Chapter 9 Playing with colours, building layers

playing with primary and secondary colours

Samples 1 and 2 – The colours are quite stark, with well defined lines.  The narrow lines give more interest by breaking up the blocks of colour.  3 and 4 – The lighter touch of the automatic patterns gives a much more subtle effect.

The complementary colours in the lower sample are dynamic together, yet quite subtle.  I like the way you can get one colour to dominate over the other depending on how you layer them and the different effects this can give.

colour grading

Taking the bottom sample first,  I like this effect.  Even though I have used all three primaries and all three complementaries. the effect is actually quite subtle and interesting.  There is a nice blending that is quite harmonious.

In the top sample, I used both one and two threads in the needle, depending on how I wanted one shade to flow into the next.

Monets Houses of Parliament, sunlight effect
painted layers of colour
stitched sample - 1
stitched sample 2
stitched sample 3

It was interesting doing the three samples.  On the whole, I think the second one is the most successful, because of being able to create more subtlety of colour.   I prefer the transfer dyed fabric to the black felt and the cwertical zigzag effect is better than the more horizontal lines.

inspired by Monet

I felt inspired to make this quilt (45 X 42 cms), using mainly fabrics I dyed myself, plus indigo pieces dyed by a friend.   I wanted to try quilting curved pieces which I had been reading about recently.  I bondawebbed the additional pieces around the sides and at the top.  The stitching is not perfect I know, but I really enjoyed making it and feel quite pleased with the results.  I’ve added more purple, but I still feel it conveys the spirit of the painting.

chapter 8 – additional line and mark making work

ice flows -sewn sample

The top sample uses only stitch to try and capture the different colours and fissures of the ice.  In the second sample I used a piece of dyed scrim to give a more textured approach, but it was more difficult than I thought as, of course, the stitches immediately compress the texture.

trees in snow - sewn sample

I used free zigzag for this, working horizontally and am quite pleased with the result. Maybe I should have added some stitching for the sky?

squares - drawn
squares - sewn sample - 1

In this first sample I used free zigzag with sheers on calico.  I know it is not perfect – neither the stitching not the distance between lines, but it was fun to do.

squares - sewn sample - 2

Here I had the feet up and it still is not perfect, but I actually like both of them.  I laid a piece of chiffon over the top before stitching with the idea I might burn it back in places, but then decided not to do so.

pastel marks - sewn sample

I enjoyed using free zigzag here to create the impression of the pastel marks and think it has potential.

drawing of walnuts
line drawings

The other drawings.

bales of cotton - 2nd attempt
moving ice sheet
line of trees - 2

I thought I would have another go at this – I used a white and an off-white thread in the needle for the snow, then the same off-white thread and a pale grey for the sky, with a single black thread for the trees.  I don’t like this as much, mainly because such heavy stitching has distorted the fabric and turned the zigzag rows into over-emphasized ridges.  Possibly the grey is too dark as well – there is little difference in the original picture between snow ans sky.

ice flows - further stitched sample

A further experiment.  This has a layer of sheeting backed with 2 layers of stick on interfacing (thin), one layer of scrunched muslin stitched  in a few places, a layer of scrim, scrunched and stitched followed by a final layer of scrim, scrunched and stitched.  I think this is the most successful sample so far.

Chapter 8

line images - 1

I saw these images of the arctic seas and was fascinated by the lines formed, though I did think they might be more open to fabric manipulation than stitching, but you never know….

line images - 2

The above images are an assortment of straight lines, except for the image bottom right where the squares of the fence look like a grid over the contours of a map.   All of these could easily translate to stitch, especially the top imagewhich seems to have great possibilities.

line images - 4

I have had the picture of these sacks of cotton for ages, wondering what to do with it – I think it is amazing.  I’ve tried drawing the walnuts, both this image and the one in the colour images section, but very unsuccessfully, though I am sure they could work somehow.

line images - 5

This is another abstract collage that I think could translate well into stitching.

line images - 6

line images 7

I photograph plants and trees a lot – there are so many different shapes and nuances in nature.

take a line for a walk - drawing
take a line for a walk - sewn sample
mark making -1
mark making - 2
mark making 3
mark making - 4

This was great fun and I probably could have gone on and on, but wanted to try some stitching.

mark making - sewn sample - 1
emotions - drawn
emotions - sewn

I’m not sure there is enough differentiation between some of these!  And I don’t think you could immediately tell by looking at them what emotion is portrayed.  So not a total success…

photo of alders - Freeman Patterson, Portraits of Earth
alders - worked sample - stitching on hand-made felt

Portraits of Earth is a wonderful book, full of ideas that could be taken into stitch.  I did this a while ago, using the picture as a starting point rather than direct copy.