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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Optical Illusion - auditioning two options

Well, I haven't completed the project yet, but have arrived at a pivot point... I need to decide if I want to use the other two pieces of dyed fabric, or leave the design as is.  I made the passe-partout from black fabric, used some scraps of fabric to cover the inside of the frame, then stitched the pleated piece to the back of the canvas (actually, twill in my case... I used undyed twill and stretched it over some stretcher bars I had on hand).
Below is the pleated piece with the passe-partout draped over the stretcher bars.
In this picture, I laid the 2 other pieces over the bars and under the passe-partout... the fabrics have not been quilted yet.  My dilemma is that I feel like the 3D effect is lost when I put the two pieces on top.  So I am going to study these pictures a little before deciding how I will proceed.

I must confess that I am not happy with the passe-partout, and may need to do a little more work to get the opening to fit over the stretcher bars better... the opening appears to be too large, so I may need to make another one that has a smaller opening, or maybe use a contrasting fabric to make an inner border.  But I am fascinated with this project... it is very different than anything I have worked on before, and I think it has given me a lot to  think about, and I'm sure I will try this again!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Optical Illusion - a less successful try

It seems that April is an especially busy month for everybody. I have to apologize Nienke for not being able to try out her excellent tutorials - but I'll do it, definitely, later on. For the meantime I would like to show an another try towards optical illusions, though a much less successful one - but we also learn from our mistakes, don't we?

Some years ago I tried to create an optical illusion by piecing stripes together. As I didn't take photos during the process, i can only show the half-finished results, which I abandoned, when the constructional mistake became apparent. 

I pieced the yellow and yellow-and-light-green stripes between the dark green ones. I wanted those the stay orthogonally to the surface so reinforced them with a thin but stiff interface. The interface increased the thickness of the stripes which created a "tightened" effect between the dark green stripes there, where I haven't placed the yellow stripes in-between.

Conclusion: if we want to play with dimensionality, we need to use end-to-end stripes, like Nienke did. So as soon as i'll have time, i would like to try out her technique and  i'm really curious to see the results.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Optical Illusion - work in progress

I've been trying to find time this month to try Nienke's Optical Illusion technique, and finally got some fabric dyed yesterday.  I didn't take any pictures of the 4 squares, but I just finished fusing two of  the merged squares onto my background:

I didn't mean to use such similar colors to Nienke's example, but I had the dyes mixed for another project and decided to use them here as well.  So far, I'm really enjoying how this is coming out!  I hope to get the stitching done today, and then get a start on the next step tomorrow.  I may not be done before the end of the month, but I'll post again just to let you know how I'm doing.  I already know I want to do some more with this technique... very interesting!  Thanks for the tutorial, Nienke! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Getting Started - Karen S

I was waiting for the weather to improve -- but I'm running out of month.  I did these in my kitchen yesterday.  I used lemon yellow, golden yellow, red, and deep purple.  

Now on to the cutting and pleating!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The final piece

It's time for finishing the piece. I decided to add two rows on top of the frame:

I used fabric 3 and 4 to make a quilt-sandwich and with free-motion stitching, I followed the paintcolours:

Pinned them to the fabric frame:

And sew a long border strip of 5 cm, 2 inches approx, around the frame.
Please measure the frame very precisely, and draw that line on to the fabric.
Just take care in the corners! I stopped 0,7 cm from the end, secured the stitch and cut of the thread. After folding the borderstrip in het new direction, I started sewing exactly in the same place I ended my previouw stitch (or better, one mm further). This border is meant to cover the sides of the canvas frame.

It looks a bit clumsy after sewing ;-)

But wait till you stretch the piece around the canvasframe, with a stapler/tacking machine:
(PS do you see the single hand stitch line on top and bottom? That's were I stitched the pleated piece onto the canvas, it's enough to keep it where it is)

Voila! Your piece is ready. You might staple a cord from one site to the other as well to hang it properly.

I hope you enjoyed this 3D project, and look forward to seeing your results in the coming weeks!
And remember, in the Netherlands we know this expression 'in je eentje ben je sneller maar samen kom je verder' which is translated in 'you are faster on your own, but get further together'!
That's why I love this group. Thanks for joining, reading and commenting!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting Started--Quilter Beth

I spent yesterday afternoon dyeing fabric. I have my four pieces ready to go. I used Golden Yellow for the centers, Fire Engine Red for the second ring, and Mixing Blue for the outer ring. The piece in the bottom right corner got a little wonky--not sure what happened there.
I won't have time to work on the next step for a little while. I'm anxious to try this slicing and dicing method, though.

Framing the pleated piece

Now it's time to examine some possibilities with the 3rd and 4th piece:
This is what I like. So, let's start to make the frame for the pleated piece. First, cut the pleated piece exactly fitting the inner part of the painterscanvas. Leave the white canvas, you can sew the pleated piece to it.
For the frame, I like a grey colour, so I took a piece of hand dyed grey, two layers, and made a passe-partout with batting.

After stitching the two layers of fabric plus the batting together, you can turn the first layer inside to the back. Pin it with for the time being.
Do you see the wood of the frame peaking through? Lets coat the frame with some leftover fabric to avoid this:

 After doing so, the pleated piece can be sewn on to the canvas by hand with a small stitch.


Now that the base is ready, lets cover the frame with our fabric passe-partout and examine again what we shall do with the other pieces:
We're getting close, more tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The pleats

So, let's pick the two pieces which look most similar to eachother.
Fuse them with fusible web / vliesofix. Remove the paper afterwards.

Put the pieces on top of eachother

And cut them together to get the same size:

 Now, don't move your pieces, and start cutting 1,5 cm (about 0,55 inch) both layers at the same time:

Now iron the strips on a piece of thin fabric. Start with strip 1 piece A, followed by strip 1 piece B. Continue with strip 2 piece A, followed by strip 2 piece B.
Remember, don't move around with your cutting mat or the pieces..., you will not be able to refind the correct sequence anymore. 
After ironing, fold every second strip double, and stitch it at the edge. It doesn't matter if it is 100%perfect but try to keep a straight line.

Voila, your 3D paintsplash is visible.

Tomorrow, 'what to do with piece 3 and 4'!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dyeing for an optical illusion

So, if we want to make a 3D piece, we need enough fabric to play around. In this piece, I dyed 4 pieces of fabric, 30 x 30 cm, in exactly the same way.

First of all, tie a marble in the middle of each piece.

Dip the points in a tray with water, SODA and dye-solution. Let's rest for 15 minutes.
Now you can choose to rinse the blue point or continue right away. Turn your blue tip upside down and tie the fabric again around the marble. Yes, the blue colour will zip through, but that is part of the fun. And if you want to keep it clean, just add some plastic on top of the fabric before turning it.
Now dip your marble-pakages in another dye solution (inlcuding soda), and leave for another 15 minutes.

For the third time, turn your marble downwards and tie the fabric again around the marble. Now bring the full package into a dye bath (including Soda), and leave it for another 30 minutes.

Rinse the marble-package, untie it and rinse again.

This will be the final result after fixation and ironing, four pieces which are more or less the same dye pattern, great for further use. The pieces to the right were packed in plastic after each step. Can you see the difference? And what do you prefer?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Optical illusion in textiles

Happy easterdays for those of you who celebrate this.
It's april and I thought it might be a good idea to get the dyepots out again and see if we can experiment with some new techniques.
What I would like to share with all of you is the process of this 3D textilepiece with a slight optical illusion like a paintsplash hitting the fabric:


It's always difficult to get some depth in a picture, so let's try it from this corner to give you an idea:

In the next few days, I will describe the process for making this project. Please gather your white fabric, procion MX dyes, some marbles, and a painter's canvas. Tomorrow the fun will start!