West Dean - part the the third . . .

Alison helping Alyssa with the layout of her sample

One of the great things about this course was the way the group all mucked in together sharing threads and materials and best of all - ideas. Keeping the balance between teaching processes and techniques and allowing the students to have time to develop their own ideas is always a hard one for me. I find it difficult to leave them alone! On longer courses it is very important for me to leave time for the students to be able to develop techniques and processes in their own way as much as possible.

heat gunned dyed Vilene Spunbond CS500 and polyester organza

Bondaweb was applied to the back of pre coloured Vilene Spunbond CS700 leaving the backing paper on the Bondaweb. This was then cut into delicate designs with a soldering iron. The designs were then lifted out and ironed onto a background of the heavier CS800

When using Bondaweb for applique on synthetic fabrics I find it best to leave the backing paper on the Bondaweb while you cut out your designs. Any left over bonded product will have the backing paper on and remind you that the Bondaweb is on there when you come to use it again, it can be difficult to see if a product has Bondaweb ironed onto it as it is virtually see-through and mistakes can be easily made. It is important to know which way is up!!! When using a soldering iron to cut out designs always work on a large smooth ceramic tile or toughened glass and work as fast as the fabric will allow you to cut. The weight of the synthetic fabric you are working on will dictate how fast you can cut. Just take it slowly and enjoy the oozy, melting feeling as it cuts. If you enjoy using a soldering iron in this way and haven't already got it in your book collection then buy Fusing Fabric by Margaret Beal it is the best guide you can buy and is very inspirational.

a combination of Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron and a heat gun ironed and stitched onto painted Bondaweb  

 several weights of dyed and bonded Vilene Spunbond cut and ironed onto a black cotton background. The rusty coloured section on the left is transfer printed pelmet Vilene which also cuts very well with a soldering iron

a cityscape created from various weights of dyed and bonded Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron. The clever use of colour gives a great feeling of depth and perspective

polyester organza backed with Bondaweb and cut with soldering iron ironed onto Vilene Spunbond CS800

layers of heat gunned polyester organza and Vilene Spunbond CS500 decorated with hand stitch

3D experiments on the theme of fruit using Tyvek, painted Bondaweb and transfer printed pelmet Vilene

a vessel created from transfer printed pelmet Vilene decorated with painted Bondaweb and machine stitch

This final image is a mix of painted Tyvek and Bondaweb off cuts and various threads and fibres that were about to thrown into the bin. They were rescued and melted together in my heat press. It created a wonderful effect - something to develop at a later date I suspect . . .

This is just a selection of the work that was created on the course and I am hoping that I will be able to update this blog with images of some finished work that was stated on the course - but no pressure Linda, Alison, Mike, Alyssa, Janette, Rose and Avril . . .


I now have a few days 'off' to sort out my gear for all the upcoming shows in February and March, complete the first edit of my book and find the floor of my office - I am such a messy girl!

My next trip out will be on Friday the 4th. I am off to do a lecture and workshop for the Wey Valley Workshop. It will will be good to catch up Liz Holford an ex student of mine. Liz was the one I turned to when anyone in her group wanted to know how to do French or Bullion knots. She is a very patient superstar!!!

Have a good week.


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