Still / Storm – getting started

Dunure 7

Dunure 7

In previous posts I’ve documented the development of my Dunure colour family and my experiments in printing a palette of fabrics that might represent the idea of ‘stillness’ (remember all those ugly ducklings!). I’ve collaged and stitched enough samples to tell me that Still, and now Storm as well, will grow to be a series of pieces. So how to get started?

First things first – throw away the fabrics that don’t work. And the collaged samples that never even made it to the sewing machine. And I don’t mean put them away somewhere just in case. I mean throw them away. This is an anathema to many quilters but has been an important shift in behaviour for me and one that is wonderfully liberating.

Next, start printing lots of fabric. Because I know that this is going to be a series of works I aim to print 15 – 20 square metres of fabric over the next few weeks. Having spent time experimenting and sampling I know to use 4 techniques: breakdown printing using ‘barcode’ like screens, screenprinting using soya wax screens, monoprinting using glassine and, for the darker fabrics, scrapping through with thickened dyes. I know that this colour family has a tendency to give muddy results when the individual colours blend together so I need to take my time and allow one layer of colour to dry before applying a second layer. And for the paler fabrics I know that I need a very delicate touch.

And to fill in around printing I will continue to sample compositions but also different methods of construction. This increases the likelihood that the first full scale pieces are successful. After all, I am totally OK with throwing pieces of fabric and small samples in the bin but larger scale pieces?? Maybe not.

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