Sunday, 28 June 2020

Combining Hand and Machine Stitching 1

I found this piece a challenge, because I over-complicated matters. Having machine stitched the grid  I decided to weave a range of material strips into the lower half.  In addition to fabric and yarn I wanted to embellish two additional materials: plastic stitched with an empty needle and organza stitched with words, reaquainting myself with the skills to do these things.  I also wanted to create texture by looping and twisting these strips in and out of the grid. I soon realised that they wouldn't stay put without being held in place in some way or they would slip and slide through the grid losing their expressive feel. Initially I thought decorative over-stitching with finer threads might resolve the problem, but the needle I needed for the job was too thick and pulled the woven strips out of position.  Also, because this section is thickly textured, the stitches could hardly be seen and therefore added nothing to the piece. Needless to say the experience was frustrating and unsuccessful, so I pulled everything out and started again. 


For my second attempt (image 4:6:20) I used the same materials as before (soft opaque white plastic, net, overly washed cotton from my mother's old blouse as well as clumps of withdrawn threads) this time cutting the strips narrower and not fussing about any embellishment.  Several narrower strips are woven individually within a line of spaces and they hold each other in place.  Though this aspect has now been resolved I think I should have left more empty spaces in the woven section so that the wrapping and zigzag hand-stitching has room to snake its way from bottom to top and links the two.


After some more reflection I took out the dominant bits of weaving so that there was more space.  Then removed the heavier looking stitching in the top portion and replaced that with something lighter looking -- finer threads of white and blue.  It's better, and with a little more guidance I could well do more.  What I suppose I'm saying is that I want to embroider some irregular fly stitch over the top whereas I feel I should be practising Module 4 stitches!

I should also add that the sides were neatened by wrapping them with clumps of withdrawn threads.  Finally I knotted the bottom fringe.  This looks attractive with the colour wash moving from soft blue to white.

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