Monday, January 23, 2012

Autumn Glory!

A couple of years ago I decided it was time to learn how to use my beautiful new Bernina sewing machine. Of course I had little interest in the 80 or so built-in embroidery stitches. No all I was concerned with was how to work free-machine embroidery. Looking for a subject to start with, I found a beautifully coloured autumn leaf on my way home after dropping the younger children at school. I started sketching with it (I think that just might have been the last time I actually did any sketching....oh dear....)and soon had the basis for my design.
After that the real fun started to unfold. This piece grew in the making of it! It is a collection of a number of various techniques I wished to explore, some for the first time, others were ones I had often used before.
The background was hand-dyed, with a layer of painted Bondaweb applied. Next stage was the making of the 4 metal foil leaves following Maggie Grey's instructions in her books. The centre leaves were both free-machined on soluble fabric, one densely, the other a mirror image designed to look more ethereal and lacy. For the top layer, the beaded lace, I turned to one of the stitch patterns on the machine itself, stitching a grid with metallic threads. I then beaded the piece before dissolving the fabric in water. Other elements were a piece of painted canvas as background for central leaves, and water soluble paper as edging around the metal foil leaves in order to help blend them in with the background. These were also quite heavily free machine stitched.
Creating this piece was fun from beginning to end!

Ch. 7, Sampler #5

For this sample I returned to my file of images gathered at the beginning of this module and using this as the basis started playing around with black paper cut and fold shapes, until I ended up with one I particularly liked. Then I went to my store of hand-dyed fabrics and chose a cotton poplin for background, with a middle layer of rayon and a top layer of scrim. The middle section was hand embroidered with an outline stitch and a space dyed cotton thread, about pearl cotton#8, then cut. Next the top layer was tacked down shifting the motif slightly off to the side, and the shape free machined with a gold metallic thread.After I had cut out the main motif revealing the layers beneath, I decided to add a touch of hand embroidery using a herringbone stitch, in order to pull the design together. I am quite pleased with the overall result, though unfortunately the hand embroidery of the middle layer is almost completely obscured. This happened with the last sample also, though not quite to the same extent this time. Maybe next time I shall succeed in working a design where all the layers are revealed exposing the details of each!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ch. 7, Sample #4

The background for this sample is hand dyed cotton poplin, with 2 polyester organzas layered on top. Free machined the image shape on bottom layer, with some hand stitching to emphasize shapes. Top organza layer with hand embroidery - lines of running stitch. Finally placed some co-ordinating netting on half of design to deepen tones on half of design, held in place with a few cross stitches.

Next day: This sample really didn't work out. It started well, with great contrast between the fabrics selected, but I tried to do too much with it, and in the over kill of stitching and layering, the actual design got lost! I shall re-work it later.....or maybe just one of the designs incorporated....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ch. 7, Sample #3

For this sample I used 4 layers of fabric - 2 transparent fabrics (though 1 is hardly visible, only peeping out at the edges from behind the gold fabric), a gold polyester, and the background is hand-dyed cotton poplin. To add interest I cut the middle layer in half and staggered it's positioning on background. The top layer is a transparent polyester. The middle layer was stitched using apurple rayon thread and free ziz-zag machining. The top layer was stitched in a simple running stitch which held all layers together.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ch. 7, Sample # 2

3 fabrics: background is hand dyed cotton; middle layer polyester 2-tone fabric, stamped with original stamp used in earler work; top layer purple lurex.
Stitched throughout in chain stitch, with a thick hand-painted pearl cotton thread, and 3 strands of yellow stranded cotton.