First experiments- they are only called experiments because I am not sure that they will work out as expected- if they do work then of course it was all carefully planned.

This based loosely on one of the sketches shown last week and I am trying for visible layers of colour, visual mixing and contrasts rather than carefully blended and coordinating.

The dyed fabrics have ended up very drab, the yellow seems much weaker than the reds and blues so a further more intense attack will happen once the initial scraps are in place.

The sketch on the fabric is in Frixion pen and will iron away completely, but have just thought that the heat from the dying will have the same result. OOPS. (Definitely an experiment)


A selection of scraps, some sheer, chiffons and two tone organzas, some more opaque such as fake silk and fine cotton are pinned on. The colours are quite bold and already give an idea of how the layering might work (pink and lime check!). All are easily ripped and frayed so hopefully will give a variety of textures to base the machine stitching on.

Time for an extra dose of yellow. This does need to be fixed so that it won’t physically mix with further layers of ink or dye. Hmm, planning to use the microwave for the additional yellow – perhaps pins are not good? How about the synthetics – or the metallic threads?


A departure from the usual practice is the crude hand stitching using tapestry wool – this is the new pinless sketching- and how any of this will take to being dyed I do not know! And then how will it take stitching over? (Very definitely an experiment)

The dye method I will use is to paint/blob on the dye to selected areas and then cure  in the microwave before rinsing the excess off in cold water.


dye is on, ready to be cooked.


The benefit of this is the immediacy, the drawback is the ability of a microwave to over do the cooking or blow up. I did take the usual precautions – wetting all of the fabrics, wrapping in baking parchment, and then cooking in 10second bursts. After a minute 20 the fabrics were drying out so the whole creation was rinsed off in cold water. Very little dye came out and now it is drying on a warm section of the garden path. So far it looks fine – the yellow is getting brighter as it dries, none of the metallics seem to have fried. The pink and lime check has taken up some of the colour so has the blue warp of the metallic fabric making the shadows. The main area in the foreground has taken quite well but of course the drab colour underneath will mute the results. All is looking good at present –


Never did like yellow.


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