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

Monday, 20 June 2016

Certificate Module 4 Chapter 10 (Part 1)

I thought, although I haven't yet finished this chapter, I'd better post my work so far since we'll soon be heading south for a holiday and the Summer School.

I had completely stalled with Chapters 8 and 9.  I wasn't happy with my colours, I was bored with the work, and it seemed that no amount of will power could get me going again.  So I decided to leave those chapters for the moment and re-visit them later and to continue with Chapter 10.

What a difference that made!  I decided to brighten my colour scheme somewhat and was really looking forward to making book structures.  Chapter 10 seems to have finally cast off all my winter gloom and let the sun into my life again.  I loved, loved, loved making these book structures!  In fact, I found it hard to stop, working on till late at night (through enthusiasm, not pressure).  This was FUN!

4.10.0  My little library of hand-made books

4.10.1  A simple pamphlet

4.10.2  A pamphlet construction with pages of varying sizes.  I used dyed tracing paper so that each one would affect the colour of the one on top.

4.10.3  Two pamphlets set in a longer cover

4.10.4  Four bundles of paper set in covers stitched in zigzag fashion using Japanese Stab Stitch

4.10.5  Three bundles of paper set in covers stitched as in 10.5 above, but with covers of different sizes

4.10.6  Two pamphlets stitched into a longer cover folded in zigzag fashion

4.10.7   Five signatures stitched into the spine of a cover.  Fabric was glued to the inside cover to support the stitching and for decorative effect.

I was in paradise all weekend and for once I didn't mind the amount of football on TV as I was engrossed in making books.  I particularly liked the last one, book 7 as it seemed to me like a "real" book.  Up to now, my books were just samples, more decorative than functional.  However I decided to make myself a real, functional book.  With Summer School coming up soon, I thought a small sketch book would be useful.  The pictures of it are below.  (There are lots of pictures, I apologise in advance, but I'm so proud of my baby I couldn't resist sharing them.)

4.10.8a  My finished sketchbook

4.10.8b - the spine

4.10.8c  lots of space for drawing

4.10.8d  the outside cover

This weekend was a very intensive and enjoyable two days.  While working on the books, I found that repetitive, time consuming cutting and stitching gave my mind the opportunity to roam free.  This chapter, as well as revitalising my enthusiasm, has started me thinking of the subject of my embroidered panel and I have the germ of an idea in my head.  I think that reaching this stage will enable me to make best use of my tutorial with Sian at this year's Summer School - I can't wait ...

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Certificate Module 4 Chapter 8: Stitchery Into Paper


I seem to have taken an age with this chapter.  Family visits and other enjoyable, but time-consuming activities seem to have got in the way.  When you have a pause it is so difficult to pick up the reins again and I'm beginning to feel I have stalled at this point.


One of the problems was that I was finding my colour scheme rather dull and uninteresting and I couldn't get enthusiastic about it at all.  However, a visit to the seaside, with my usual beachcombing, made me think that the colours of my finds were very similar to my colour scheme, but ones that did appeal to me.  My little collection of shells, stones and driftwood gave me fresh interest in my colour scheme.



4.8.1 My collection from the beach


Here was my cream, beige, blue and brown, but with the spark of a lovely ochre colour.  I invested in a few new threads to liven up my colour scheme.



4.8.2 My revitalised colour scheme.


I was now ready to start stitching into paper.  In many of my samples, I've worked on Chapter 9 at the same time, incorporating borders with my stitching.




4.8.2 Polyester fabric with a grid burned with a soldering iron with blue paper pulp spooned on at random.  At the top a series of parallel lines of long straight stitches formed the base for letter shapes in needle weaving.  At the bottom a letter "S" filled with cross stitches worked at random.





4.8.3  In a previous chapter I'd played around with a virtual drawn thread grid.  I printed this onto my hand-made paper (backed with ironed on Vilene to strengthen it).  I then machine stitched on top of the virtual grid.  Spot the deliberate mistake:  I was so intent on getting my stitching accurate (and avoiding stitching into my fingers!) that I missed out a crucial "r" so that it spells "dawn thread work" instead of "drawn thread work".  However, it conjures up an image of the dedicated embroidery sewing away industriously at the crack of dawn so I rather like it!  I worked a hand-stitched border around the edge with buttonhole stitched loops.





4.8.4  An evenweave grid bonded to a sheet of hand-made paper.  It has a virtual grid with virtual herringbone stitch printed on top.  I wasn't sure if my printer would survive putting the hand made paper with bonded fabric through it, but it printed as sweetly as ever.  I then stitched a copy of the virtual stitching in machine zig-zag.  I like how the real stitching is just a pale imitation of the virtual stitching.





4.8.5  Some dyed scrim with threads withdrawn was given a frame of paper pulp.  Machine stitching was then worked in letter-type shapes on the bars remaining.





4.5.6  a  close up of above





4.8.7 Triple piece




4.8.8 Top of triple piece.  I used a piece of hand-made paper from an earlier chapter which already had the letters S T A in a contrasting paper.  I outlines each letter shape with back stitch and then filled the letter using a different stitch for each letter.  I worked a threaded chain stitch around the border of the paper, which I attached to a piece of dyed cotton fabric.



4.8.9 Centre of triple piece.  I put a piece of hand-made paper into the sewing machine, with no thread, and stitched around the letter shapes.  I then used the resulting perforations to carefully tear out the letter shapes.  I applied them to the brown cotton fabric and laid a piece of square-mesh netting on top.  I stitched around the letter shapes with blue cross-stitch.  It looked disappointingly plain and dull and so I stitched a different filling stitch in each shape.  This shape had a border of couched down string.



4.8.10 Bottom of triple piece.  The paper with the voided letters was applied to the brown cotton.  Each letter shape had a grid of straight stitches and then each was filled with drawn threadwork stitches.  Each letter shape was outlined with running stitch in a white thread.  The border was stitched twice with blanket stitch, first in an ochre colour and then in a smaller stitch in blue.  An awkward empty space at the bottom was filled with the word "stationery" in double running stitch in fine thread.



Because I had worked in little dribs and drabs in between being very busy, I thought that I hadn't done much work on this chapter.  I was pleasantly surprised, when I drew it all together to photograph it and post it on my blog, to find that I'd done more than I had realised.  There are still some pieces from Chapter 7 that I'd like to do something with, but I seem to have hit a brick wall as far as ideas are concerned and so I think I'll give it a break for now.  It could be that, when I explore ideas for my embroidered panel, that more will occur to me and I'll re-visit this chapter and chapter 9.  In the meantime, I've got a book on book-making and a small book-binding kit to start me off and I can't wait to get going with Chapter 10.

Certificate Module 4 Chapter 7: Applying paper pulp to a woven fabric grid

It's been a while since I posted on my blog, so long that I forgot that, although I'd done the work for this chapter, I hadn't yet photographed it or posted it on my blog, thinking I would wait until I had done the next chapter too.  By the time I realised my mistake, I'd already started stitching into some of the pieces and so here I'll post only the pieces that haven't been stitched and the rest can be seen when I post Chapters 8 and 9. 

This chapter was messy, but fun.  Having tidied out my filing cabinet, I had an abundant supply of shredded paper as a base for my paper pulp making.  I made two basins of pulp, one brown, coloured with walnut ink, and one blue, coloured with Dylon cold water dye.

For my first piece, I tried an idea which had been in my head for a while.  I had an old frame, about 35 cm square.  I bound it with string and simply spooned on pulp from both basins.  Some dripped through to the back but some remained on the surface.

4.7.1 One side of the large bound frame piece


4.7.2  the other side of the large bound frame piece

4.7.3 a close-up view of the layers

I was (and am) quite excited by this piece.  I've given some thought as to how it could be developed through stitching, but haven't yet come to any conclusion.  I'll wait until just the right idea occurs to me.  It would be easier to work it if I cut it off the frame, but I like how the different layers have formed.  Hmmm ...

I also tried making a grid from wire and dipping it in the pulp.

4.7.4  Wire grid dipped in pulp - first side

4.7.5 Wire grid dipped in pulp - second side

4.7.6 A variety of different fabric grids dipped in paper pulp
Clockwise from top left: nylon fabric with a grid of holes burned with a soldering iron, soft metallic mesh, vegetable net, wire grid, plastic canvas, nylon fabric with holes burned, evenweave fabric with some threads withdrawn, vegetable net, blade for a file.