Friday, September 13, 2013


Recently, along with two pals.....I did some ice dyeing.......
 Instead of using traditional woven cottons, I experimented with other fabrics. This piece is wool....good quality white wool left over from a garment project years ago. Not all wool will felt, even if it's 100% wool. This one didn't so I decided to see how it would take dye and then...what I could do with it.
Happily, the results were pleasing  Now...what to do??  It's quite flimsy so adding an agate slice as the design focal may not be smart.  But, what the heck...I like a challenge!

I stabilized the wool with Pellon's lightweight, non-fusible interfacing....before fusing a rectangle of hand dyed gauze, outlined with hand stitching.   
 To provide more stability, machine stitched lines about 1/4" apart where sewn.  Next, the agate was secured to the layers using a Peyote stitch. (If you are planning to attend the AQS show in Phoenix, Feb. 2014....this technique is the focus of one of my workshops.)  
  At this point, the design was a bit lacking/lonely, so some hand embroidery and a few more beads were added.

Despite my two stabilizing tricks, the weight of this rather large agate was still a concern. So instead of finishing with a facing as planned, I mounted it on a yellow batik covered canvas frame.  

Seriously, my fingers are still sore from hand tacking the layers together.  Quality construction is a high priority since my work is for sale! The process was necessary, otherwise the agate could have looked like one large Double DD saggie boobie!

Additionally, and it's unfortunate that I hadn't thought of it earlier....I decided to add more beads trailing from the top of the piece to the agate.  Believe me....this was no easy chore because of the wood framework. I'm glad I did though!
Artist ice dyed wool, bead embellished agate, hand embroidered,
mounted on a 3/4" deep frame.


Unknown said...

What a beautiful piece!

Anonymous said...

Very inventive!

Linda M said...

The extra beads were definitely worth the work. Have you ever used timtex for a backing? It's quite stiff and stable and I have been able to hand stitch thru it, not easy but can be done. Nice piece.

The Inside Stori said...

It's Mary here.....thank you Linda for the reminder about timtex....yes, I've used it and found it quite easy to needle. It's a good option for a piece like this....though I'm not terribly pleased with the edge finishing options when I use this product. Must give that more thought!

Robbie said...

This is beautiful! When I started to read the first part of your post I was going to recommend attaching to canvas. I've made two and they are killers on the hands...but foceps sure help!!! Hubby found me a small (3") pair at Harbour Freight. They work great. I have one pair with my beading and one with my embroidery. Again, your piece is beautiful!!!

ipatchandquilt said...

This is so interesting! Thanks you for sharing!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Now you know why I'm doing so much thinking before starting my beading project. If going on a canvas like this, there are things I want to work out ahead of time. But this worked out nicely and I love the colors.

BTW I keep meaning to ask why you use non-fusible interfacing rather than fusible to stabilize.

The Inside Stori said...

It's Mary here case anyone else besides Sheila is wondering... I prefer to use a non-fusible stabilizer because I work in a small Q-snap frame to bead. Far too often fusible products don't adhere well enough to stay 'stuck' to the fuzzier nap of wool felt after securing the work in the frame. Little pockets/bubbles can develop which are too distracting for my non-fusible give me the support w/o the distortion.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks, Mary. I think that might be true even on cotton, especially if working in a frame. I keep forgetting you do that - even though I learned about it in a class with you!