Posted by Agnes Iley , Wednesday, March 30, 2011 10:06 PM

To frame a picture...

I was going to get a cardboard mount cut for my newspaper/crowd piece, clean easy and cheap. But I didn’t have time to go to the shop, so I spent heaps more time making a frame.  I know that doesn’t make sense….  But once the idea of an old slightly battered gilded frame against the very modern looking embroidery/applique piece got hold in my mind, there was no way back. 

I started by “googling” antique frames I was looking at the raised patterns, colour of the frame and tried to work out in my mind how to make this from fabric.

I cut a background for my frame from poster board and layered this with three layers thin batting. Each layer I cut a little narrower than the previous one, to create a dome shape.

For the fabric cover I used some cotton, one of my less successful dyeing experiments, and I cut fleur de lis type shapes from felt. The felt shapes where attached to the fabric border and then I stretched the whole thing over my cardboard frame.
Next up some golden medium to give me a good base for painting. I spray painted the whole piece with antique gold paint. This actually left me with a very shiny, brand new looking frame. So more aging was needed….for this I used oil pastels they were rubbed in with some turps.
I know this combination isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like contradictions…

Posted by Agnes Iley , Thursday, March 17, 2011 9:55 PM

Faceless crowds, suddenly got a whole different meaning

You might remember that I did this piece for the first assignment.
At the time I also did a little sample in fabric, that I said I would like to make as well. So for stage 3 I thought perfect, I’ll do that!
I cut my fabrics “wonder-undered" them and was just about ready to start stitching. But I wasn’t happy suddenly it didn’t speak to me anymore.
Over the past month we’ve been seeing the power of crowds in the world. Governments being overthrown and possibly a whole new war started. All by the power of people coming together to demonstrate. So I felt the need to update my crowd a little. So my little blue crowd went out of the window. I made the front page of a newspaper by digitizing all the text. I then used the embroidery module of my machine to stitch this out. I printed some pictures of demonstrators on fabric threated with digital ground. And appliqued these, together with some coloured bars, onto the newspaper.
Now I must admit that I was pretty happy with this result. But then came the scary part…..
I stitched my crowd in monochrome colours this time, it had to be, it was a newspaper after all. And added another picture to the backside of my newspaper. Now for the scary bit…I cut up the newspaper to make it look like it was torn.  Then the crow was positioned behind the newspaper. Now all that was needed was to open up the window a little more, by folding back the edges. And voila….another stage 3/4 conundrum was made.

Posted by Agnes Iley , Wednesday, March 9, 2011 10:15 PM

It’s the eyes

For my next sample I started with a picture of a woman. With the help of my trusted little laptop I turned the picture into an applique pattern. Then I added some batting and stitched the outlines in black thread. The whole picture was quite dramatic, not just because of this lady’s striking features, but also because of the very strong colour palet I used.
So instead of doing her headscarf in applique I decided to drape the fabric for the scarf. I “bound” the whole piece with a silk border, which was decorated with some trinkets I picked up a couple of years ago in Istanbul.
Now I must admit that I am not a quilter, so I’ve got a thing or two to learn about adding borders.
I really must look into that some time.

Will you believe that this piece made me jump out of my skin, when I came downstairs in the middle of the night one evening? For a few seconds it looked like someone was staring at me from the other side of the room…..it’s the eyes they appear to follow you wherever you go!

Posted by Agnes Iley , Sunday, March 6, 2011 10:09 PM

More zapping

I had some black tyvek that I hadn’t used before so I thought it was time to give it a trial run.
For added drama I decided to pair it with a piece of (impossible to work with) silver fabric. I stitched a geometric design onto the tyvek/silver sandwich and zapped it with a heat gun. I quickly found out that my stitching was a little to detailed and the stitching itself a little too fine to create a real nice effect. So I was a little disappointed with this sample.
Until I turned it over…the backside was far more interesting!  The melting (contraction) of the tyvek had created a rather interesting raised texture.

Posted by Agnes Iley , Friday, March 4, 2011 10:08 PM

My little window made me wonder

Is this a sample for stage 3 of this assignment or stage 4?

This has got texture, the surface is raised. But it was worked as a flat piece. I find it very hard to distinguish between the two.

A little conundrum that would hunt me through the rest of the pieces I’ve made for this assignment. Most of the pieces I have done have a “flat” element and a textured element.

So at the risk of infuriating my assessors I have, for the moment decided to label them as “Stage 3/4”.

Posted by Agnes Iley 10:06 PM

Stage 3/4

Stage 3 or Stage 4? That’s the question

My next little sample is of a gothic window.
The window itself is made from very simple lines in satin stitch, stitched with variegated thread onto a black kunin felt surface. Then I heat blasted the felt to expose the window and stitched the whole thing onto the red wrapper of a Christmas pudding.

This also gave me an idea I might have to work on some time…
How about a large window like this, with a stained glass scene made out of sheer fabrics?

Posted by Agnes Iley , Thursday, March 3, 2011 10:02 PM

Stage 3

Ah.this is better!

O.k. no more glue just sewing, that made me feel a lot better!
First a little sample made with a watersoluble stabilizer. Normally I would stitch quite heavily onto this, so after the stabilizer is dissolved the whole piece keeps its integrity.
This time I wanted to experiment a little to see if it was possible to work with single sewn lines with the squares of fabric ensuring the integrity of the piece.
It’s very delicate, but proves it can be done.

My next sample is a small piece of applique.
The contrasting fabric is a little remnant of the bleached black.
I like the striking effect that those very thin lines can have.
And am wondering about creating turning a line drawing into applique using this method.
It would be a hell of a job, asking for great precision, but I think the effect could be spectacular.