Tag Archives: From Sketchbook To Wall

More Painted Textile Pieces

Since last week I’ve continued to work on my small (about 10 inch square) pieces for my From Sketchbook to Wall class, and have five done (mostly.) I’ve learned that it’s hard to hand sew through fabric covered with acrylic paint, and that I want to hold onto some resemblance to my inspiration landscape. That surprised me as I think I’ve reached a fairly high comfort level with abstraction.

Original photo of riprap along towpath with the Cuyahoga River at the top
My interpretation of photo. I used offcuts from a photo I had printed on fabric for the tree groups.
A fading bouquet left on a bench by the scenic railroad stop. I’ve seen flowers left on the bench several times, so I think it must be a memorial tribute to someone.
Hmm, I think it looks like there’s a hint of the railroad tracks in it as well as the bench slats.
Fuzzy photo of first new growth
I decided to hurry along the greening up, and also added needle felted leaves. I don’t like my stitching on them as it’s too folk arty.
I did like that riprap.
I may still go over the white lines with stitching.
I loved the textures and acid yellow green stuff.
I kept the yellow green but decided to think pink. The base is a mended patch from an old tablecloth.

While I love the texture hand stitching gives, in the future I think I’ll use paint and its cousins more to transform the base fabrics. I have lots of painted fabric left for more such textile works, though I think I want to try to create fantasy landscapes next time.

Leftover fabrics fused to base

I have lots of photos for inspiration, but I want to use them mostly as inspiration for textures. I like the rough arrangements I did of my painted fabrics better than my deliberately composed ones.

If you’re on Instagram and want to see other people’s work from this class, search #tansyhargantextilecourse.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.

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A Different Kind of Textile Class

I’m in the middle of a two week online class on textile creation given by Tansy Hargan, a British landscape architect and textile artist. It’s called From Sketchbook to Wall, which is an accurate description. We began with en plein air sketches of nature or built environments, moved on to thumbnail collages of the sketches, and then to transformation of clothing to fabrics for our final pieces.

Collaged thumbnails. All but one image based on outdoor sketches.

I signed up for the course to get a different approach to textile art, and I’m getting different with a vengeance. We were to unpick old clothes with a seam ripper, paint them with acrylic until stiff, and add marks to our fabrics in a variety of ways.

Unpicking old clothes palled quickly, and I used men’s shirts I had already cut up plus remnants from my hoard. I combined textile and acrylic paints to use what was on hand, and I had a hard time wrapping my head around deliberately making my fabric stiff. All my past effort to preserve a soft hand in painted fabric made me cringe at the paper like results, but the advantage of that stiffness became apparent later during mark making. Some of the techniques were new to me and possible only because the fabric was stiff. Tansy demoed a variety of ways to mark fabric, including photocopying (stiffness is essential) and carbon paper. I wasn’t brave enough to run sheets of fabric through my brand new printer, but other students did that successfully.

I used dressmaker tracing paper that’s at least 60 years old.

Then it was on to reverse applique, hand stitching, and free motion stitching. Again, this is roughly done and fraying is encouraged.

Rough reverse applique

I’m now at the point of actually composing and fusing the base layer of my 9 inch squares on top of old cotton sheeting covered with WonderUnder. We are to rip/cut our fabrics and arrange them on the fusible surface, inspired by our thumbnail collages.

I learned that the olive strips are polyester after they stuck to my iron.
I think sewing through that denim will be a challenge.

I am saving the last two videos about stitching and further layering until I make more base layers. I suspect I’m overthinking the fabric arrangements, but it’s quite fiddly to get the little bits to stay put as you fuse them. After my ironing disaster I’ve made sure to use a silicone mat.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.

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Filed under Techniques