Friday, 27 January 2012

Chapter 7 Sample 6

Sample 6 Worksheet

Sample 7 Close Up

I decided to make a piece of bonded fabric by trapping snippets under gold spider net. I used this as my middle layer. Because of the thickness of it, I used a blanket stitch to edge it with an almost candlewicking type cotton thread and a crewel needle.The top layer was a shot organza which despite catching the light in some orientations, lost alot of its detailed shape when in place. I tried to emphasise it by choosing a gold perle thread and close short running stitch. I chose the two shapes to explore whether this method worked with complex almost 'doily' type shapes and feel that it did. I found it hard to cut the layers away without accidently snipping the underlying stitching and needed a good light and lots of double checking.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Chapter 7 Sample 5 third attempt

Sample 5 Close Up
Sample 5 worksheet

 I was pleased with this sample because the colours sing and the composition has an
Indian feel to it. I also got the satisfaction of improving my machining skills and can already tell that free embroidery is a bit of a coordination act- smooth consistent treadle speed and light handling and turning of the fabric. Practising helped me relax and enjoy the process and I definitely need to do more.

Something completely different!

Isn't nature a wonderful source of creative inspiration? I bought this Italian candy beetroot in Stroud farmers market at the weekend. How pretty and it tasted great!


Stitch  Notes

Stitch Experiments

                                I decided to spend some time experimenting with tension and stitch length when my machine was set for free embroidery and made notes against each sample.I am still not sure of the extent to which my treadle speed and manipulation of fabric is determining consistency of stitch length but am getting more of a feel for things.

My first attempt at a Vermicelli filling stitch

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Chapter 7 Sample 5 - second attempt!


This was a bit of disaster.... It serves as a reminder to get out my sewing machine manual and remind myself of tension settings etc. Machine embroidery has always been my crafting 'Bete Noir'. I know about using the correct thread and needle, releasing the presser foot, using an upside down ring etc... BUT on this occasion forgot all about lowering the feed dog. Fabric, thread and all got chewed up and I spent a happy half an hour dismantling the bobin shuttle and picking out bits of lint with tweezers.There wasnt enough of the sample intact to photograph!!
I decided to look for tutorials on You tube for tips and saw several serene sewers showing how 'easy' it was 'like painting' with a needle. My machine seemed to run away with me and I felt more like I was locked in mortal combat. Feed dog lowered I started again and produced the above, edges okay, but the tension went on anything curved; the stitches were of uneven size and looked almost couched as the lower thread came through in a loop. I know this is a tension thing and can be used as a deliberate technique but wasnt what I wanted. Back to the drawing board..... (And lots more practice)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Chapter 7 Sample 4

Worksheet Sample 4
Sample 4 Close Up

 I aimed to use a more contrasting colour scheme for this sample and decided to be a little more experimental by using the circular frame of my embroidery ring as my edge rather than continue with a square. Again I
used four layers but decided with the 3rd and 4th layer to cut away on both sides of the stem stitch and running stitch. I particularly liked the frayed edge of the muslin. The fuschia layer was applied to 'fill in'
the negative space left by shapes 2 and 3. The overall almost ribboned effect reminded me of Cornelli work
Cornelli Lace
and I went off at a creative tangent to look at how this was actually done......
I now know its worked on a machine.

Chapter 7 Sample 3 Notes

I attempted to arrange 4 layers for this design but in retrospect wished I'd chosen a darker shade of tulle for the third layer as it completely disappeared because it was too pale. I tried to 'bring it out' by using a thicker stitch- whipping the running stitch. I deliberately chose an estoile based and hoshi based motif from my cut and fold sheets because these were shapes, that most inspired my early efforts. While I was pleased with the intricacy of the design, I felt the colours I was drawn towards were too similar to Sample 2 and need to expand the palette I'm using for the remainder of the exercise.

Chapter 7 Sample 3

Sample 3 Close Up (10cm x 10cm)
Sample 3 Worksheet

Close ups of Chapter 7 samples 1 and 2

Sample 2 Close Up
Sample 1 Close up

I thought I would include close upsof samples 1 and 2 to give a clearer idea of my stitching!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Chapter Seven Sample 2

Stitched Sample 10cm x  10cm

This is a very subtle interpretation of the task, I think. The fabrics I chose for the layers, muslin,spider net and an irridescent tissue organza were quite difficult to work with but all were transparent and therefore interesting to layer. Again I have chosen quite similar shades and toning rather than contrasting threads. The shapes were relatively simple as was the running stitch I chose and I feel they combine to give a delicate almost ethreal effect
that reminds me of insect wings.

Chapter Seven Sample 1

Add caption
This technique required several read throughs of the instructions which appeared quite complicated. Once underway, although time consuming, it was quite a logical process. I was quite nervous at first about cutting away the layers and kept double checking that I wasn't inadvertently cutting away at the previous layer or catching any stitching.
I liked using a sheer layer on top as the stitches show through from below and was pleased with how the batik type middle
layer blended into the background. As mentioned on my working
sheet,  I deliberately layered up a shape with five lines of symmetry and another with four as I usually have a tendency to go for very balanced designs.
The stab stitch/ cross stitch edging on the middle layer was
completed in a space dyed thread and I feel this pulls the whole design together.

Chapter Seven Translating layered Designs into Embroidery

Key to Line Stitch Sampler
Line Stitch Sampler
 Thought a good way to start this Chapter and remind myself of a variety of stitches was to create a sampler (20cm x 20cm). I used strips of cotton lawn, scrim and sheeting from my stash of dyed fabrics. I tacked them on to the ground and then experimented with a range of threads and stitches. I especially liked the messy, slightly rolled edge that was created with the scrim. The exercise also reminded me of the different qualities of the threads and using the right needles, especially with the metallic threads and Marlitt.