Netting, indigo and hemp

One of the first things I had to do at Nancy Crow's masterclass was to set goals for the 2 weeks. Mine were comparatively simple. I planned to spend 2-3 days fooling around with some of the beautiful Japanese fabrics I had purchased, and I wanted to start 2 major compositions.

Here is what I learned. I can love some fabrics and still not work with them. I set out for two days to see how I could use the loosely woven hemp fabrics I had purchased from Thailand and Japan, and I experimented with the Miao Dong fabric from China.

In the first case I felt that the texture overwhelmed the composition. I tried to see what it looked like to stitch the hemp, what it looked like to overlay the hemp and what it looked to overstitch it. In all cases it was interesting but not just right. It gave my normally strong lines a fuzzy feel that I suppose I could develop but honestly I am just not interested in that direction.

I had a lot more success playing with the Dong fabric which has a very shiny stiff texture.

Like many Asian fabrics it is woven on rolls that are only 13-15" wide so I had to consider how I might join the fabric if I wanted to use it in larger compositions. It does have a lovely sheen that plays nicely against the duller flatter dyed cottons, and I think I will look into this more. It is also the richest darkest black that I have ever seen.
I think it will be lovely when it is combined black on black and it does not have the unraveling problem that the hemp and looser indigos have.
I found that I like working with some of the heavier cotton indigos and started to incorporate it into the next piece I worked on.
Biggest accomplishment: that's easy- I actually took a rotary cutter to these fabrics that I have looked and and been afraid to cut or use. I have gotten over the hump of being afraid of using my dyed cottons since Annette can always dye more... But these are in short supply and it made me nervous to use them. Now I know that the looser weaves are lovely, and I can admire their beauty without incorporating them into my work. I am not sure if I would have gotten over that hump if I was working at home. It helped to be at the workshop and have set a goal that I wanted to meet.