Join us March 8 at 10am at the Walworth (Wisconsin) Public Library. We will be making adorable felt ornaments based on the twelve days of Christmas. There is a kit fee of $10 that includes felt and embroidery floss. (Kits are in very limited supply so please let us know if you will need one and haven’t already paid for it.) You’ll also need your basic embroidery kit—needles, scissors, pins, etc. Hope to see you there!
In order to view the animal markings differently, I tried a lot of different photo apps that are available through iTunes. These allowed me to make a negative, a sketch like image, and an artistic rendering. There is now even an app that lets me trace or draw over the image and then save the file with or without the image in the background. I also freehand (with either a Rapidograph or Nexus pen) traced or drew the image and then also began to simplify some of the patterns appearing. Below is the legend to help explain what technique was used where.
Machined Strip Samples
I tried to create some of these strips before doing the drawings in Chapter 4, but found that to really understand what I was trying to create and to come up with ideas for what stitch could resemble them, I needed to do the work in Chapter 4 and then came back and did these.
I tried a couple different ways to create the fish stripes–free motion zigzag, zigzag, and the decorative stitch that I ended up using. I also like the free motion version. I did not like the zigzag version as it was too stiff.
Many of my designs have circles. I really like these designs, but I’m not sure how to recreate them without doing free motion or possibly a flower stitcher foot. I did try using the letter “O” and a satin stitched circle (which became an oval when I changed width and/or length), but neither were very interesting or very variable to get the variety of sizes to make the pattern interesting. Any suggestions? Is it o.k. to use free motion embroidery or the circle stitcher in this module? Or, should I avoid the patterns with the circles and save them for something else?
There’s some interesting patterns appearing when I start to stylize the feathers of the pelican. In the trial above, I worked with one of those patterns trying a couple different decorative stitches. I like the way the one stitch worked and did a few rows of it, but thought I’d save doing more until I have the decorative fabric to try it on.
Some Questions and Thoughts
The fish and reptile strips were quite labor intensive, but I do really like them. One thing I thought about was programming a random sequence of changing widths and lengths rather than doing that by hand as I stitch. Would that be ok?
The long narrow strips of a single layer of fabric distorted a lot with all the stitching. The puckering in the reptile pattern could add an interesting texture. But, if I do not want this texture would a thin layer of interfacing cause too much trouble in the piecing?
Working with such narrow strips was difficult. They were hard to hold on to and the edges of the fabric would often get caught and bunch up. Would it be possible to create wider strips (four to five inches) and then cut these in two or would the stitching unravel where you cut? When the strips get pieced together, would that stitching stop any unraveling?
Whip and Cable Machined Samples
Worksheets for Machined Samples
I really loved doing the first sample using pattern development; and it just seemed to fly from my fingers.
The second sample varied the thread thickness. I did not like the extremes of thread thicknesses as they either looked to scrawny or thick and distorting on the fabric. I especially didn’t like how the thickest thread just turned the pattern into a blob.
The third sample was my nemesis. My brain had a really hard time calculating the appropriate original (lightest) spacing to end up with the spacing for the darkest section or vice versa. It took many graphing and stitching attempts. I finally realized that the lightest spacing had to be divisible by two and then divisible by two again. It felt like quite an accomplish when I finally got this sample finished!
A tonal column using cross stitch on canvas.
Total Time: 5h45
Needle and Canvas $1
(crewel wool and DMC floss in white and black)
Originally I tried to work one grayscale section at a time, but it seemed to work best to develop the entire column and then go back and tweak it.
Important to remember that white threads underneath black create a darker area than black under white
Tonal Columns created with a variety of media on paper.
Created between July 17 and July 19, 2011
Total Time: 4h