There are so many aspects to consider when machine stitching: good light, relaxed shoulders, smooth movement of the embroidery ring, footwear -- trainers were not a success.
Then there's the innumerable thread and needle combinations, to say nothing of tension, an issue not likely to help those shoulders.
Those delicious colour combinations hovering in my imagination cannot be translated without all of the above being right. Maybe I forgot to breathe!
In essence I suppose what I'm saying is that I'm trying to achieve a piece of cloth which looks intended. I neither expect nor want uniformity in my spirals and whirls, but something fluid and expressive, something nearer to my hand stitching results, which I felt were responsive to the cloth and the markings on it, not sitting on the surface the way many of the samples below are. And, of course, this brings me neatly back to daily practice and beginning to accumulate those 10,000 hours.
I like the impression of tracery on the above three samples, or maybe it;s a akin to rock art.
The samples 4:11 - 4:15 illustrate some of the challenges I faced with couching, though they seem to tell a better story than the one I experienced at the time.
The only thread which travelled reasonably happily through the couching foot was the viscose tape (4:13) which the machine stitch caught at intervals creating rounder looking swirls. The sari waste (4:11) and gimp seemed to pull through in a way that created straight lines amongst occasional swirls. The silk lopi (4:14), whose sheen I liked so much, split for the most part though the sample below worked quite well. The rounder viscose cord (4:15)was quite effective because the machine movements were larger and even when the stitching doesn't catch it acts like an echo of the cord.
The final samples below show combinations of spiral stitches in a range of threads.
All machine stitching has been done on fabric backed by Stitch and Tear.
And what may you ask of velvet? -- a complexity too far, I decided.