Sunday, October 07, 2007

Can you say stim overload?

Well I've been pushing the envelope time wise, creatively and personally of late. CEG London members spent a wonderful three days with Jan ( Beaney) and Jean( Littlejohn) and the time literally flew by. They introduced us to Aquabond, a new water soluble stabilizer which is a dream to hand stitch through. It comes with a paper attached which you remove to work on. The Aquabond itself is extremely sticky ( that is an understatement!) so make sure cats, dogs, kids, husbands etc. are far from your work area. You secure it to your worktable with masking tape so you don't stick to it and it doesn't move out of place while you are working on it. You begin by laying out threads,cords what you like in a grid like fashion on the sticky Aquabond. You can lift pieces off and re-appy if you so choose. Add heavier threads, strips of fabric, whatever takes your fancy. Then you place a water soluble light plastic ( Guillieta) over the entire piece and press into place. At this point, you can machine or hand stitch it together. I used a #14 Chenille needle ( as in honking great needle) so I could use heavier threads and wools to stitch through the sandwich using large cross stitches, Romanian couching, knotted cable, sorbello stitch to name a few. Even with the heavy threads and large needle, the needle just slipped through the AB like butter. Like other water soluble stabilizers, you absolutely have to make sure your stitches are connected or when you wash it away, your piece will disentegrate. We were all collectively holding our breath when it came time to wash ours, especially the hand stitchers. Fortunately Jan had been quietly inspecting our pieces when we least thought she had and was pretty much assured that they would all turn out and they certainly did. See below!

Aquabond samplers laid out

Jan critiquing our pieces

As is the usual case with our guild members, the work was very diverse. They are such a creative , talented group and it's a joy to see everyone's individual take on things. Many pieces had a lacy effect to them and others specific design layouts. I incorporated small pieces of fabric into mine and made mine more dense. I was seeking a forest floor /grassland type of thing. I left some threads intentionally long as I could not decide whether to cut them or not and didn't want to be disappointed later on. I added some pieces of silk rods and of course, beads. I will lay it over another piece of printed fabric when I get back to work on it. Jan refers to me as the " wayward one" as I always tend to do my own thing and push the limits when trying new things ( and some old ones too!). I really enjoyed this technique and definitely want to play with it some more.

The "Wayward One's" piece

The ever ebullient Jean

1 comment:

Allison Ann Aller said...

What a totally fun time you all had. That Aquabond looks really interesting too. I would love to work with that stuff and incorporate my creations into a landscape crazy quilt project (which is bubbling up from the center of the earth at the moment...)

Going to go Google Aquabond and see where I can find some. Thanks for this, Leonie!