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4.8.5 Some dyed scrim with threads withdrawn was given a frame of paper pulp.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.