Monday, 4 April 2011

Teach yourself textiles - slashing and burning

Textiles I
I had a quiet weekend and have an appointment free week ahead so I am determined to fit in a few more exercises in my quest for textile knowledge.  Firstly, after watching a video from Fay Maxwell  about fabric slashing, I though I must have a go. (Thanks Lesley) Firstly I built up layers of fabric scraps on a piece of calico topped with a relatively plain piece of fine cotton.  I then straight stitched the layers together like this.
then taking a sharp pair of scissors started slashing the layers between the rows of stitches.

I only snipped through the back in a couple of places!

Slashing is only the beginning - the next thing is to wash the whole thing as violently as you can.  I was unprepared to devote  a whole wash cycle to this and unsure of colour fastness I hand washed it, but gave it a good scrubbing with my wooden lemon squeezer!!!  (Note to self - look for a old fashioned washboard) I then indulged in a fast spin, as it was very thick and then popped it on a rad to dry.

The green top fabric frayed so much I had to trim the threads, but the result is very tactile.  I am now deciding whether to add any stitching.

Natural Break
I did have to interrupt my stitching to cook a meal yesterday and when I popped into the garden for some rosemary a flurry of birds flew up from the cotoneaster which still has a lot of berries.  I had disturbed about twenty waxwings.  Luckily they didn't fly far and sat in a neighbouring tree while I rushed in for the camera.  The sky was dark and it was starting to rain.  There was even a loud clap of thunder, so no time to set up the large zoom and tripod which would have been better in this light.

A bit of cropping on this picture just renders enough detail for those of you familiar with this winter visitor to identify its characteristic profile with its tuft of feathers on its head.  I haven't seen waxwings and I am delighted to be able to add them to my weekly bird count which I submit to BTO Garden Birdwatch.

Textiles II
I have done the slashing, so here is the burning, although melting would be a better description. 

A selection of beads I made by melting anything meltable with my new heat gun.

Not sure what I am going to do with them - rather scratchy for  a necklace - but they are strung up at a window at the moment. 
Mr T was notable unimpressed by my experiments, but I know you'll be interested (I hope)