Wednesday, 31 August 2011

National Silk Finish Entry.... who'd have guessed - I won!

Ok I have to add a little insert here as I found out yesterday (12-9-2011) from Michael C at SSS that I had won first prize! I have to say the shock of it is still sinking in.... Many thanks to the judges, SSS and McCall's for the fab prize pack! Michael informed me they are planning to make it an annual event - so please look out for it next year, it was heaps of fun! To check out the other winning entries follow this link.

Well by the time the second AP&Q Leutenegger Competition came around I had already decided that I liked competitions lol and had found this one to enter into. It started in early May and I didn't even find it till almost mid July - no problem I thought, I'm at home I have the time...
Then I thought up my design, I wanted to make it entirely out of their thread - that was the competition to use the silk finish thread - typically with fabric! I'd do a wall hanging and the maximum size was 21"x 42" - mine is (as she dashes for the tape measure lol - realizing she mailed it having no idea on the final size) 18" x 35". The reason for the size all came down to the size of the balsa wood...

I think that my 'design' is best described through the wonderful medium of pictures...

My idea was to create a fabric from the thread by weaving it together. Simple enough except I had no loom, and I decided I wanted it to look chunky - so each 'strand'  is made up of 50 strands of thread in a continuous loop. Making these alone took hours and hours! To hold it all together while building it I made a balsa wood frame (the timber length was 915mm hence the length and the width is half that ;))
For the colour scheme I was in a bright pinks reds and oranges mind, no actually I wanted bright vibrant colours that would really sing against the almost blacks and these were the ones that spoke to me, I think I ended up with about 80 warp threads.

 This is a sample size that I did because I wanted to check and see how the thread would react to being sewn through with the dissoluble stabilizer.
 Also a quick shot of the stabilizer dissolving...

 This photo shows the beginnings of the weft threads, these each took a lot longer to do than the warp as although they were shorter I had to carefully weave them through.
To hold the treads together I looped the leading end through a binding hem/hair clip it worked really well and of course more cheap pins to hold them in place at either side.
The single piece of balsa wood beside the frame is what I used to wrap the threads on (two nails at appropriate spacings) it was the easiest and simplest method I could think of - but my shoulder did get sore :)

 The weaving was almost complete a few more rows to go. In the end what with a weekend away and the other competition piece it was just like a uni project where every last hour counted right down to mailing day...

Next I used blue painters tape to stop the edges from getting all messy like in the sample, then put a layer of dissoluble stabilizer on both sides.
I also made up half of the black hanging sleeve and pinned this in place so it got 'quilted' to the piece as I couldn't find an aesthetically pleasing way of attaching it afterwards (remember its not fabric).
You might be able to see the swirls I drew on the stabilizer? These were continuous and done in an almost blue black thread.
 Sorry about the quality - iphone photo! This is the weave after it has been 'quilted' and dissolved in the bath... it then got to dry overnight on a bed of towells.

I need to add that I finished this bit at 9.30pm and it had to happen that night for drying time, this was Tuesday night and mailing was Thursday for a Friday deadline.

At the bottom of the pic - the attached part of the hanging sleeve.

 The finished product with the front raised swirls completed and the tape just removed.

A detail of the middle swirl part way done

Lastly the neatest little parcel that it went into, carefully rolled around a cardboard tube and inside another for mailing.

The best bit is that George (husband) wants to make sure its returned so it can go on the wall lol.

Overall I had lots of fun and without sounding like an advert the thread is lovely to work with, it doesn't fluff and fray as easily as other pure cottons. Also I absolutely loved the sheen - it made it for this project.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your win. I followed your link from SSS because I've been wanting to make something along the same lines, the only thing that was stopping me was the lack of a loom, who'd have thunk that I didn't need one.

    Great job and again congratultions.


Hi! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it... I'm still trying to get in the habit of blogging regularly, so please be patient if it takes a me little time to visit you back :)but I will get there lol