As promised last time, here are the fabrics I printed. The colours in the photos aren't totally true to the fabric but you will see how using a colour family you can get lots of fabric that goes together. Let's start with the ones that really didn't ...


Leah Higgins Too and more...

Leah Higgins Too

As promised last time, here are the fabrics I printed.  The colours in the photos aren't totally true to the fabric but you will see how using a colour family you can get lots of fabric that goes together.

Let's start with the ones that really didn't work well as part of the family.  However when they are cut up they may work after all.

Now on to the ones that did work.  Remember the grid I drew on the scrren with straight lines.  This is how it prints.

This was a mix of torn masking tape resist and embedded items.

The next few are various screens of embedded items.

Spreading the dye with a credit card

More embedded screens

Using crumpled up plastic bags to make the pattern on the screen.

 Another masking tape and embedded items screen

And the grid again

Another colourway from the masking tape and embedded items screen

Using the drippage screens

There are some more fabrics but I they are very similar to the ones you have already seen. Most of the fabrics will be cut up and used as smaller pieces but this last one may well stay as a whole cloth.  Still thinking about that!

And finally the whole pile!

If you are interested in breakdown printing and the way Leah uses it, you can see her gallery at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC from August 1st-4th.  It is undoubtedly the best fabric, stitch and quilt show in the UK.  Don't miss it.

Thanks for joining me today


Leah Higgins

I recently spent 5 days in Leah Higgin's studio learning about Breakdown Printing.  Leah runs some amazing 5 day workshops and she is an excellent teacher.  AND you can take her home with you in the form of her book Breakdown Your Palette.

Over the days I made various screens.  The first few on show here were made by drawing the dye onto the screen using Procion Dye mixed with Print Paste in a squeezy bottle.

These drippage ones were made by drawing a thick line of the dye mix and putting the screen upright so the dye dripped down the screen.

These next 3 represent the several (I lost count) screens I made by putting a layer of dye mix on the screen and then embedding bits of metal and plastic into the dye.

When the dye is completely dry you pull off the embedded bits and then it's ready to use.

On the first day I used the black dye which when it breaks down with print paste is quite a blue black.

The rest of the week I used Petrol Green and Rust Brown.   We did a 15-colour family using bucket dyeing.

Next time I'll show you the fabrics I printed using the numerous screens I made.

Thanks for joining me today


TGIF on a Saturday #1

I recently found a new TGIF meme on This West London Life blog.   Most of us would recognise TGIF as Thank God (or Goodness) It’s Friday, but for Brené Brown it stands for Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration and Fun.   In light of my recent post Notice the small things I thought I might join in with the meme - but on a Saturday.

What things have I noticed in these areas?

Trusting the amazing massage skills of Helena who looks after my back and removed the many aches and pains I had this week.

Grateful for a loving and supportive husband

Inspired by the teaching and work of Leah Higgins
(c) Leah Higgins

Spending 5 days printing fabrics at Leah's studio (more about this in my next post).

What things have you noticed this week?

Thanks for joining me today.


Notice the small things

In our Living Your Word of the Year group we are using a fortnightly (bi-weekly) A-Z challenge throughout the year to help us focus on our word and live it out.

Because of the way I have made my journal it's a case of going with the flow of what background the pages have when I turn to them.  As with the page for M I had a page full of stars.

When I was on the Tactile Notebook workshop, one of the first things that Sandra Brownlee talked about was: notice what you notice and she gave us a brown paper bag with those words printed on, which I stuck into my notebook.

I've been thinking a lot about this phrase since and decided I would use notice for N in my A-Z journal.  I put the N sticker on the little insert page.

I used some photos from this year to demonstrate noticing the small things.  The centre of flowers, the raindrops on the petals, the rust and decay I spotted on the railings where we were queueing to get on a boat.

I thought about the meaning of the word notice and looked up a dictionary definition.  Synonyms of notice included observe, observant and pay attention.  I used these words to look up verse using BibleGateway.  I printed out the verses that I though most went with my word of the year - [Commit].

I put a small strip of washi tape to link this page to the M page.

Valerie's post for N is about Nature.  In her blog she challenges us to:
'Go for a walk in nature.  Notice special things in your everyday life as if you are on an adventurous journey… because you are!   As you walk, imagine Jesus walking next to you. Ask him a question like what are you thinking about? Or What is on your heart? Or What do you want to say to me right now? Or if you have something heavy or big on your mind, ask him what he has to say to you about that thing. Then listen'.

My challenge is to notice the small things.  In nature or elsewhere.   Notice the small things people go out of their way to do for you.  Notice the small things that people go out of their way to do for others.  And then thank them.  Encourage them.  As you encourage others, you will be encouraged to do small things for other people too.

Thanks for joining me today.

Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Join Mary Brack, Valerie Sjodin and I in our Facebook group where we are giving participants the opportunity to live out an A-Z of their own word throughout 2019.  Mary explains what we are doing in her blog post.  We don't like a lot of rules, so we will have suggestions and options to spark creativity, and to help in recording and exploring our word’s meaning in visual and fun ways. We will each blog about our experiences and our art.

Hashtags on Instagram:  #livingyourword2019

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To ensure you get updates from Valerie, Mary & I why not subscribe to our blogs.


Some differing approaches to design

This post first appeared on Traverse Textile Art.

There are many ways of approaching design work for textiles and mixed media pieces.  I thought we might look at the various ways I have tried in the past - often on workshops.

I attended a Gillian Travis workshop where we worked on counterchange. This is where you cut out shapes - in this example circles in paper squares - and exchange them so that the colours are in different places.  I continued with the large heart and then the small heart.

Working in fabric I only changed one heart with another but started with several different coloured squares.

In this version there were three different pear shapes.

Taking a shape
Another way to play with design is to take a shape and cut into it and expand it.

In the examples above the shapes cut out were glued down on the outside of the original shape.  In the example below the rectangle was cut into different shapes and glued down with different intervals to expand the shape.

You can see the quilts made by Claire Higgott using this method on her website.  Click on Split Shapes in her Portfolio.

You can take part of a photograph or part of your own drawing and make a physical stamp or digital stamp and produce various patterns.

This can lead to a piece of stitched textile.

I went on a Jean Draper workshop where we drew a small object and then expanded it on a photocopier.  This can inform structures, work on paper and fabric.  I wrote about this on my blog.

Non-visual inspiration for design
Not all inspiration has to be visual.  You could use a poem or a piece of music to inspire your work.  Earlier this year I used the poem 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost to produce a concertina book.  My starting point was the text and unusually for me through various stages of the design process I ended up with this:

Of course, there's always just letting the fabric 'speak' to you and coming up with a piece of work that results from playing with ideas without planning.  Just go with the flow and see where it takes you.

Some of my Venice pieces came from playing. I printed with stamps and thermofax screens randomly on a large piece of cotton using thickened dyes and fabric paints.

I played again with stencils and screens to make a further piece of fabric which eventually became this set of 9 Venice Tiles.

And finally in this post,  there's thinking!

Lots of textile artists use sketchbooks and workbooks, experiment and make samples, I tend to think.  Instead of making several samples I think through what each once might be, ask the 'what if ...' questions and then disregard the ideas.  I might write a list of all the possibilities so that I have the capacity to think through each option - rather than hold the list in my head.  Maybe I miss out on some ideas by not doing samples.  I don't know. What I do  know, is that I produce pieces that work for me and really that's all that counts.

How do you design your work?

Thanks for joining me today