Transforming Transfer. Thimblestitch @ Zoe's May 7th & 8th

 Fabulous layers of colour - just fantastic.

 I seem to be in the mood to write - so here we are again. Sooner than expected.

I love teaching this workshop. Transforming Transfer is my workshop that teaches you how to work with disperse dyes/transfer paints. The dyes are made to work with synthetic fabrics and they form a chemical bond once they are ironed onto synthetic fabric. Immediately washable. These dyes can be used on natural fabrics, they transfer paler and to make then washable there is a product called Transfix. The dyes can be thickened if you want to print with them. Art Van Go do a great starter pack.

The dyes are painted onto paper . . . cheap copy paper is fine. The paper doesn't need to be absorbent or the dye wont transfer efficiently.

 Thimblestitch@Zoe's has a great studio above the shop

 Painting the dyes onto paper.

Once the painted papers are dry - the papers are ironed, paint side down onto the synthetic fabric. Baking parchment is crucial in this process. It must be placed underneath your work and on top of the transfer painted paper. The iron needs to be on it's hottest setting. Move the iron over the pile of paper and fabric using a slow circular motion. If you are using a sheer fabric such as organza, make sure you don't melt the fabric onto the paper. Keep checking. It can take a while. I took my heat press along to help things move a bit faster.

 The painted paper is on the right and the transferred image is on the left.
The paint colours look very dull, until they are transferred. It is always a surprise.

 Using  a resist or mask between your fabric and the painted paper can create fabulous effects. A Cricut paper stencil was used here.

 Lace was used as a resist here.
You can then turn over the resist and print from that.

Once the fabrics have been printed, we got down to some exciting applique work. As the fabric is synthetic it can be cut with a soldering iron. You can create more interesting cuts with a soldering iron than with scissors.

Bondaweb is ironed onto the back of the printed fabic that you wish to cut your shapes from. Leaving the backing paper from the Bondaweb on. It is a good guide to check you aren't pressing too hard with your soldering iron. If you cut through the paper, you are pressing too hard.

Cutting shapes to be ironed onto a background fabric. 

I use Margaret Beale's system for working with a soldering iron. I use an upturned terracotta flower as the soldering iron stand and wire wool in a cardboard tube or jar to clean the soldering iron as you work. Margaret has written 2 excellent books on working a soldering iron, she is the Queen of the soldering iron. - to find out more, have a look at her site. 

 Applying the shapes to the background.

Fabulous, intricate shapes.

 Once the shapes have been cut they can be ironed onto the chosen background.

 Here is a transfer printed background.

 Decorated with cut shapes.

 Gorgeous layered colour and shapes.

 Some crazy birds.

 Just gorgeous layered colour. Aren't these wonderful?

 Starting to stitch . . . 

 We didn't get a lot of chance to stitch into the samples, everyone was so into the layering.
This was a great group of ladies. They worked very hard and produced some amazing work.

A fab group of ladies, with Zoe hiding on the far left - we can see you baby!!!

I would like to teach at Zoe's again, we really did have a wonderful time. I will see what I can arrange once I am settled in Ireland.

Thimblestich@Zoe's is an Aladdins cave of fabrics and haberdashery. Zoe also stocks Vilene/Vlieseline interfacings and stabilisers, including the Solufleece that was mentioned in my previous post.
The shop and teaching studio are tucked away in the Heathpark business park in Honiton.


Zoe has regular classes in the studio upstairs, do check out the workshops on offer. 

If you fancy popping in, the address is -

Thimblestitch at Zoë’s
Devonshire Way
EX14 1YF
Tel: 01404 549871

Zoe is closed on Mondays and closes at 4pm the rest of the week. The shop is open occasional Sundays, give Zoe a ring to check which ones.

Special thanks to Zoe and Dee and Tony Priest for looking after me so well. 
I think you know I had a fabulous time. 

I will write up my final workshop on the tour early next week.


Hello girls - you know who you are. x x x 



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