I've just had a very busy and exhausting but most rewarding three days attending a 2 Day workshop with the textile artist Wendy Dolan and an Area Day for Region 10 of the Quilters' Guild. The aim of the workshop was to explore the creation of texture with fabrics, mediums and stitch. The theme for the workshop was architecture.
Wendy is a very friendly and generous teacher and shared so much knowledge with us over the course of the two days and through the talk she gave to the Area Day on Saturday. We were all kept extremely busy throughout and as I work quite slowly I did find myself falling behind a bit here and there but by the end of this afternoon my piece was well on its way for completion at home.
I can't share the whole process with you as that would be unfair to Wendy but I can show you parts of the journey.
I thought I should keep things simple so I chose this door and stonework that we came across in Knaresborough last year. We were tasked to trace the main lines and details of our source material and then to use various fabrics of differing textures and mediums including Xpandaprint, to construct a base for stitching and painting.
The tracing provides a guide to placing the network of fabrics.
After securing the fabrics with stitch the next task was to make a paper colour collage and then to choose pigments and apply them to colour the surface. Rather than apply realistic colour we were encouraged to use abstract areas of colour. I chose to work in a monochrome and you won't be surprised that turquoise was my chosen colour. You could use fabric paints for this part of the process but we used screen printing inks with an extender. If I remember rightly that is what Jo Budd uses in her work too.
With the fabric painted and dry we set to with the free machining. Initially the main lines were stitched from the reverse and once they were established we continued to work from the front.
This is the stage up to stitching the main lines from the reverse.
At the end of the day today we all gathered to share our inspiration and the progress so far of our work. I have a lot more work to do in free machining but I am pleased with the way it is taking shape and I have learned a lot, not least about making use of the settings on my machine to make life easier when free machining.
On Saturday, between the two workshop days, we went back to the venue for the Area Day where Wendy was the guest speaker. If you follow this link you will be able to see some of the commissions that Wendy has worked on. These commissions were on a mammoth scale and I am full of admiration for her skill in bringing them to fruition. Wendy also described her work in some detail and passed round samples of some of the stages her work goes through and which we had been working on in the workshops.
Working from a landscape source the image above shows the prepared fabric base on the left and a painted and stitched image on the right. Wendy also employs small pieces of agricultural fleece ironed on to create a resist in lighter areas and you can see this in the clouds.
We were shown many other examples of Wendy's work and all the while I was getting inspiration for ways to use her methods to explore texture and colour in my work. In particular I can see other ways of working the wall hanging that I made for the Festival of Quilts last year.
I havn't up to now worked in anything you could call a series but I am now asking 'what if' about the way I constructed this piece and may explore it with the skills I have learned this weekend for this year's FOQ. For now though I need to finish off my wokshop piece with further stitching and possibly with added colourwork which could be in paint or inktense pencil etc.