Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chapter 3: Machined Stitched Bands

The following machine stitched bands each measure approximately 12" x 4", and may be cut into narrower bands later in the module. They were all stitched on a single layer of cotton calico. I referred to my photos and drawings of animal markings for inspiration, using what I had learned in creating the smaller machine stitched samples as reference guides. My intention was to attempt to create a series of patterns based upon animal markings.

Sample #1: This machine stitched sample used a few different embroidery stitches set into my Bernina machine, including #19, #20, and #72. I also used zig zag extensively. The width and length of the machine stitching was altered constantly along each line, moving from very close stitching to wide and far apart. All the stitches were curved, and overlapped. Finally I cable stitched stranded white cotton by winding the stranded cotton on to the bobbin, removing completely the tensioning device on the bobbin holder and leaving the top tension at normal setting. I really like the rich layers, variety of stitching, and patterning on this sample.

Sample #2: This machine stitched sample used a variety of machine stitches, including feather stitch, stretch stitch and zig zag. The lines of stitching were adjusted for length and width as they were sewn, as well as been overlapped. I whip stitched #19 on my Bernina machine, loosening the bobbin tension completely by removing the tensioner, and also increased the top tension - white thread on top and black on the bottom.

Sampler #3: Lines of overlapping curved whipped zig zag, altering the stitch length and width. Black thread on the bobbing, and white on top.

Sampler #4: A single stitch used throughout to see the variety of tones possible with one machine stitch. The stitch was #19 on my Bernina, and for the most part was worked with black sewing thread in the bobbin and white on the top. The bobbin tension was removed completely and the top tension was tightened. 3 rows of cable stitch worked - 1 with stranded white cotton in the bobbin, and 2 with black pearl cotton #8. The most interesting aspect of this piece was the adjusting of width when cable stitching. Not all the cable stitches worked out as planned. There were a few hiccups, evidence of which lies on the sampler here and there!

All in all I really enjoyed stitching these bands. It was a lot of fun simply stitching what one wanted as one went along! Since the overall planning takes place before the stitching begins, it is possible to just let it all flow!

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