Chapter 3 – stitches

I’ve decided to take the advice of a friend and make covers for my sketchbooks.  So here are the first two:

Strips of sari silk stitched with automatic patterns on to transfer painted pelmet vilene.  Lettering done with zigzag and the poppy seedheads filled with granite stitch.

Hand dyed cotton sheeting with a piece of transfer dyed pelmet vilene on the left, using ferns as a resist and free stitching to emphasise the shapes.  Block print below lettering.

Stitching Samples

Samples of vermicelli, using both straight stitch and zigzag of different widths, granite stitch, feather stitch and whip stitch on callico, stitched in a frame.

This is on a velvet finish furnishing fabric.

Moss stitch done in a frame, on sheeting with the invisible thread removed after using stick- on interfacing on the back.

This is some polyester satin I had experimented on with transfer dyes and resist leaves, then stitched with a mix of vermicelli, granite and whip stitch, following the shapes and colours.

Hand-dyed cotton sheeting backed with pelmet vilene.

I drew a simplified version of this lovage image.  The flower heads are stitched using granite stitch and the rest is done in whip stitch.   I wanted to leave the cloth visible because I like the way the texture of the dying gives the impression of other plants in the background, but am not sure the stitching is totally successful.  Maybe more vertical stitching would have been better?

I’ve been experimenting with solar printing.

Here I used dried cow parsley for the original print (stitched round in blue).  I think the print needs more definition so I will have to experiment further.  I then added more dried cow parsley under tissuetex which had been previously dyed – actually underneath fabric I was painting to catch the residue.  I finished with whip stitching and a bit of irridescent turquoise oil stick to bring out some texture. 

This is the basic print using ferns and crystls of salt, yet to be stitched.  I love the process of solar printing,  you never quite know what it will produce so there is an air of mystery to it which you can add to by adding further layers.

Chapter 2 – Making Patterns

I chose the combed pattern on this glass fish because i used to make beads in polymer clay and spent ages trying to perfect the technique of producing this effect.  The landscape is by ‘anonymous’ and I love the patterns made by field boundaries and the effects of light.

I like the pattrns produced by shadow, above bottom left, echoing the shape of the building.

I chose all the above  patterns for the complex symetry they display.

I am fascinated by fractals and the fibonacci sequence. With fractals, the more you enlarge them, the more pattern appears.

It’s amazing how the ice enhances the patterns made by these leaves.

I love all of Henri Rousseau’s work and the patterns made by the leaves here I think are so light and airy.

Some years ago I spent a lot of time drying slices of vegetable and photgraphing them to expose the paterns.  You don’t realise what’s inside until you cross-section.

The creases in this newly opened poppy indicate how the flower was folded into the bud and the viening in the nicotiana flower below, with the subtlety of colour produced makes the flower exciting to look at.

Finding an image for printing

lotus flower sketch, expanded into component parts
printing block straight repeats
spot repeats
half drop repeats
stencil, rotational symmetry

It’s not easy making a small stencil!

block, rotational symmetry
handmade paper
printing block on callico

I should have used a darker thread on this as I don’t think the stitching shows up sufficiently well.  I wanted to add some little freehand flowers, but again they would have benifited from a darker thread.

transfer dyed satin, printed and stitched

I used a commercial woodblock to print with and thought a simplfied pattern of a lovage umbel would sit quite well with the background. I printed with blue and stitched in blue with a backing of pelmet vilene.

I did find that the first block I made using cardboard didn’t wear well with washing, so I made a second one using a plastic bottle top.

I love printing and look forward to doing more of it.

lovage and leaf print

Satin with pelmet vilene backing.  I used the dried lovage flower head as a resist and a leaf print block.  I dyed the fabric yellow first, unevenly, then used green dye over the lovage resist.  I stitched some of the leaves with dark green thread , the lovage resists with a variegated yellow/orange/red thread and added some more flowerheads.  Then I added some orange dye in places that lacked colour.  I’m sorry the stitching is not terribly clear in this scan.