This is a little knitting test I did for a jumper that probably won’t happen because I’m not as fond of the material as I thought I would be. I’m posting it because it shows which colour should best go with red-orange for my gut feeling. It is just slightly off the official complemetary colour (turquoise), and again to the yellow side, just as in my favourite orange/turquoise combination. I have posted some musings about orange here before.
I don’t know yet if I’m going to use this as a background for some felting and stitching, or if I just keep it as is in that ring binder I abuse as a kind of visual journal.
I just found an article about using cheap and unususal materials by Arlee Barr via Arlee Barr’s blog. It is very well done, I learned a thing or two from it although I’m not as much into plastic an using heat guns as she is.
Here are a few of my cheapo favourites that she doesn’t mention.
- All kinds of jute fabrics. I like to work on burlap/ hessian, but also on the very loosely woven deco jute and colourful jute bands. Glue arround the edges of the loose stuff with fabric glue or glossy acrylic gel before use. I’m adding an ATC sized embroidery on jute band and present band at the end of the posting
- browse the deco shops regularly, they will often have small fabric pieces for reduced prices; especially useful if you like to work small
- Try to pester a local tailor for her/his waste fabric
- make use of clothes you don’t wear any more, it also adds a very personal note to your art
- The ribbons and bands you use for christmass presents and flower arrangements. You often get good deals on them after major hollidays, and you can use what comes off your presents
- Cocoa fiber and similar stuff. The loose ones can be used for couching, the glued sheets can be used to do embroidery on or for collages.
- natural bast is very good for stitching on rough fabric, but it isn’t washable. If you use the coloured ones do a fading test before using them on precious projects; it bends easier when wet, but will shrink considerably when drying again
- use natural materials and found objects
- buying cheap jewelry and cutting it up for the beads is often cheaper than buying beads at a craft shop
- glossy acrylic gel makes a good surrogate for fabric glue and is cheaper if you need more than a few ounces of it. Beware of the matte varieties, they will come off if you wash pieces, while the glossy one from Schmincke even survives procedures like wet felting with hot water onto the glued piece.
- If you’re into painting save your brush cleaning rags to do fiber art on them later. But never ever burn them if you use any cadmium colours
- if you already have acrylic paints use them instead of fabric paints. Again, beware of heating cadmium pigments (they will turn poisonous if you do)
now here’s an example, a roughly ATC-sized thing assembled from jute band and flower band ironed on black vilene and embroidered:
It was done in wool threads on jute fabric, only the plant is pearl cotton. The background are random running stitches, the barbed wire is a reversed buttonhole band variant, and the plant was done in the Oyster stitch variant by Elizabeth .
I can’t say much more about it. I just finished it, right now I’m very pleased with it, but that may change over time. If you don’t like it, please tell me why it stinks. I’m still learning.
During the last two weeks I added some bits to one of my WIPs, the goldfish . The background fabric is a bit more on the greenish side than the scan shows. This made me think about my use of colours. The following is not meant as a lesson in colour use but as a rant about my personal use of certain colours. If it has any use for others than as a prompt to think about your very own relationship to colours. The pictures I painted for demonstration have no meaning, I was just doodling.
Orange and turquoise is one of the colour combinations I use very often in my creative work although I would name none of them as favourite colours. The goldfish picture is cleary a variant of this even if the turquoise is rather muted.
I did some doodling with acrylic paint to demonstrate my colour choice. Turquoise and that pure orange I like to go with it are not complimetary colours. If you mix them, you’ll find that there’s too much yellow in the mix for complimetary colous. I seem to be preferring harmony over exitement here.
Now, the next picture shows the same orange and its complimetary colour according to the traditional colour weel . That would be blue. You can see that blue and orange mix up to black. I do kind of like this combination, but I seem to use it very rarely. Maybe I’m going to add something blue to the goldfish pic just for the heck of it.
The next picture shows the same turquoise and a red orage, which is approximately its complimentary colour acording to the traditional colour weel . The fact that they don’t mix up to black has more to do with the pigments than the colours. For me, this contrast looks horrible when used in such massive ammounts, but I still did use it in the goldfish piece. I used red-orange for small parts of the goldfish. I just stumbled over this blog post about Luci’s orange and turquoise doodling cloth, so obviously there are people out there who love this colour combination. Amazing how different we all are.
I’m sorry, that was a long time without posts. The last two weeks were exeptionally busy, 3 presentations to do in the first week, one more in the next. I also had a nasty cold, so I didn’t get much done.
The two green linear rows are self-explanatory. The weel in the first picture was made with the closed side of the buttonhole stitch worked along a little circle inside the big one, and two rows of buttonhole stitches worked over them, the outer one in a much thicker thread. For the circle in the second picture, a buttonhole weel was worked, and the additional buttonhole stitches were added in a spiral from the outside to the center of the circle.
This was just some doodling on a leftover scrap of fabric, following the fabric patern. The fabric is very stretchy, that made me reluctant to use it for a real project.
Here is, as promised, my progress of the brick wall embroidery. Below that, you see a description of a rice stitch variant which I like because it is producing a less messy backside than regular rice stitch. I know the shading on the brick wall is less than perfect, but it was a practice piece, after all.
I’m sorry the stitches are a bit hard to see on the jute background. start with doing cross stitches over 4 fabric threads, or any other even number of threads. Bring the needle with the second thread out at the edge of the sqare filled by a cross stitch one thread (or another appropriate number of threads) apart fom the original cross. Then proceed as shown. Basically, you are working a kind of herringbone stitch in a square, and when closing the square slip the needle under the first stitch to create a perfectly interwoven # shape.
the last pic is slightly enlarged. Oh well, maybe it would look still better when I’m careful to do all #s exactly in the same direction.
Please let me know if the pictures and directions are not clear enough. Somehow, wordpress won’t do what I want it to do. So if you want to see a 50% enlarged version of the stitch instructions, load the picture down by clicking on it with the right mouse button and look at it in any viewer.
I was bored in class, so I did these…
They were done with coats embroidery thread 40, so they are pretty small. The pattern is my own too. I already know in which project I’m going to use them, but I guess I have way too many wips so it may take a while until I can show the finished thing.