This was a development of a sample I began in Chapter 7 but wasn't too pleased with. I added two more bird shapes, one in wine coloured polyester satin which had been printed in green. I needlefelted it onto the base. The other bird shape, also needlefelted on, was in dyed and printed pale pink muslin. This second shape I then machine stitched over in green, trying to show the direction of the feathers, and outlined in machine stitching also in green. I had found the buttonhole stitch rather too prominent and was delighted to discover that if I needlefelted over the stitches, they disappeared into the fabric and were much more subtle. I think the overall design is a bit too busy and I'm not entirely satisfied with the composition, but it did improve what I had originally thought a bit of a disaster.
Samples 1/8/2 and 1/8/3
Pale pink polyester satin was printed with wine-red bird shapes using transfer paints. It was sandwiched with wadding and pale green dupion backing. I then stitched around the bird shapes using close free machining. I used lime green rayon thread in the top and wine coloured thread in the bottom. Sample 1/8/3 shows the reverse of the piece. I had originally intended this to be the first step of a multi-layer piece, but I rather like the simplicity of this sample, so shall leave it as it is. I think I might do some more work on the reverse of the piece, perhaps bonding some bird shapes in transfer printed sheers.
I started with a printed letter, which I painted with red/violet dye and tore up into shreds. I glued the shreds to a piece of bright green dyed paper using PVA, painting some of the PVA over the surface to give a shiny effect. This I tore into a rough rectangle. I then cut two bird shapes out of transfer printed sheer fabrics and bonded them on top of the paper rectangle. I applied the rectangle onto a piece of wine coloured polyester chiffon using an overcast stitch with one strand of wine coloured stranded cotton and outlined the bird shapes with running stitch using metallic thread. The top bird shape is in a sheer fabric which is shot with gold and I like how, in certain lights, it gleams against the dark, rich background. I also like how little snatches of print are still visible in one small area. (It was a confidential letter I had to destroy - much more fun than just shredding it!) I like how the paper looks like leather.
While needlefelting the shapes onto sample 1/8/1, I accidentally discovered that if I simply punched the needlefelting tool into a piece of organza, it would produce a crinkle effect. I cut out a bird shape and tried washing and drying it to see if the effect would stay. It did. I'm still thinking of a way to use it.
Sample 1/8/6 (work in progress)
I tried printing one of my original paper samples from the computer onto crumpled brown wrapping paper (which I had first glued to a carrier sheet as detailed in "From Image to Stitch" by Maggie Grey). I tore it into a rectangle and bonded it onto a sandwich of snippings trapped between lime green lining fabric and transfer printed chiffon. I am quite pleased with the effect of the printed brown paper. I intend to stitch into this, but have not yet decided whether to do it by hand or machine.
Lastly, just for interest, I've included a photo of the clay birds I made at an evening class, inspired by my embroidery work. Some of the ideas from the clay are feeding back into my embroidery - very satisfying.