A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, June 4, 2012

First Steps with Strips

I had this monoprint that I overdyed with a flour resist pushed through a stencil.  I like the colors, but it doesn't really stand on its own.  I took some of my vast stash of turquoise and cut thin and not-so-thin strips.

I know, Kathy's (very good) instructions said to use  skinny strips, but I had to try it both ways -- more on this decision below.

I also took some bits of the Caribbean-colored hand-dyes I did recently.  I found that ironing them open made them easier to stitch.

I started inserting the strips.  The orange/blue stripe was a mistake.  I decided to go with it, but it's my least favorite part of this whole thing.  

This is my "finished" piece (for today anyway) -- I think that the thinnest strips look the best.  They're not any more difficult to sew and they don't look clunky like the thicker strips.  And I still don't like the orange/blue stripe.  I'm thinking that this is one of those things that may never be finished -- as long as there is enough fabric to cut and sew back together.  


  1. I like the orange strips in there alot!

  2. If you really don't like it, you could slash it out and put another strip in it's place!

  3. It's really hard to replace one of the first strips you put in, because it's crossed by so many other seams. I wouldn't recommend even trying -- best to make another piece building on what you've learned in the first one.

  4. But it is great that you show us what you did, the orange could have been the showstopper!

  5. If you don't like the orange .... trot out paints or dyes and change the colour. I wouldn't even think of ripping out and replacing.... too much like work.

  6. Sandra has a good suggestion. I remember when I had a strip in a piece I didn't really like; I used a Pentel fabric ink pen and wrote on the strip. It still stood out a bit, but in a much more interesting way.

  7. Karen -- You might also find that when you square off the piece you like it better, even with the orange. And if not, make it into a placemat and put the plate over the orange part.

    But I do want to warn you and everybody: if you want to try this technique you're probably going to have to make a couple of pieces first before you start to internalize the piecing -- in other words, it will take a while to find your rhythm. So don't be discouraged if your first try isn't magnificent.

  8. Karen -- just keep slicing and dicing. Pretty soon, the orange will be in little bits all over te place and will look just fine - integrated into the piece. Trust me on this.

  9. Karen,
    I agree--the skinnier lines work best. I wonder if you would have liked the orange if it had been in skinnier lines?


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