Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Busy Bees Patchwork

Your centre for City and Guilds Textiles and Patchwork
in South Wales

City and Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Textiles 7161

My word!!!! is it really so long ago since my last blog on the 23rd May, where does the time go. Being busy that's where it goes, I bet you thought we'd fallen off the edge of the world, well not quite. Just coming to the end of a fantastic year of creativity, the ladies have nearly finished all they need to do and now I have the daunting task of marking and giving out their final results for the year. I have not been looking forward to this at all! Although I have to say the standard throughout this year has been remarkable and they should all be very pleased with what they have achieved over the 36 weeks we have been together. 

I will say that it has been the most enjoyable year for me, my first year of teaching an accredited course has given me so much pleasure and I am thrilled that all the ladies have expressed an interest to join me next year for level 2, so I couldn't have been that much of a slave driver as they lead me to believe. The ladies will be exhibiting their work at the Busy Bees Programme launch on Saturday 21st July 2018, so if you have an idea that you might like to take part in this year's level 1, starting in September 2018 then this would be the perfect opportunity to come along and chat to me and the ladies, see the work they have produced and be inspired by their creativity. It is a lot of hard work but so rewarding as you will see from the wonderful pieces they have stitched.

I'm afraid I don't have many pictures to show you this week as we have been getting to grips with finishing off loose ends, labelling and cross referencing written work, so that when the lady from EQA lady comes from City and Guilds we will be on track and ready to have the results verified. But we did have a little play the week before last with colouring fabric with wax crayons. Something I have never really explored much, and I have to say I was quite taken with it. 
The best attribute for colouring with wax crayons is that the fabric stays soft, using acrylic paint makes the fabric hard and difficult to hand sew into, markals take a while
to dry thoroughly and leaves a strong smell of oil and water colour is difficult to control without a fabric medium, but using wax you can easily control where the colour goes and stays and can be blended to build up the colours to give a lovely shading effect.
We tried two methods, one where you melt the wax and apply with a soft cloth or kitchen towel and the other is applying the wax direct to the fabric and then use baby oil to blend the wax using a cotton wool bud. These techniques work equally well on paper and can then be used to colour sketch book pages, also because it is wax it will act as a resist to water colour paints.

Below are a few pictures of the girls first attempts!

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The crayons also give a lovely soft effect, above Sonia took a rubbing from the side of a set of carved wooden shelves and then used the baby oil to soften and blend the rubbing.

The only draw back I think is that the fabric needs to be held down firmly and we tried several ways of doing this, one ironing on freezer paper to the reverse of the fabric a temporary measure that worked quite well. Iron on medium interfacing, again worked well but the interfacing would be a more permanent fixture, good for book covers and the like. Iron on a piece of bondaweb and then it would be great for applique projects. I also tried my sticky mat from my Silhoette cutting machine and that also worked well to hold the fabric in place. A few methods to try if you want to keep the fabric still while drawing or colouring soft fabrics that easily move around.

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Ann went home and worked this beautiful piece with butterflies, she used bondaweb on some of the butterflies and only secured half down so that the butter fly wings are
proud of the fabric which makes them look like they are going to take flight.

Like all things, it takes time to play and develop better methods of approaching different techniques, an extra day a week should cover it please!!!!!

Last weeks session was using the sewing machine and free motion stitching to make a bowl from thread and fabric scraps sandwiched between two pieces of soft water soluble fabric. We put this into a hoop, because it is not easy to handle without one. Learning little things like this can be the starting point for so many other projects, from a simple technique you can embellish further with hand sewing or stitching on beads or making larger panels for bigger bowls, so many options when you put your mind to it.
I will post next week some of the results for making the bowls.

I think that's all for this week and because we are winding down, I won't be blogging after the end of july, a little rest for the summer holibobs and then it will be back to it and hopefully a full level1 class and level 2's as well in September.
Hope all well with everyone, if you want to chat to me about the City and Guilds class give me a call on 01633 810801 (Tuesday to Saturday) or email me on
Best stitches

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