Saturday, 21 January 2012

Inlay applique

The challenge and focus of this chapter lay in ensuring that I was not only recording the method of stitching/work with notes that would help me replicate the stitches/methods in future but in accuracy of cutting and stitch to ensure that shapes were easily slotted back together.  Notes and diagrams were made in paper samples and diagrams. 
For the insertion stitches samples the first sample 27a shows a range of hand stitches and 27b shows machine stitches.  The felt used for the hand stitching is a little busy and detracts from some of the stitching.  The felt for the machine stitch sample was done on a simpler format with reverse strips providing 'contrast'.  The most difficult stitch to execute was the interlaced plaited faggot stitch where six attempts were made to get anywhere near an acceptable piece but as you see my efforts ran dry short of the sample length!!!
                         Ref 27 a hand insertion stitches          New less busy bondaweb pieces on felt                 Ref 27b machine insertion and ref stitch
For the counterchange and counter interchange it became clear that it was important to keep an eye on the 'top edges' of papers/ fabric to enable easy insertion of cut shapes into cut spaces.  Counterchange fabric samples 27c and 27d were made after using paper templates 27c i.  The fabric samples show basic reversal of shapes and 'wrong/ right' sides of fabric being reversed.
                                            Ref Sample template 27c i
                                        Ref 27c ii Half cretan stitch insert                                Ref 27 d Diagonal faggot stitch
The more complex counter interchange sample 27e again reversed sides of fabric but also rotated colour sequence around the piece with matching coloured machine threads defining the sequence.  While I had made a sample machine sewing tension piece I was disappointed that when I had sewed the different weight green thread the width of stitch was still not correct and lost my steady pace on the stitching of the purple shape.
                                       Ref 27e machine stitch insertion and ref pattern
For Interchange Sample 27f I undertook an experiment with turning the new cross shape around to see the impact in paper and then on the fabric sample where I used felt on linen.

                                                                                                     Ref 27f
The choice of linen was difficult as despite tacking the fabric slipped and the insertion joins  were not as tight as felt next to felt.  While I tried to over stitch these gaps, making a bit of a mess, I gradually appreciated that the fray edge could be a 'feature'.  The movement of the inner cross also gave a contrast on the grain of the fabric which gave an additional contrast.  While the undyed linen did little to the colour combination I felt it allowed a clear view of the method.  

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Reverse Applique

Before starting this chapter I thought it would be useful to review aspects of Chapter 12 as Herta Puls was one of the chosen artist for students on Module One to review...her interest and detailed study of reverse applique and specifically her book The Art of Cutwork and Applique provides a wealth of background and examples.  With that and a plethora of websites to look at it is impossible not to be overwhelmed.  Early on in the course I tried to view websites but avoided blogsites which were a bit intimidating and prescriptive on design elements.  There seems to be a fine balance, when investigating or just appreciating others work, between looking  and not being tempted to copy or stiffling ones own thoughts...
My choice of fabric, threads and stitching, even after trying to make informed decisions, still leaves something to be desired.  Some of the layering was in the wrong order, notes of those concerns are on each sample so hopefully these will stand me in good stead as I head towards the last chapters of the module.  The result was that, as in previous chapters,  learning takes place while actually doing the practical feels like my mantra is becoming 'I should have done...!'  I did not want to flatten samples so these are photos and not scans.
Ref sample 26 i
Using cotton as background,  first layer and top layer silk was used for second layer.
On seeing the finished sample felt it could be improved on making background layer more interesting as the cross was much broader than I imagined.  Possibly use organza over the background as this was not going to be folded or made opening narrower. Stitching and 'corners' not executed as well as I had tried, felt I was all thumbs!

Ref 26 ii and iii
Enjoyed making these samples and have included 26iii with some of the overlaying fabrics left in place on photo at far left as it appealed to me and seemed to give added depth.  Base layer hand dyed calico, first layer muslin 'mop' layer two and three manufactured printed ctton.  Top layer hand dyed printed muslin.

Ref 26iv
Used seven fabrics on the sample felt as background, hand dyed green calico, yellow satin front and back as one side had more sheen(top right) and one more texture (bottom left under hand dyed muslin) two pink/red mops and top layer of hand dyed printed muslin.  Photographed the sequence, below to show the progress.  Used a long machine stitch to allow easier fraying.  On reflection when adding the green square would have placed it in bottom left

1st cut                                                                                                       2nd cut
3rd cut
Ref 26 v
Machine stitched the shape from the rear through the five layers of fabric;base layer felt, first layer manufactured printed cotton, second layer hand dyed printed muslin, polyester organza, 'mop' dyed paper bonded to chiffon.  Despite much rubbing to distress the surfaces found that much of the layering effect I had hoped for did not appear.

Tried to stitch layers open by 'ditch' sewing but the multi layer effect still seemed lost.  The paper on top layer distressed under the chiffon but this is not seen on photo.