I had a wonderful private workshop with Kate Crossley last week http://www.katecrossley.com/ She taught me how to do acid etching. We started with a piece of cotton fabric that she had already machine embroidered and corded with polyester threads (which are not affected by the acid).
We then layered the embroidered fabric with lots of other fabrics, placing the strips perpendicular to the embroidery on the base. We used cellulose, protein and synthetic fibers. When satisfied with the placement, we pinned the layers together.
We then machine embroidered the pieces so the stitches were perpendicular to the first set of stitches using polyester thread.
We applied a product called Fiber Etch at random on the layered, embroidered fabric, rubbing the gel into the fibers with the nozzle. Fiber Etch contains sodium bisulphate which eats away cellulose fibers (cotton, linen, rayon), but does not affect synthetics or protein fibers such as silk and wool; this is why polyester thread was used for the stitching.
We dried the Fiber Etch gel with a hair dryer (windows open, wearing a mask!), then the piece was placed between two layers of baking parchment and pressed thoroughly, with the iron on a wool setting. The etched areas turned a coffee brown color. We rinsed the fabric under running water, scraping away the etched fibers.
This is the result. It looks almost ethereal to me. Acid etching is a really fun technique with unpredictable results. Take a look at Kate's acid etched pieces on her website. She is available to teach workshops on this technique to groups.
In Budapest, I spotted many inspirations for quilt designs. As we strolled through the streets on the Pest side of the Danube, I noticed these stone carvings (above) on a church. Of course they made me think of quilt borders, as did these (below) in the archway of the same church.
Across the Danube on the Buda side, we spent some time in the 700-year old Matthias Church, the scene of several coronations, including that of Charles IV in 1916, the last Habsburg king. It is one of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen.
The tiled roof was especially appealing.
And the interior of the church was covered in colorful stencils. Here are just a few examples:
On our last morning we went to the Museum of Ethnography.
I spent a lot of time in the needlework areas. Above are some of the original tools they used.
How about this chair (below) for storing threads?
I loved these embroidered turkeys.
And I thought I was the only one who went overboard when embellishing!
The photos in the museum were fascinating. I'll end with two that really struck me. The first one reminds me of making pastry for strudel with my mother and Hungarian grandmother - this is exactly how we did it, and how my mother is teaching my daughters to do it!
And I'm including this one because I love it - what better reason do I need?
Back to work on the book after a rejuvenating and inspirational holiday!