Monday, 22 September 2014

A New Starting Point - a one day workshop with East Kent Embroiderers Guild. 20 - 21 September

 A close up one of the newspaper faux chenille samples.

I have just returned from a very busy and fun weekend with the East Kent Embroiderers Guild - Wow!!! what a fabulous group of ladies. I delivered a lecture on Saturday afternoon to a full hall. I was made very welcome and it was great to see some old friends from when I taught a longer workshop for the Wye ladies a few years ago. It is always good to catch up with people you have had fun with. 

This is a large Guild, very organised and I said, great fun - they are so friendly. If you live in the Kent area and are tempted to join - this is their website. Do have a look -
you don't need to be an experienced embroiderer - just have an interest in stitch and textiles in general - you will be made very welcome.

I taught a one day version of A New Starting Point. (I am no longer taking bookings for one day workshops, all that driving, loading and unloading for just one day wears me out, I am getting too old!).

The East Kent Guild meet in a lovely modern hall with plenty of room to accommodate so many members and it is perfect for workshops.
 A lovely airy room with plenty of tables and a fab kitchen.

We started off by painting Bondaweb which we put to one side to dry ready to use after lunch, and then got down to playing with unpainted Bondaweb and pre-painted and dyed newspapers. We were working with my 'Backgrounds and Prettys' technique which involves lots of tearing and layering - it is great fun as it doesn't have to look like anything. 
The surfaces that are created can be printed onto and or stitched. They can also be ironed onto any weight of interfacing appropriate to your project - from a book cover to a decoration for a canvas or a greetings card.

 Beginning the layering process . . .

 We layered painted and unpainted newspaper in turn with unpainted and painted Bondaweb, using gilding flake, transfer foils and sequins as decoration.

 As you can see, the group were prolific - they created some beautiful samples. I am hoping I will get some images of them stitched into - HINT HINT!!!

 At the end of the afternoon we had a go with making faux chenille with newspaper and polyester organza. Eight layers of newspaper layered with polyester organza in between. These layers are then machine stitched (stitch length number 4) in lines 2cm or 3/4 inch apart - no less! The bottom layer of the faux chenille is a medium weight sew-in interfacing. This stops everything falling apart. The 'channels' between the rows of stitching are then cut to create the chenille. 

 This is then distressed with the end of your scissors, a scrubbing or suede brush. The organza begins to fray to great effect.


There were so many fabulous samples created on the workshop I couldn't fit them all on this post - I hope I have managed to include something from nearly everyone

Who would have thought you you could have so much fun with newspaper?
Both these techniques are featured in Layered Textiles and in more detail in Reclaimed Textiles. You can see me showing the torn newspaper technique on Youtube - Painted Bondaweb/Newspaper

I would like to thank Georgina for all her help and patience and all the ladies I met over the weekend - especially Lou and Pam Buck and all you other lovelies from Wye - you know who you are. Do come and see me on the Vilene Stand TGR3 at Ally Pally.

 x x x

I am now home for two days and then off to The Old Needle Works in  Redditch to teach my two groups of Experimental Textiles - We are drawing and painting a large scale still life and playing with paper collage this session.
I can't wait to see them all.
 So watch this space  . . . .

x x x

Friday, 19 September 2014

Hot Textiles at The Bridge, Brighton. 6th and 7th September

A scrumptious sample of textured and foiled Tyvek.

I am finally catching up with myself, have been in rather a headless chicken mode for the past few weeks - things are bit calmer now. I have a few days in between each teaching session now right up to when the shows start next month. As long as I keep moving I will be fine.

So . . . I have a new teaching venue in Brighton, just 10 minutes up the road from me, I can't believe how close it is - such a treat. I have booked some more workshops for next summer and once I have decided what I will be teaching, I will let you all know the dates and workshop information.

The Bridge Community Education Centre is light and airy place with plenty of well equipped rooms and a fabulous cafe with scrummy food. There is a huge car park and the Centre is close to Falmer station and is also on many bus routes. 

We had a group of seven fabulous girls.
This is the Art Room.

I was teaching a weekend version of Hot Textiles - I haven't taught this workshop for ages . . . It involves two days of working through several basic techniques that use heat tools. We worked with painting, applying and then decorating Bondaweb. We also worked with transfer foils and layered and zapped Tyvek. I forget that new people are coming over to the dark side of textiles all the time, and need to get to grips with the very basic techniques before they start layering and generally running amok!!!

Painting the Bondaweb and Tyvek.

Such ordered tables . . . it doesn't last long!

On the first day we painted the Bondweb and ironed it onto various fabrics including black cotton and polyester organza.

Taking the backing paper of the painted Bondaweb once it has been ironed on and then waiting till it has cooled right down!!!

Painted Bondaweb can be decorated with anything dry and flat. Here we are using transfer foil, sequins and gilding flake.

Another fab sample.

 A sample that also has applied fabric snips onto the painted Bondaweb.

Here are few of the groups Bondaweb experiments - 

Applying Bondaweb onto polyester organza gives you the opportunity to zap your sample and play with texture.

Painted Bondaweb ironed onto red polyester organza and decorated with red transfer foil and sequins . . .

Painted Bondaweb ironed onto brown polyester organza that has been decorated with gold transfer foil, gilding flake along with gold and bronze sequins.

The next day we played with the Tyvek. This is such a fun product - as long as you don't paint it with thick paint!!!

 Three layers of Tyvek interleaved with polyester organza. Machine stitched and ready to zap on the left - and zapped on the right.

We worked with single sheets of Tyvek, to experiment with the textures that can be achieved. Then we layered three sheets of Tyvek with polyester organza and machine stitched the layers together.

Machine stitching the layers.

Once the layers were stitched together they were zapped with a heat gun. It is a great exercise to learn how to control the heat given out by the heat gun.
Learning the correct use of all heat tools is very important, both for your safety and to get the most out of them.

Zapping the layers of Tyvek and polyester organza with a heat gun.
Heat guns can be bought from Art Van Go -

As it was a Hot Textiles workshop I showed the group my new KK Glue which is heat fixed and can be decorated with transfer foil. This is then washable up to 40 degrees. This exciting new soft, powdered glue can be sprinkled, lightly, through a stencil, iron fixed, then foiled - for full instructions go to

I now have a good range of transfer foils in single colours or multi packs - do go and have a look. /

KK glue sprinkled through a stencil onto black pelmet Vilene light, the stencil is then removed (carefully), the glue is heat fixed and then foiled with bronze foil.

I think you can see from this that we had a great weekend - I will now start to think about what other workshops I can teach at this fabulous venue.

x x x

I am now about to get ready for a weekend in Canterbury. I am delivering a lecture tomorrow and a one day workshop on Sunday - with TWENTY students. This should be interesting . . . . The workshop is A New Starting Point -  my newspaper based one. I will write it all up for you on Tuesday before I belt up to Redditch to teach my two Experimental Textiles groups next week. I can't wait to see what they have been up to since we last met. They are all great girls - they work hard and know how to have fun . . .  and several of them bake - Bliss!

Have a great weekend.


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 . . . .