At Least I Learned Something

After so much experimentation with paint and collage I was anxious to see if and how it might translate to fabric.  I gave myself this assignment:
– Make 4 small collages, each with paint used at least once.
– Experiment with different ways to get a sheer/transparent effect.
– Start with materials immediately on my work table.
– Start by adding something sheer to every stage.

These were my initial materials, all of which were lying around, (i.e. not properly put away.)  They included some hexies which had been stitched to a background piece of muslin, small fused scraps and sheer fabrics.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

I cut up the hexies and used them as part of the backgrounds.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

I expected the finished compositions to be about 5 x 7.  I used a paper frame (above) to help me arrange the hexies for each.  These were my starting compositions.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

I’ll show you some of what I did.  However, I don’t consider any of them finished.  As a matter of fact, I wasn’t very happy with any of them.  But, I managed to answer my questions, so then I felt find about putting them away.

This is as far as I got on the orange one.  As you can see, a layer of organza greatly obscured the layer below.  It’s also got paint on top of everything you see here.  Except for the little black line which I added with stitching.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

This red and green one got a transparent layer with over printing.  I liked that effect.  Yellow lines were fused on and organza was added to the right side only.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

This blue one was pretty much a dud.  I added a gridded sheer and then melted parts of it with a heat gun.  I didn’t like the wounds.  I also used heavy stitching as a transparent layer.  It worked pretty well, but was too much work for my liking.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

This one was quickly getting overworked and it had questionable color choices.  But, I did like the line I added with two lines of stitching.

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

And here it is when it got so ugly I couldn’t face it anymore!

At Least I Learned Something. Ellen Lindner,

With all this ugliness, what did I learn?
– I don’t really like sheer fabrics as translucent layers.  They tend to obscure the lower layers too much.
– I DO like allover printing as a textural/sheer layer.  I can see myself using it again.
– I like adding a black line with machine stitching.  I’d like to explore hand stitching it too.

I think I’ve now well and thoroughly put this episode of exploration to bed.  On to the next thing!

Ellen Lindner


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10 Responses to At Least I Learned Something

  1. cindy michaud September 17, 2017 at 8:45 am #

    Have really enjoyed this chapter! Learned a new word from a textile artist last night who is teaching at ASU: boro, the Japanese art of mending. Your next venture……of experimentation?

    • Ellen Lindner September 17, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

      Oh my gosh, Cindy, don’t give me any MORE ideas! 🙂 I’m definitely ready to get back into my comfort zone for a while.

  2. Ingrid Bischoff September 17, 2017 at 8:55 am #

    I like the bottom one, your ugly one! Maybe because right away I saw a port hole and I love anything that reminds me of water.
    Fun to watch your process

    • Ellen Lindner September 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

      I’m glad YOU like it, Ingrid! 🙂 Enough experimenting for now.

  3. Suzanne Sanger September 17, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    You are, as always, way ahead of me on this, but sometime try using black sheers instead of white. It doesn’t obscure nearly as much. I learned this from Susan Carlson.

    • Ellen Lindner September 17, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

      That’s a good idea, Suzanne. Actually, I think I need to use thinner sheers. I used organza for most of my experimenting, which gave fairly significant coverage. Tulle would have been much less noticeable. (That’s what I get for being lazy and using the sheers I had yet to put away.)

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’m still learning and that’s a good thing.

  4. Wendy Hill September 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm #

    I have not had much success with sheer overlays, with the exception of one quilt, but maybe that doesn’t count since it was dark colored netting. Nothing sheer about it.

    I am a fan of Nelda Warkentin. She does amazing things with sheer overlays. If I could take a workshop with her, I’d do it in a hearbeat, but I don’t think she teaches (except by example).

  5. Ellen Lindner September 17, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    Thanks for the link, Wendy. I’ve seen her work, but never studied it. Now, I’ll take a more studious look (with my newly learned knowledge about what doesn’t work.)

  6. Lif Strand September 18, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    I love that you not only experiment but share what you consider to be your duds. I get so much inspiration from your posts — thank you!

  7. Ellen Lindner September 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    Thanks, Lif! I once heard “if you never make a mistake it means you’re not experimenting enough.” I embrace that. Bring it on: mistakes and all. I want to learn from them.

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