Friday, 12 September 2014

Transforming Transfer - Art Van Go, 2 - 4 September

A leaf has been used as a resist and then turned over and printed off.

I am very late with this post - Life has been hectic and I have had friends from New Zealand staying with me. So to catch up . . . .
Transforming Transfer was a two day workshop that I very much hoped would run at Art Van Go. Transfer paints are actually disperse dyes. They were created in the 1920's to colour the new fabric made from nylon - which was synthetic. 
Disperse or transfer dyes seem to have fallen from popularity in the past ten years or so. It is one of my favourite printing processes and because you are printing onto synthetic fabric, it can be cut with a soldering iron and zapped with a heat gun!

'Procion' dyes dye cotton, silk and viscose. 'Acid' dyes dye wool and silk and 'Disperse' dyes dye synthetic fabrics. Because the disperse dye is painted or printed onto paper and then transferred to synthetic fabric with heat - the dye have become known as 'transfer paints'. The dyes look dull when painted onto the paper, but explode with colour when ironed with a hot iron and transferred to the fabric. If you have access to a heat press, that will really speed up the printing process.

The group working at the Art Van Go studio.

 . . . another view of the studio.

The disperse dyes or transfer paints come ready made up or powder form. We used the powder form. When mixed with water, the paints are painted onto copy paper (computer paper). Once dry, the designs are then transferred onto the fabric by placing the paper paint side down onto the fabric. The back of the paper is then ironed with a hot iron, keeping the iron moving slowly, for a good minute. It is highly recommended that you place baking parchment onto your ironing surface and between the paper and the iron. If any of the paint is transferred onto your iron or ironing surface, it will then transfer back onto what ever touches it next time you iron something.

We used a combination of disperse dyes and 'transfer' crayons to create different textures. The painted paper is on the right and the transferred design is on the left. You can see how the colour changes when transferred with heat.

Leaves have been used as a resist between the painted paper and the white synthetic fabric.

Cheap paper bags can also be printed with. The rollers that print synthetic fabric with disperse dye in the printing industry are cleaned with paper - that is then made into cheap flower wrap and paper bags. These designs can then be transferred from the bags onto synthetic fabric.

Disperse dyes are translucent and can therefore be layered to give a beautiful shadowed effect. Depending on how thickly you paint onto the paper, you will get two or three prints from each piece of paper.

This is Valerie cutting shapes out of transfer printed fabric that has Bondaweb ironed onto the back of it. This a great way to cut shapes for applique that can be ironed on to a back ground as soon as they are cut. (with baking parchment).

Valerie's cut shapes, ironed onto a transfer printed background and then she has started to stitch . . .

                   Cut shapes ironed onto a transfer printed background.

Once the shapes have been ironed onto their background your work can be decorated with stitch.

 Some fab stitch . . . 

 . . and the start of more . . .

 . . . .  and more.

These samples have been cut and layered and then cut and layered again . . .

Just gorgeous.

And finally, one of three lovely samples created by Sharon Davies. This sample has also been cut, layered and then cut and layered again. Sharon has started to stitch into this one.

Great colour combinations.

x x x 

I have another workshop at Art Van Go on the 11th and 12th of November - Reclaimed Papers.
Art Van Go have an amazing range of workshops with fantastic tutors pretty much all year round. As a tutor it is great to teach there, all the tutors are so well supported by Viv and Kevin and the team and the students have the best time . . .  and then there is the shop . . .

                                        Have a great weekend . . . . 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A bit of colour and texture . . . and FUN!

 A colour wheel and a tints, tones and shades chart.

 Here we are back at the IDC studios at The Old Needle Works in Redditch

I am teaching my two ExTex 3 groups - we have a Thursday/Friday group and a Saturday/Sunday group. This month we are looking at the use of colour in art and textiles and painting colour wheels and tints, tones and shades charts.
We will also be playing with their printing blocks along with wax crayons and procion dye.

 Painting the colour wheels.

 Some very pretty mixing plates.

 A finished colour wheel.

The Thursday/Friday group produced some fab homework - there isn't room on here for all of it, but here is a selection . . . .

I will post more about the work the girls create over the next three days on Monday before I dash up to Art Van Go to teach my Transfer to Transform workshop.

 * * *

Just a quick plug for my Hot Textiles weekend at the Bridge in Brighton on the 6th and 7th of September. The course is running but we have room for three more if any of you are interested.
I haven't taught this workshop for a while, it will be great to play with Tyvek, painted Bondaweb, Spunbond and all the heat tools. Two days to develop your skills with heat tools and have fun at the same time.

 Layers of Tyvek stitched together and then zapped with a heat gun.

For more information and how to book go to -

Have great weekend.

x x x

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Design to Stitch - North East Region Embroiderers Guild Summer Course - Wooler - August 20 - 22

 Painting the 'Journey'.

What a fabulous group of ladies. As you may well know, my courses and workshops are not for the faint hearted. I don't usually include anything 'finished' in my workshops which can be daunting when a student wants to know what is going to be produced. Frankly - I don't know! I just that know that 'something' will be created. If the student works through the process, in this case, creating original designs, then printing blocks then printed, layered and stitched fabric (or paper) - new and original work will occur.

More 'Jouneys'.

Teaching a three day workshop is a real treat. We get a chance to spend a day stitching. Something we all need to do more of.

 Working on the 'expanded' exercise.

There were two workshops running for the this Summer Course, a traditional stump work workshop upstairs and me in the more unusual workshop downstairs. The Summer Course was held at The Cheviot Centre in Wooller. It was a great venue to teach in, we were very well looked after by the very friendly and interested staff. It is a lovely venue - do have a look at the website.

Wooler is a gorgeous town in prime walking country - I wish I had more time to explore.

All the 'Journeys' hanging together.

The group worked hard and kept up the pace. Working through the design exercises . . . .

The 'flipping out' exercise.

And then taking sections, isolating designs . . . .

Tracing off the isolated designs.

Which were then transferred into sketchbooks  . . .

Painting in one of the designs.

Then the group made printing blocks from their designs. We used foam core board and self adhesive foam to make the blocks. Then we were off and running . . .  printing all kinds of papers, and then, when the group were more confident with the printing process, printing onto fabric.

Two sets of blocks.

Printing with the blocks.

You will get two printing blocks form one design - the positive and the negative of the design, you can overprint if you wish.


One of the finished prints, the red areas are where the printed fabric has been cut back to reveal the red layer of fabric underneath the cut edges of the fabric are then stitched - using the technique reverse applique.

The same blocks printed onto a map.

Playing with the blocks.

A roller print and the 'positive' block on striped fabric which has a layer of blue spaced dyed muslin underneath. The printed fabric has been cut back in ares to reveal the muslin, the raw edges of the fabric are then stitched.

From these basic prints. . . .

 . . Came this beautifully stitched sample. Black fabric was placed behind the print and then the print was cut back and stitched.

Two lovely pairs of blocks created these prints. Which led to this sample . . . 
A bay wipe used to clean the blocks has been dried and ironed and used as the fabric layer underneath for this piece of reverse applique.

The stitching and layering . . .

Layering up the prints, cutting back and pinned, ready to stitch.

The flipping out exercise  with prints of the block that was created from a section of it.

I just loved this owl design - you can see the 'positive' and 'negative' blocks on the right, and the prints on the left.

A table full of fabulous prints.

Another table of prints.

And then the layered and stitched prints . . . 

The same block layered and stitched in different ways.

A simple design . . 

The baby wipes that were used to clean the blocks . . . 

Created this gorgeous sample.

Another set of blocks.

  . .  and the bay wipes used to clean the blocks . . . 

Layered, cut back and stitched - exquisitely . .

 . . and a close up.

The section taken from the 'Journey' and the blocks showing the design . .

Playing with the blocks - getting used to how much paint you need to make a good print . . .

The first prints.

It was great to meet several 'freinds' that I had made on Facebook - Sheila Craig being one of them. Sheila was great help throughout the three days, helping everything run smoothly.

This image shows the section of the 'Journey' that Sheila used to make her blocks.

 . . and one of her first prints.

As I live on the South Coast, I don't often get invited to teach this far up the country as it costs so much in petrol and most individual Guilds can't afford the costs. So it is always very exciting when the larger Regions are looking for tutors for their spring and summer courses and I get asked to teach. I am very grateful to the committee of the North East Region of the Embroiderers Guild for booking me and giving me the opportunity to teach up here in Northumberland. 

I have had a brilliant time with a fabulous group of ladies. We had a lovely meal out at a local Italian restaurant on Thursday night - twenty three of us!!! It was great fun. Thank you all very much for making me so welcome.

I have been booked to do several Regional Courses next year for both the Embroiderers and Quilters Guilds. They are listed on my diary.
For more information about the Embroiderers Guild and to find a branch near you go to -

x x x

I am now off down the A1 to Derbyshire to stay with my mate Sandra Goddard and her lovely man Greg. I don't get to see them much as we live so far apart. It will be area treat.

Have a great weekend everyone - more next week when I am back in Redditch with my ExTex 3 girls - can't wait to see what they have been up to and to see them all again. 

x x x