Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Module 2, Chapter 12, Stage 2, continued

Continuing to play and experiment with surface design for my bag, I began by adapting the method worked in an earlier chapter, but instead of stitching for shibori dyeing, I stitched with a view to gathering the painted, dyed and patched fabrics in order to generate entirely new designs through stitching.

In the first example below I began by choosing one of my log cabin samples and stitched uneven lines of running stitch before gathering. Unfortunately because I stitched with normal sewing quality polyester thread, one of the lines of stitching broke. Thinking about this I came to two conclusions - the first was to use shibori quality thread next time, and secondly ungathered sections create a more interesting finished effect.

Log cabin sample:

Log cabin, stitched:

Log cabin gathered tightly:

In the next sample I chose some commercial striped fabric and gathered it more loosely than previous sample. I then rearranged the gathers in order to imitate, at least partially the lines in the image of the tiger's markings below.

Tiger markings:

Striped fabric:

Striped fabric, gathered loosely and then rearranged in an attempt to capture the tiger markings above:

Wrapping fabric strips with thread:

Instructions from "Three Dimensional Embroidery" by Janet Edmonds

Finely woven linen in first 'failed' black dye bath, wrapped in white crochet cotton:

Next step was to coil the above wrapped fabric into a pointed shape reminiscent of peaked shapes on tortoise shell:

I really like this shape. Definite possibilities for a possible panel for my tortoise inspired bag!
So I tried it again, this time using some of my more successful dyed black fabric, wrapping the fabric with white crochet cotton. Again I really like this little sample, even better than the one above, although sewing it into a coil shape was very hard on my fingers. Will need to remember to use a thimble next time and hope that needle doesn't break!!

Still wanting to experiment with a similar shape using a different construction, this time based on Jean Draper's "Raised structure with bound points" in her brilliant book Stitch and Structure, I created these little shapes. Though they have possibilities, I think I prefer the solidity of the above shapes for my bag. Reckon they will be considerably more hard wearing! :)

All in all a good day filled with lots of experimenting. What I enjoyed most was taking some of the earlier methods used in previous chapters and samples and adapting them in a new way.  Happy to be moving forward in my ideas for my bag, and beginning to "see" it evolve........


Three Dimensional Embroidery,  Janet Edmonds

Stitch and Structure,  Jean Draper

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Module 2: Chapter 12 - Stage 2

The following pages are all from my sketchbook devoted entirely to gathering ideas for designing my functional, three dimensional embroidered item.

Working and playing with the 3D shapes in stage 1 (previous post) generated a few potential ideas. The two which seemed to hold the most interesting possibilities for working within a fairly limited colour palette were baby blocks made from pelmet vilene with each side displaying a variety of blackwork and other tonal hand and free machine embroideries; and bags. In the end I chose to work with bags, having discovered an interesting link between Native American Indian / Aboriginal medicine bags and a close relative to one of the animals I was researching, with an emphasis on the markings on his shell - the tortoise and turtle.

Native American Indian mothers sometimes make fetish medicine bags for their babies. These bags are made in the shape of animals whose attributes the mothers hope their little ones will develop. Girls fetish bags are made in the shape of turtles. Turtles are known for their long life spans. Turtles also symbolize Mother Earth, and are ancient symbols of longevity and patience. They only carry what they need - their shell.
Boys fetish bags are made in the shape of lizards. Lizards and snakes are known for their stealth and speed, qualities mothers wish for their male children. These bags function as good luck charms. When the child grows older the bags are sometimes attached to the child's belt.