Thursday, January 27, 2011

Module 4 Chapters 4 to 6 Part 1

For chapter 4, here is my worksheet of ideas for making slips based on the decorated papers and flower shape from chapter 3.  I realised afterwards that as I have written in pencil, it is very hard to read, so below I have clarified the notes starting from the top and working clockwise around the paper flowers:
  • Build up colour using optical mixing. Try some of the trellis stitches or battlement couching.
  • Experiment with digitising - surface patterns (add hand stitch), colour changes,light stitching repeated and offset, try woolly thread and brushing afterwards.
  • Bold handstitches - threads or string loosely strung over solid edge (wire?)
  • Soft fluffy stitching - velvet stitch, victorian tufting, tailor tack on machine.
  • Carrier bags - collect colours; fuse and cut with soldering iron.
  • Layers of sheers plus soldering iron - solid colour layers or scraps; stitch on each layer to give colour changes.
  • Lace effects - lutradur or felt burnt through, solubles.
  • Metal backed with pelmet vilene, paint and stitch.
  • Couched thread on fabric, cut from fabric made from scattered threads on soluble, satin stitch lines.
  • Transfer image from decorated papers to fabric - TAP, other methods, direct printing - stitch on top.
  • Solubles - create slip from stitch alone machine or lots of handstitch.
Notes by the drawings:
  •  imitate the rose petal effect - could be lines of stitch
  • raised padded areas
  • layers of light fabric secured in centre so edges flap freely
  • scrumpled fabric (or paper) built up in layers.
Thoughts on textures
  • momigami
  • scrumple paper on pelmet vilene and cut out
  • shrinking thread
  • shrinking fabric
Thoughts on edges
  • turned
  • burnt
  • frayed
  • hanging threads
  • continue stitch into background
  • corded
  • satin stitch
  • stitch around and nibble into slip.
Here are the sample slips so far, the 10p coin in the picture gives scale and the slips are described by number underneath.  Click on the photo to enlarge.
  1. Bayeux stitch on cotton
  2. Digitised stitch - drawn directly into the software
  3. As 2 using fast pen strokes
  4. Digitised stitch - open filling repeated three times in different colours and slightly offset.
  5. Digitised stitch - solid filling with contrasting top layer
  6. Digitised stitch - solid spiralling filling (will do something else with this)
  7. As 4 making each layer smaller than the last
  8. Threads captured in layers of soluble fabric, digitised openwork pattern.
  9. As 8 but just stitching outline which was then whipped by hand.
  10. As 8 but just stitching outline then filling with layers of sorbello stitch.
As Christmas intervened, I packed away the sewing machine but I jumped ahead and tried one of the exercises from chapter 6.
 This is made from layers of crystal organza and chiffon in honey, gold, pink and blue (the photo looks a bit washed out).  I used a stencil cutter to cut out the flower shapes.  At the bottom, one has been left attached by one edge, cut into layers and folded back.  The flowers were then distressed with a heat gun.  The fabrics reacted by shrinking different amounts, sticking together and curling up.  I really like these, they look and feel like dried up petals.  I have mounted the fabric with the negative shapes onto a piece from the 'failed samples' pile which has similar blue/green colours and some stitching of a pylon drawing.  I thought this would stop the pastel colours from being too pretty and add to the grungy worn-out look.  I have flipped over the petals and attached them with just one or two stitches as if they had been blown by the wind (around a desolate industrial site perhaps).

Odds and Ends

Well, can't believe I haven't posted here since October.  I seem to have been busy doing odds and ends and most of my stitching has been for christmas presents.  Always a problem for a blogger as you can't say too much about it.  I saw a picture of some candles decorated with machine embroidered motifs so I made loads using commercial patterns on the computerised machine - here is just one. 
 I also made this little cushion as a last-minute gift for someone who has a westie - again a commercial embroidery design and some very simple patchwork as a border.

And here are my ATCs for the January swop on Facebook on the theme of musical.
As usual, I have been getting distracted - this time by my brother's present to me... electronics kit (and my sister gave me the book to go with it).  It is a great kit, designed for people with no experience to learn to programme a microcontroller.   It connects to a computer via USB to download your program and then runs from the mains or a battery.  You can use inputs such as buttons, tilt switches or pressure pads and control output to eg LEDs or motors, making interactive objects. I have spent a few happy evenings working through the sample programs and then writing my own to understand how it works.  So, where is all this leading?  Answer  - to incorporating electronics into textiles using a LilyPad  - a microcontroller designed to be sewn into wearables.  No particular project in mind at the moment, but I am sure something will happen.  For more info see the Arduino website  and Leah Buechley's LilyPad pages and to see what people have made with a LilyPad, have a look at this video on YouTube.

And finally while I'm in a high-tech mood, check out this site and meet the RepRap - a self-replicating desktop sized 3d printer you can build at home and then use to produce the parts to make another one (you may have seen an article in the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago).  I feel sure there will be ways of using this with textiles...