Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Composite Sheet Module 1 Stars

Stars Composite Sheet

Looking through my portfolio of work, the recurring motif that emerged was the 'estoile' or curved ray star. The star with three rays- a relatively simple shape- lent itself to numerous variations in the cut and fold exercises.
By orientating it differently or changing the way the paper was folded, I could produce infinite derivative

Monday, 14 May 2012

Inlay Applique Chapter 10

Counterchange Sample 2
Felt squares

I started with 4, 71/2cm squares of felt which I decorated by bonding threads, fibres, braids and ribbon. I then drew my design and cut out the pieces to use as a pattern. I wanted to use a shape with curves but this made the use of wider insertion stitches impossible.


Segments swapped over

I used a large cross stitch and a fine perle cotton to reattatch the outer layer. Second
was a plain antique insertion stitch in a medium perle. Next came a laced insertion stitch with metallic thread and finally, in the centre, a further round of antique insertion in a medium perle.
The 'fit' with this technique is obviously all important but I found the felt has a certain amount of play. I'm still not totally happy with the Wonderweb I'm using and dont like the residue it seems to leave. I am looking for a subtler alternative -any suggestions?

Counter-interchange Sample 3
Estoile based pattern 
I decided to go for a purple/gold combo for this sample and chose a design I'd developed from my estoile motif in the cut and fold exercises. I found it really useful to go back to my counter/interchange paper exercise too. I chose a simple curved rhombus motif for my
supplementary shape.
I chose my hand dyed and overprinted cotton and 2 gold shades of organza for my fabrics and bonded them in varying combinations to a felt backing. Each square is 7.5cm.

Pieces swapped around
The outer edge of each new shape was outlined with running stitch using stranded
cotton, while the middle rhombus were attached with a simple antique insertion stitch in stranded or mercerised cotton. I used a machine feather stitch to join the squares together and decorated the shapes within the rhombus with a small heavy
machined cross stitch using variegated rayon.
I think this piece is neater than the previous one and particularly like the effect of the marbled fabric and shaded machine stitching.

I've enjoyed this chapter as it has been another excellent opportunity to try new techniques.

Inlay Applique Chapter 10

Hand insertion stitches
Insertion stitch Sample:
I am the lucky owner of several vintage needlework books (1920s) and took some time out to read the insertion stitch sections. The stitches were traditionally used on lingerie and household linen. Many of them looked complex and time consuming!
I decorated strips of felt with snips of fabrics and threads and bonded them with net or organza.
The stitches I trialled from top are:
1. Slanted antique insertion (stranded cotton)
2. Herringbone insertion (perle 5)
3. Beaded insertion (fine perle)
4. Plaited insertion (coton a broder)
                                            5. Buttonhole insertion (medium perle)
                                            6. Laced insertion (perle 3 and stranded cotton)
                                            7. Knotted insertion stitch (cotton a broder)
                                            8. Straight insertion stitch

I haven't done anything like this before so followed the instructions closely, tacking everything to brown paper.   I was pleased with my stitching but felt the bonded strips were too 'busy' against the intricacy of the stitches. I particularly liked mastering the plaited insertion stitch - its not perfect but I'm sure it will improve with practice!

Machine insertion stitches:
There are many stitches on my machine that use a left/right needle motion that can be used to join two adjacent pieces of fabric. They obviously provide a much more uniform effect.
From top:
1. Heavy cross stitch
2. Decorative zig zag
3. Feather stitch
4. Feathered chain stitch
5. Herringbone stitch
All stitching was completed with machine embroidery rayon.

Simple Counterchange Sample:  I learnt to make felt at a workshop in Stroud years ago and thought this
was a good opportunity to use my Merino tops! The felt was lovely; blended purple and pinks and for my second piece I chose a dark purple from my readymade stash. My decision to bond the latter with lilac spider net and snippings, gave it an interesting texture BUT made it too similar in colour to the handmade piece. Looking at  the finished article it is difficult to see where the changed pieces are! The choice of sheers is really interesting as it has an almost optical mixing effect,
changing shades with quite unexpected results.