The advantage of doing courses like the Stitchbook Collective is that you can try new techniques out without major expenses, a bit like attending workshops, you can decide if it’s something you want to try more of. A couple of weeks ago I had a messy morning trying Joomchi and gel plate printing. I had mixed results…
Having made the ‘textiles’ I still had to do something with them!
I tackled the joomchi first, this is a bit like felted mulberry paper. Helen, from the Stitchbook Collective, had included some shiny stranded thread to try as she said it works particularly well on the joomchi. It was a cheaper alternative to pure silk thread. I decided to try the pink circle first…
The centre is worn away during the process with the idea that holes start to appear – how big they are depends on how far you go with the process. Mine were still fairly small, I decided to put some ivory silk dupion behind to bring a bit of light to the centre. I chose the pink shiny thread which Helen had sent and simply went round in a spiral. I quite surprised myself how much I like this one now!
Next to be tackled was one of the leaf ones, I liked both of these which always makes it a bit more tricky when decideding how to embellish them! I remembered some real silk threads I’d bought off ebay, I think they were left over from someones project, I chose a soft green and a grey-blue. I embroidered round the edge with herringbone and then used an irregular feather stitch towards the centre. On the inner row of feather stitch I added beads to give a bit of sparkle. The leaf in the centre is slightly clearer in real life. I’m pretty pleased with this one.
The next one was very delicate, I decided to machine quilt it onto silk, just using two shades of variegated thread in a basic meander. It was my first attempt at free motion quilting on my new machine – with a speed regulator and no foot pedal – scary stuff!!
After my success with the joomchi I turned to the gel pate printing. Helen advised tearing one into strips and overlaying it on another. I decided to try the Catbells one – I wasn’t too keen on my first one and the poppy fields had been marked when drying on the radiator.
Well, I like the lake bit….and the sky isn’t bad, but I couldn’t get the mountain to work, I tried overlaying organzas, but they were too shiny, in the end I found some batik in similar colours, tore a strip and gathered it along the botom where the woods are, I embroidered over it but I still don’t like it. I’ve stitched it to a page in the book but I still haven’t decided if the page will be kept!!
Having tried tearing along the markings on the poppy one I couldn’t face spending hours stitching them on only to still not like it, so I’m afraid it’s gone in the bin!!
You win some, you lose some, it’s all a learning experience 🙂