Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Chapter 11: First Steps

Playing with Ideas

This is the bit I find most fun. I started with the exercise to cut up squares of paper in increasing levels of disintegration. After the cutting and pasting, I photographed the results then had even more fun playing around with the images on Photoshop.

Cutting and Pasting:

Four purple squares, each successive square disintegrated a bit more.

Disintegrating outwards from the centre.

In the left hand column the purple bird is growing while the green square is disintegrating more. In the right hand column the dark green bird is growing, the purple square is disintegrating and the light green scraps are growing.

Repeating Patterns:

I decided to try making repeated patterns from some of the shapes and I could then disrupt these with Photoshop using layers.

Disintegrating patterns:

In each of these examples, I have used mostly the same basic method. I have layered two patterns and then used the background eraser to disrupt portions of the pattern and show areas of the contrasting pattern underneath. I've played around with the size and hardness of the eraser to get different effects. I like how, as one pattern is disintegrating, the one below is growing.

This was a slightly different method. I used the patch tool and clone stamp tool to replace sections with other patterns.

I intend to try to translate some of these ideas to fabric. If I layer a pattern printed onto synthetic fibre on top of one printed onto natural fabric, then I should be able to use a heat gun and/or soldering iron to disintegrate the top pattern and show the one underneath. Some stitching could emphasise some of the shapes once they are layered but before the disintegration.

Notes for future experiments:

  • try other colours

  • experiment with printing onto Bubblejet coated fabrics ironed onto freezer paper

Thursday, 10 June 2010

City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate Module 1

Chapter 10

Inlay Applique

Insertion Stitch Sample: hand stitching

Insertion Stitch Sample: machine stitching

I wasn't pleased with how the bonded felt behaved when I stitched into it. The felt layer went fluffy and peeled away from the fabric which then frayed a bit and looked untidy, so I made tubes of fabric for the machine sample and tacked them onto soluble stabiliser. After stitching, I trimmed away the excess stabiliser then dissolved it away in lukewarm water.

Simple Counterchange Sample 1
This was pleasing and fun to do. It amused me to have the two birds flying off in different directions.

Interchange Sample 2

This exercise really scrambled my brains! I read the instructions several times and had to do a couple of mock-ups on paper before it finally penetrated the fog that I call a brain! Once I understood it, I really enjoyed the exercise.

Counterchange Sample 3

I really enjoyed choosing the colours for this sample, although it's just as well I prepared plenty of bonded felt because it took two tries to cut it accurately enough. I enjoyed mixing hand stitching and machine stitching here. I chose the alternating squares because it was the only decorative stitch on my machine that I felt was bold enough to hold its own alongside the half cretan hand stitching. I quite like the effect of the scalloped stitch around the edge.

"Mock" Insertion Stitched Sample 4
This was fun to do. After the regular symmetry of previous samples it was nice to play about with the shapes and their placement. It also gave me a chance to use a piece of fabric that was so dull I almost threw it away. I tried painting it with diluted acrylic paint. It was better but still a bit dull, so I tried printing on it, since I was running short of printed fabrics. I used acrylic paint and irridescent medium for the printing. I am really pleased with how the colours turned out, the dark wine background showing them up well. It just goes to show that there are no disasters in design!
Overall, I enjoyed this chapter. It was a welcome return for me to the discipline of regular working. I didn't think I was going to like it, since I struggled so much with the first insertion stitch sample. I find neat and regular hand stitching very difficult to achieve, and my aging eyesight didn't make it any easier (serves me right for laughing at my mother when she couldn't see to thread needles when she was about the age I am now!) However, it was so enjoyable to be doing something creative again - and seeing what is to come I can't wait to get at it.

City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate Module 1

Chapter 9 Revisited

Rippled Method

Sian suggested that I do more to the rippled method sample from this chapter so here it is. I added a few more layers to the back of the work and added two more bird shapes to balance the composition.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate

Module 1 Chapter 9

Reverse Applique traditional method. I thought I would hate this as it seemed so labour intensive and I usually don't much like technique based work, but I rather enjoyed it. All the careful hand stitching had a meditative effect. I also loved how the colours worked together.

Reverse Applique contemporary machine method with the outside shape stitched first. I liked this too and found I could control the fraying with a pin.

Reverse Applique contemporary machine method with inside shape stitched first. I used the same colours for all these three samples because I wanted to see the effect of the different techniques with all other factors the same.

Contemporary slashed effect: four layers of fabric stitched with narrow zigzag using metallic thread and then slashed between lines of stitches. (Apologies about strap of camera showing: no time to edit it out.) I love the fluffy effect of this and mean to try the technique again.

Reverse applique variation with ripple effect. I wasn't particularly pleased with this except for the big bird at the bottom, where I tried to get the effect of the San Blas Molas by cutting out other shapes within the bird. The different part layers showing through were a bit too random for the design, I think, although it works better in the big bird. Next time, I'd like to try planning the layers more so that I know what colour is going to show where. (...or am I just being too tight and controlling?)
I didn't expect to enjoy this exercise as much as I did. It marked a return to working on the course after a long break, during which I had quite a bit of stress from my job and also was ill for a while. It has been such fun to get back and release my creative side once more. I look forward to having more time to spend on it when I retire at the beginning of July. Can't wait to be a full-time textile artist!