if you look closely you can see that some of the 'flowers' are a mix of colours, either half and half or in quarters. I don't think it matters, in fact I quite like it.

This particular company only prints on cotton though you get a choice of two different weights. You can order as little as a swatch patch (20cm x 20cm), or a fat quarter (50cm x 56cm), a tea towel size, or metres in two different widths. You can also make your designs public for other people to order.

Donegal bead quilt

We went on holiday to County Donegal, Ireland this year. We stayed in one of the cottages you can see in this picture with the beautiful beach nearby.

On one of our trips to the beach I collected lots of shells which I decided to use for a bead quilt. I also bought a scarf in a charity shop which I used as the background fabric, and collected some sheep's wool from a fence. The beads were ones I already had. This is the final piece. As usual it's about 12 inches square.

And some close up...

I quite like it but I think if I did something like this again I would leave out the wool, do the whole thing smaller and just cover it in shells. I'm not sure how robust it will be. I think if you move it about too much the sharp edge of the shells might cut the thread. I've already had to do one repair. I also think the little mussel shells are in danger of escaping their tethering - we'll have to see.