Almost finished…

I’ve almost finished Flowerpecker, a hanging with eight elements, which will be attached together and hung as one piece. I laid these pieces down in summer last year, and stitched and mounted them last week in an intensive period of work, because I want them finished, mainly so I can get on and start something new. They are mounted on Khadi paper, and you can see one of them below.

I’ve been working fairly non stop on a lot of work that has been on the go for some time, as last year I developed the unfortunate habit of starting lots of work and then piling it into neat heaps, to be continued. I really need some parallel time to finish all of it, but, this piece is practically there, just one last bit of it to be stitched and mounted, and only the edges of the others to be finished [that WILL be done today…]

Each element is 50 cm x 50 cm. I’ve used a mix of painted and printed cotton, digitally printed fabric and metallic fabrics on black felt. The emphasis is on pattern, shape and the use of space, as well as a bright but defined colour palette.

I usually use quite a small range of stitches on my machine, but decided to use a couple of different stitches in this collection of work.


The pieces were quite minimal when I laid them down, but once the stitching started, well, minimalism went out of the window. That is one of the many reasons I love a rain forest theme, it invites overload, experimentation and investigation.

The finished piece will be at the Festival of Quilts in August.

I was hoping to gaze out of the window to draw some preliminary sketches of the garden, as a start to my next project, but like most of the country, the garden has disappeared under quite a lot of snow. Could be some nice shapes in there though.



But I want a brighter and more varied palette of colour. I have been thinking for some time about using a combination of media, including thermofax screen printing, fabric, papers and coloured pencils, on paper. I also have some recycled photographs I want to cut up and use.

A recent gift of some Derwent drawing pencils, wax based, in rich and subtle colours, from my daughter, has really now prompted me to absolutely get going.


So, off to finish Flowerpecker, then when I’m home from the dentist tomorrow, I’ll be experimenting with this little lot.

6 thoughts on “Almost finished…

  1. I remember this Flowerpecker boy from lst year – gorgeous. I note that in addition to the new Derwent lads, we also have Caran D’Ache and Faber Castell going on here! – only fair though to trial them all x

  2. So many images to absorb here Steph. I need to go back and look in more detail! Are you intending to use the thermofax screens with the water based pencils and plain medium? You sound excited to be working on another theme but why am I not surprised that you’re already thinking about what to do next?

  3. Yes, I’m hoping to use everything in the new work, pencils, screens, fabric, photographs. How this will work I have no idea; I’ll make experimental pieces first, and hope something comes of it.
    I print with acrylics mixed with medium, and those prints will be under and on top of the pencil work I imagine. So now I’ve said it out loud I have to have a go don’t I? If you read this Lesley, what do you print with? I read you print on paper with your thermofax screens, so any tips gratefully received.

    1. Steph, I don’t think using thermofax screens with paper is encouraged much but I don’t know why. Perhaps it wears the screen out faster being a ‘harder’ substrate? I just mix acrylic paint with standard Daler Rowney System 3 screen printing medium and make it a little thicker than I would a textile medium/acrylic paint mix for fabric. I had a couple of screens made for a project a couple of years ago and used them on rolls of good quality white lining paper to produce lengths of wallpaper to my own design. They worked really well and I wouldn’t hesistate to try them on different types of paper again. I have a screen printing dvd by Jane Dunnewold where she draws directly onto the mesh of the thermofax with water based crayons and uses plain medium to release the colour onto fabric and I’ve tried that on paper to great effect too. As you use a lot of Khadi paper I would imagine you’d get some lovely effects with the screens because of the cotton rag content. Hope that all makes sense!

      1. Thanks Lesley, that is very useful. I imagine it’s textile artists who have really brought the thermofax print into the art world and that’s why they are used on fabric so much. I actually bought my machine to use it to make screens for printing on paper as much as on fabric. My first efforts were too messy, but I will take your advice and make the mix a little thicker. Also of course some screens print better than others; I find the screens I have made from carbon pencil drawings are really good; possibly because you accept the built in texture of the line. As you know carbon being burnt into the screen is the way the image is etched onto the plastic.
        Ineke Berlyn uses screens very successfully, on fabric, and has told me that the best mesh for paper use is 100, rather than the more common place 70. It only seems to be available from the USA, but I will get round to ordering some.

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