Saturday, 3 September 2016

Beaded art quilt - Stef Francis Experimental Pack

I recently ordered some beautiful hand dyed silk thread from Stef Francis and decided to buy one of her experimental packs at the same time. This is what I made.

Stef currently sells six experimental packs. The one I bought was the mixed media experimental pack 5 in brown. This is what it contained:

It consists of a hand dyed pieces of silk noil which I used as the background, Indian fabric (which I presume is the crinkled silk like fabric), organza, two dyed threads (one thick and shiny, one thin and matte), a coil of wire and some large plastic sequin shapes.

In addition to the things in the pack I added a selection of beads although I only used of few of them in the end.

My plan was to take it on holiday to work on. I did take it but in the end I got side tracked by some knitting so I didn't start it. Once I got home I made a start and finished it quite quickly.

Unfortunately I'm a bit disappointed with the results. This isn't because of the materials, in fact it's quite the opposite. I don't feel I've made the most of the lovely fabric and threads.

Initially the problem was that I had too many ideas but then I couldn't seem to get an overall idea and I ended up working randomly hoping it would all come together. The result is that it's quite bitty and not very original. The other main problem was that the noil is so lovely I didn't really want to cover it up at all. I would have done better to choose a plain background and used the noil as a feature perhaps by applique.

I also experimented with heating the organza to wrinkle it. It worked quite well but again, I don't feel I made the most of it, just laying it in lines. And instead of spreading the Indian fabric out I scrunched it up too much.

Finally, the thicker silky thread was really beautiful colours and should have been a major part of the design. Somehow it doesn't stand out enough. I probably should have used some stump work with maybe some satin stitch to really showcase the thread.

In the close ups below you get a bit of an idea of how lovely the fabric and thread are.

One thing I am pleased with is the metal wire. I coiled it round a needle then stretched it out. I quite like the effect of this.

When I stand back and look at this piece I do quite like it but I still think it's an opportunity missed in terms of using these beautiful materials. One thing's for sure - I'll be ordering more from this website in the future.

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