Friday, October 21, 2011

Module II - Chapter III

Chapter III - Tonal effects in machine stitchery

This part of the module has taken me many weeks :(   I started the new chapters with enthusiasm, but not long after, my trusty 27 year old Elna bit the dust and stopped play.  But, on the positive side, I bought a shiny new computerised Brother (sorry David!) that even threads its own needle!  A big bonus when your eyesight is starting to dim a little like mine!

I've been learning the ins and outs of the machine - had a few stumbling blocks (see notes further on!), but in general I am well pleased with its capabilities.

The samples
The following stitched samples are 10 x10cm utilizing black thread and various stitches in different lengths and widths, as well as differing distances between the rows to create tonal change. 


NB  You can click any image to view in the Blogger  image viewer from which you should be able to right click (pc) or control click (mac) again to view an enlarged version.

 Machined Whipstitch

 In the next set of samples I've sewn a 'whipstich' using black and white threads.  To get this effect the bottom tension needs to be lowered (and it's also sometimes necessary to fiddle a bit with the top tension too) to pull the bottom thread to the top of the fabric.  I am glad I bought a spare bobbin case as it isn't easy to return the adjustable screw to the right position but even so it has been an uphill struggle to create the following samples! It didn't help that for a long while I couldn't figure out why the results weren't consistent ... then I discovered I'd sometimes put the bobbin in the wrong way up ..... I've used a huge amount of scrap fabric and wasted rather a lot of thread getting it right!

 And this is only a small portion of the trial runs!

The bobbin with screwdriver at the ready



Reverse of the fabric 

Above is another Whipstitch sample together with one in Cable Stitch, which is created with thicker threads/yarns hand wound onto the bobbin with the bottom tension adjusted.

As you can see it took me many attempts to get the tension right! 

And this excerpt from my notebook shows a little of my frustration with the process!


Sewn with Perle thread.

Various threads ready for cable stitch.

The final page shows a group of cablestitched samples with thicker threads and yarn.

When you get it right it's a lovely effect!

Machine Stitched Bands

For the following section of work I have looked at my previously machined samples and considered how to utilize some of these methods to create animal-like markings.  I cut strips of fabric 4 x 30 cms and stitched these with various threads, varying stitch length and width and creating density of tone in some areas by overlapping the stitchery.  Decorative stitching like this will be used with decorated fabrics later in the final chapters of the module in the creation of a functional, 3-dimensional item.

Created with adjusted stitch length and width

 Adjusted stitch length, width and overlapping.

Chapter IV - Drawing Patterns from Animal Markings

I had collected images of animals for the montage I made as part of the preliminary work in this module.  For this chapter I enlarged and made some negative versions of the images to enable me to see the markings more clearly.  I then focused on specific areas and created patterns with linear and tonal drawings.  I also wrote a list of descriptive words to accompany each animal.



 That's all for now.  I'm off to create some patterned paper and fabrics!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Module II - Pattern, Tone and Proportion - Chapters I and II

Module Two -dubbed 'Animal Magic' is all about tonal studies with animal markings as the starting point. All work will be in black and white. Click images to enlarge.

As a preliminary task I collected visual information on animal markings and made the collage above for my sketch book.

Chapter I

Focusing on the study of tone.

I produced a series of tonal columns on paper using different media.

Chapter II

Further work on tone.

A tonal column in stitchery using a counted thread stitch (cross stitch) in black and white threads on canvas.

And next a series of columns showing tonal effects using the technique of Blackwork, a traditional counted thread work, popular in the Elizabethan period in Britain.

Two samples using pattern development to create a darker tone.

This uses spacing of stitches to control the tone.

This uses different thicknesses of threads to create a darker tone.