Monday, 17 February 2014

Needlequest Update Post - Mon 17 Feb 2014

How are you getting on with your Japan Needlequest work?  I've made quite some progress since last Monday, I'm glad to say.  I spent a bit of time on Saturday working on Hanako and moving her forward to the point where I'm almost ready to start the top stitching on the piece.

Here's the finalised design on the tracing paper and then that design transferred to the white fabric (which doesn't really show well, does it??)

After that it was time to start painting in the parts that weren't to be appliquéd, so out came my Colourcraft fabric paints, including the extender and pearlised paint that I bought in November.  I wanted to make the skin parts very slightly pearlescent.  It worked too, but won't photograph well, so you'll have to imagine it.=)

Here's the face, hair, hand and feet painted in.  This worked out quite well, although I should have used a little less of the paint extender for the skin shade.  It's not quite dry here on the photo, but it came out a bit paler than I wanted.  Still, it was basically the right colour, so I'm not too unhappy with it.  Fabric colouring techniques are something I could use some extra work on, thus the inclusion of them in Needlequest for one of the summer months.

After the painting stage, it was time to prepare the fabrics for bonding to the main piece.

First I traced the individual shapes onto the Bondaweb paper.  You'll notice that I spaced them out quite a bit so that I didn't end up with the effect being of just one piece of fabric.  Also, you have to trace the shapes as mirror images, which is often no problem to do.

Next stage is bonding the Bondaweb to the back of the fabrics.  I just used a hot, dry iron to do that, protecting both the ironing board and the iron with another sheet of tracing paper.  Strictly speaking, it should be baking parchment, but I don't have any and tracing paper often does as good a job.  The idea is that the fusible stuff shouldn't end up gunking up your ironing equipment, so anything that serves that purpose will do.

Last step is to cut all the shapes out as carefully as possible.

Here you can see that I started by bonding the smaller bits.  I thought I was being quite clever at the time, especially as I was trying to do them in order of 'distance' (not that I quite managed that either!), but later realised that it would have been better to have done the larger shapes and then been sure that there was no space left around them.  As it happened, there were a few gaps and I really didn't think it through properly, but I've really learned something useful for the next time I try this kind of technique.  Do the larger shape first so that the tiny piece (the back sleeve edge for instance) can abut it comfortably and not leave a slice of white that needs more painting later....=)  Still, I did get the chance to paint in the lips too!

The last photo is the project as it stands right now.  I need to back the main fabric with something else as it's very thin (fine cotton lawn) and then make a start on the stitch 'fastening' and outlining of the appliqué section.  Other parts to be stitched are outlines on the face, including an eye, outlines of fingers and also the hair.  Maybe I'll think of some trims to do too, but I don't want to overdo it.

The original piece was called 'Hanako's Dream' and was from 'Inspirations' issue 47, I think.  I decided just to call my version 'Hanako'.  I like this name, it means 'flower child' and there are flowers on the kimono too.

Have any other participants anything to share this week?  If so, please leave a link in the comments section of this post.  If the challenge appeals to you and you'd like to join in, full details including signs up can be found on the Needlequest page.  Looking forward to seeing what 'Japan' as a theme has been saying to you of late.=)

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2014


Queeniepatch said...

Excellent progress!

Rachel said...

Hanako looks absolutely charming. I know from my own experience that making sure there is no gap between elements of an applique. It's almost as though the fabric shrinks when it's cut out, sometimes!

Jules Woolford said...

She's delightful!

sharonb said...

Your "flower child " is lovely!

Ana Lopes said...

Wonderful work! I'm your newest follower! Would love to have you visit me sometime :)
Have a fabulous week!

Hugs from Portugal,
Ana Love Craft

Diane Swett said...

I just visited your blog for the first time. I love your Japanese girl. Thanks for sharing your process. I just might have tho give this a try.

zenuwpees said...

C'est magnifique FELICITATION Marie-Claire

Dorte said...

Hi Elizabeth, my take on this month's challenge is now up loader on my blog

Jodi B. said...

The Japan Needlequest is gorgeous. I can't wait to see it progress. (thanks also for sharing the tudor lady / corn on the cob original photo!)