Friday, October 31, 2014

Chapter 3 - Cable Stitch Samplers

Sample #1: Loosened lower bobbin tension, upper tension normal. Black pearl cotton #8 wound on to bobbin, white sewing thread on top; straight stitch;  altered stitch length and spacing; double layer of fabric.

Sample #2: Black pearl cotton #5 in bobbin - removed screw and tension cover entirely from bobbin case; white sewing thread on top; normal tension; altered spacing; 3 step zig zag; layers of stitching.

Sample #3: Bypassed tension altogether; 6 stranded white cotton floss wound on to bobbin; white sewing thread on top; normal top tension; 3 step zig zag stitch; combined overlapping layers and spacing.

Sample #4: Transparent fabric on top of stitch and tear; black pearl cotton #8 wound on to bobbin; black sewing thread on top; pre-set embroidery stitch #67 on my Bernina 'Virtuosa 155'.

Sample # 5: 2 layers of transparent fabric - didn't use Stitch and Tear this time as I found it too hard to remove in sample #4. 6 stranded cotton floss wound on to bobbin; black sewing thread on top. Continuous curved zig zag line of stitching; moving from wide to narrow settings, with gentle manipulation of fabric to create curves by swivelling.

Comments: I loved creating these samples and could probably have continued on as it seemed the more I did, the more ideas I had for possible samples. My favourite were samples # 4 and # 5. I wonder what would happen if I tried this on soluble fabric?!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chapter 3 - Finally whipped Whip Stitch!

Sian made a few suggestions for me to try to increase the loops I was(n't!) making in my initial set of samples. Tone work was nice but the whipping needed more whipping :) And as it happened #13 turned out not to be so unlucky for me, this time anyway (not that I'm supersticous, of course!)

I began by trying out Sian's suggestions, which included reversing the tension, i.e. loosening the top and trying either tight or normal for the bobbing tension. I couldn't get either to work for me. Then Sian suggested I try a slightly thinner thread in the bobbin to fool the machine into thinking that the tension is looser. That didn't work either! Seems these newer models are quite difficult to trick into whipping stitches. They seem to adjust automatically to compensate!

So I went right back to the beginning, only this time taking it to the very edge - I pretty much loosened the bobbin screw until it was about to fall off, and tightened the top tension as far as it would go [#10 on my Bernina]. And it worked! I love my loops!!

The sample was worked on 2 layers of white cotton, using a zig zag stitch. I altered the length and width of the stitch as I progressed. Also discovered that the faster I machined the bigger the loops! I had to start and stop stitching at the end of each line to avoid serious puckering of fabric. I also had to be careful when pulling the work away from the machine to cut the threads that the thread didn't pull out unravelling the stitches.
All in all very pleased with the results of this sample :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Chapter 3: Whip Stitch Samples

(xiii) Whipped zig zag stitch - loosed bobbin tension and tightened upper tension; adjusted length and width of stitch.
(xiv) Whipped feather stitch - loosened bobbin tension and tightened upper tension progressively; white thread on top, black in bobbin.
(xv) Whipped zig zag - controlled stitch length; white thread on top, black on bottom; loose bobbing tension, tight upper tension.
(xvi) Whipped straight stitch - stitch length and gaps alter tone.

This was my first attempt at trying whipped stitch. I bought a new bobbin to use for this type of machine stitching. I had to alter the bobbin tension a lot to see any noticeable results. I can see that this stitch holds lots of possibilities, especially in colour work, eg for 'pointillist' painterly effects.