Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mary Sleigh 3

I would recommend anyone to go on one of Mary Sleigh's courses if you ever have the opportunity. Mary is the author of the book African Inspirations in Embroidery. I came home feeling so inspired with her knowledge and enthusiasm. The one important thing that I feel is missing from my work is a thorough knowledge of the design process, I just go by instinct I'm afraid, but I don't know the reasoning behind the things I do.
I won't tell you how many years ago I did my teacher's training when my main subject was art. Things have changed so much since then and far more importance is given to design work these days. So I have decided to study design books and articles wherever I find them. There have been wonderful articles in Quilting Arts magazine the last 4 or 5 issues and I have started by studying those.
When I was doing this course with Mary I was never very confident about my designs and asked her advice quite a lot. My friend Miriam was also very helpful, so my final designs have had a little input and suggestions by them both.

Here is a little tip if you have the same problem as I did when trying to make a string block. The string I was using kept splitting and making a mess of my design as you can see on the bottom block. I split the string into two finer strands, put some PVA on a piece of plastic and rolled the string in it and left it to dry. It worked really well and I had no further problems as you can see on the top block.

Another little tip. Have a look at some of the foam blocks even if they don't seem to be something you would be able to use. These stamps were all part of a little toy train stamp that I cut up and they have been very useful.

These are small patterns made using these stamps. (to be continued)


DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

I have been reading the articles in Quilting Arts about design also. If I was younger I would return to school and take design classes.

Over the winter I have been purchasing foam stamps, sheets of foam and foam shapes to make my own stamps. Late in September I try a foam stamp I had and loved the way it stamped.

I also made a stamp using string and glued it on wood with Gorilla Glue. This glue is very strong and waterproof.

Carol said...

great tip about putting glue on the string first Mags, enjoying the report on Plas,

Dianne said...

Thanks for the tip re the string. A toy train foam block cut up - that's a great idea, as there are some really cheap stamps out there that could be altered... I will be looking at them all with new eyes.

SuZ said...

thanks for the tips Mags...your block print design looks good to me...

Sue B said...

Great stuff Mags! thanks for sharing that string tip - that'll come in handy.