Friday, 29 May 2015

Hand Embroidery Samples 10 ..... Whipped Stem Stitch

I thoroughly enjoyed working with this stitch - stem stitch, whipped with thread. The samples were were an excuse to play around with thread. I wanted to create samples with as much variety as possible so I raided my thread stash for as many textured threads as possible. This sample is created on Irish Linen using threads including hand dyed perle cotton, weaving silk, stranded embroidery thread and hand dyed silk thread.

This experimental sample was created on Aida Cross-stitch fabric using threads Perle cotton, vintage Anchor Fil a Dentelles No 70, viscose chainette and vintage Vicars Salome Tapesterie Rayon - Stem stitch wasn't easy to sew into a curved line of stitch.



The variation in the work was created with changes in the length of the original stem stitch, variations in the thicknesses of thread, overlaying the stitches and playing around with the many ways of whipping the stitch. This was a joy to create. There are endless possibilities with this stitch, especially when you think about the potential for some fabulous colour combinations. I hope you have been inspired to have a go and experiment yourself.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Hand Embroidery Samples 9 ..... Seeding Stitch

Seed Stitch is a very versatile stitch, perfect for infilling a space, creating shadow, a sense of expansion or movement, density or airiness. This was a an interesting stitch to experiment with, in that it took some time and thought to find a way of creating variety in the samples.
The variation in the stitch sample below has been provided by a change of threads from one to six strands, and through the density of stitches across the fabric. DMC embroidery thread on Irish Linen.

The following experimental sample was created using 100% Polyester soft furnishing fabric and Perle cotton thread. The white thread was used as a contrast thread against the dark fabric to fill the negative space with stitch.




I have discovered that just by changing the density of stitches, the thickness of the thread used and the length of the stitch, a whole new variation of the stitch can be created. I like to think I have maintained an even stitch length throughout, but I know a little more practice will make it perfect. I hope you are enjoying these posts and are being inspired to be more experimental with your own stitches.


Monday, 11 May 2015

Hand Embroidery Samples 8 ..... Bullion Knots

I am loving the challenges this embroidery course is unearthing - experimenting with stitches I already know and some I have have yet to discover. Bullion Knots were a new stitch to me. I always thought they were way too complicated to achieve, but the one thing I have discovered is that practice makes perfect.  The samples on wool plaid below were the first ones I have ever done. The following sample on Irish Linen was made for my Posh Sample Book, and is bullion knots graded from one to 6 strands of DMC cotton embroidery thread.

This experimental sample was created on 100% wool plaid upholstery fabric using DMC stranded embroidery thread, creating the variegation in density of stitch by using 1 -  6 strands. The sample has French Knots and Bullion Knots. I love the contrast of the sheen of the thread against the softness of the wool.



Just from the small amount of experimenting I have done with Bullion Knots and French Knots, I have discovered that I can create a huge amount of variegation in my work just by changing the size of stitch (number of strands used), the density if stitches on the fabric and the contrast of thread against the fabric. Have a go yourself ! Happy experimenting.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Hand Embroidery Samples 7..... French Knots

This is another stitch I have used many, many times in my own work, but had always stitched it using two strands of DMC and not thought about the difference it would make just by varying its size and density - so it was therapeutic to set time aside to experiment with it. This sample was created on Irish Linen fabric and using DMC cotton thread working with one strand and building up to six.

This experimental sample was created on 100% wool plaid upholstery fabric using DMC stranded embroidery thread, creating the variegation in stitch by using 1 -  6 strands. The sample has French Knots and Bullion Knots. I love the contrast in textures from the softness of the wool with the sheen of the stitch.



I hope you are inspired to have a play with thread yourself.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Mark Making and Printing - Experiment and design your own work

I knew very little about mark making and its importance before starting this embroidery course. Anything that involves paint and making a mess has to be good in my books!

I will share with you what I have discovered. Mark making can be achieved with anything that leaves a mark or impression on a surface - eg. paint or pen on paper, drawing in the sand at the beach, or even playing with string as it falls its own way onto a flat surface. The original 'mark' created is an original form of source work perfect for a future design.

These are some designs made using bits and bobs I found in my kitchen. I found it very effective using white paint onto black paper. Also I liked using black and white rather than specific colours because I found they created a neutral, unbiased design.

Design sheet 1:



Design sheet 2:



These are a selection of marks evoking movement and emotion. 


The Staccato design was developed further into a homemade stamp that was then embroidered.


The one thing I have discovered is that anything goes, and that all designs - especially the 'mistakes' are useful. I keep mine in a pile and sift through them occasionally when I need some ideas - it may only be a small section of an image that fits the bill. Have a go yourself!

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