I always seem to find it much easier to get out of a habit of doing something than to get into one, and even harder to get back into one after the habitualness has slipped away.  I don’t really know why it should be nearly two months since I last posted, only that as each silent week goes by there’s more inertia to overcome; and more has happened – so what to write about becomes a bigger decision (decisive is not my middle name).

I’ve been doing a little of this and that, focusing on fabric manipulation as I get back into OCA Textiles 1, some stitched resists, some felt. One exercise was to develop a manipulated sample from a previous design, and I went back to these block prints that were inspired by a tulip and then scanned to try out designs on the computer.

sketchbook work from tulip image

I simplified the shapes and stitched a repeating pattern based on circles and the spaces between. I was thinking about bands of colour and bands of resist. It’s a 30cm square.

stitched circles

Pulling the stitches up was a bit fiddly, and then I’m always tempted to leave them gathered, loving the structures they  make.

stitched circles gathered

I dyed this with some other pieces (of which more in another post) and this was the end result.

stitched circles dyed

I would have liked a bit more contrast – for some reason this calico didn’t take the dye as well as some of the other cottons in the same dyebath, but apart from that I was quite pleased with the overall effect.

I’d like to try other variations with colour, width of the stitching, etc. And I noticed that last time I dyed some stitched resist (when I soaked the bundles in the soda solution beforehand) the whites were very white, whereas here the ‘white’ is actually a very pale purple. These were soaked in water, then added to a dye bucket and the soda added after 30 minutes, and I used some urea, so either or both of those could have had an effect on the resist. The stitching itself was pulled up just as tightly as the earlier samples, more tightly if anything – I’ve been watching Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada‘s Arimatsu Narumi Shibori DVD, and learning how to use the needle to knot the pulled up thread without letting the stitches loosen. Not that I have mastered it – the Japanese artists make it look so easy – but I’m practising!

keeping the blogging habit

11 thoughts on “keeping the blogging habit

  • April 26, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Oh DO keep posting even if its only once a month. I really enjoy it. This is no exception.

  • April 26, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Beautiful shibori dyeing Fiona and interesting sketchbook pages. It doesn’t matter how often you blog, it’s entirely up to you, but it is good to catch up and see what you’ve been doing :o)

  • April 26, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Fiona, I have missed your blogs! Are you enjoying fabric manipulation? Think that was my favourite project on the course.I finally finished Textiles 1 and got an A which was a surprise. Love your stitched resist tulip design.

  • April 27, 2009 at 9:27 am

    great to have you back!
    awesome shibori and very interesting development from flower to pattern to shibori.
    Do you have the first Wada book?

    neki desu

  • April 27, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Lovely to see you, when you do get the chance. I find you very interesting.

  • April 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    finally! I have been at the edge of my screen hitting refresh, refresh, refresh…

    thanks for sharing your beautiful work. As always an inspiration.

    I too struggle with the blogging, perhaps its why I love twitter so much. I digress. I have resolved to post once a week and draft my blogs the week before. Not so pressure laden.

    Plus I am relying on the theory that a habit takes 3 weeks to become habit. Be it situps, eating veggies or even writing.

    Another project for you to chew on…I think you should publish your sketch books. They are amazing in their own right!

  • April 29, 2009 at 2:45 am

    Glad you’re back – I enjoy following your experiments! This pattern is lovely.

  • April 30, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I like the little works under the tulip picture a lot. so pretty!

  • May 6, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Yes, do keep blogging even if it is only occasionally – I love this piece of fabric!

  • May 6, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Gorgeous work from tulip sketches to the stitched resist.

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