Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Quilting, padding and stuffing

Preparing the variety of fabrics, for padding and top and bottom layers and the trapped items made my work space look like a rather strange laboratory, with interesting exhibits...the task to make them come together in a way that would move my ideas along into making fabric with a texture that would respond to touch as well as the eye. 

Ref 5.5.1b
Ref 5.5.1a

 For first 'quilt' I went for a traditional design with same cotton cloth top and bottom over a fleece padding.  Machine stitching the quilting lines I then decided to fray the fabric as this was a fabric samples which had not been used in Chapter 4

Ref 5.5.2a
The second machine quilted piece using a silk variegated top thread on a cotton organza fabric again padded with the knitted fleece. Using photos to inspire the shapes or stitch lines for the samples but trying to not be too concerned about a literal translation...

Ref 5.5.3a
Ref 5.5.3b
In these hand quilted wadded pieces two different weights of cotton fabric top and tailed a fleece wadding. A 60 crochet thread was used for the stitching. For sample 5.5.3a  pattern I wanted to vary size of the unquilted sections to try and replicate the idea of layers and strata while keeping a grid like pattern. Ref 5.5.3b

Ref 5.5.4
Ref 5.5.4 sample proceeded to use a variety of threads on muslin over fleece for a more angular sample.  Sadly lost my way - having made a simple pattern once into the stitching went off piste; it must have been the excitement of the Winter Olympics that took my mind away from what I was doing.  

Ref 5.5.5
Ref 5.5.6
For the next two samples the inspiration came from the Broch of Gurness but two different techniques were used.  The initial one 5.5.5 was a random hand stitched quilting stitch whereas 5.5.6 used wooden insets for shape quilting. Sadly my mind was still on wadding  and I failed to read notes correctly and carried on with three layers! The error continues on to sample 5.5.7 when I suddenly realised my error and did a 'rescue' and you will see how some of the wadding has been cut away from the wood sections. For 5.5.7 I trapped some feathers between a layer of net and cream cotton organza and tried to define their shape with hand stitched outlines.
Ref 5.5.7

Ref 5.5.8a
Ref 5.5.8.b
For the padded sample 5.5.8a I decided to alternate the padding in each section, using string (central space), knitting wool (bottom left), thrumbs or waste threads (top), found wool fleece (bottom right) and two sections of cotton fibres. The see through layer of cotton was backed by a coloured polyester fabric to add depth. Picture 5.5.8.b shows the reverse and each of the stuffing contents.

Sample 5.5.9  inspire by my stone/shell from Coral Beach on the Isle of Skye could fall between a shaped or padded exploration using melon pips and a cheese cloth top fabric
Ref 5.5.9b
Ref 5.5.9a

Ref 5.5.10b
Ref 5.5.10a
For cords I have show reverse and front sample 5 5.10 where a twin needle was used to make channels in which pipe cleaners were placed with wide spaces between to allow larger cotton tops for padding.  In pushing the cleaners and padding into the spaces the original clean lines made by the twin needle distorted at the curves, but while it showed up errors in the sewing and turning of a curve with the twin needle I decided to keep the sample as it seemed to enhance a natural element!
Samples 5.5.11 and 12 again explore cording with piping, zig zag and a knotted string in an attempt to replicate the erosion of the  Arbroath Abbey wall

Ref 5.5.12
Ref 5.5.11

For a finale  and following an inspiration regarding tea bags on the Distant Stitch Facebook page, thank you Sian, I looked at my morning mug of tea and thought ...I wonder!!!  The original teabags were square but mine... well they were triangles! So here they are top and bottom which is which? There were a multitude of options that I tried but opted for classic shape.  I have a feeling teabags will become another thing to save as the option of tea dyeing was starting to occupy my natural dyeing tendencies.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Fabric Investigation

Grouping the materials in fabric type small pieces of fabric were placed on grid prior to seeing how they performed in later experiments.  A record was kept on the fabrics and its characteristics and these are recorded beside the description.
Ref 5.4.1a
A. muslin - a loose open weave fabric that frays and can be manipulated easily
B. cheesecloth - as with muslin but not so easily frayed
C. printed voile - a close weave with a soft handle that takes printed detail well
D. light weight calico - a cross between cheesecloth and voile with thicker yarns
E. scoured calico - a closer weave than D but similar weight of yarn
F. calico - a closer weave that gives a clear weave pattern
G. lawn - lightweight smooth fabric with see through quality
H. percale - close weave with smooth feel
I. printed cotton- more pronounced weave pattern than percale takes a print well
J. printed calico - a lighter weight than 
K. poplin - a smooth but very close weave that takes digital prints well
A. Linen natural - a firm even weave fabric that is used for embroidery
B. Linen bleached -  a bleached and more open version of A
C. Jute hessian - rough open weave with slubby yarns
D. Jute scrim - very open flexible weave
Ref 5.4.1b
E. Linen natural fine weave - a closer weave which gives a a lovely fluffy fray   

A. Noil natural - a slubby open weave 'rounded' fabric
B. Organza - a sheer close weave with fine yarns
C. Natural silk - even weave fine yarn with little lustre
D. Light dupon - a sheen but not slubby fabric
E. Habotai - lustre and fine weave
F. Sari ribbons - fine weave with slubs and remnants of different weights
G. Throwster silk ends - a compact rod that pulls out into fibrous surface

Ref  5.4.1c
A. Felt - soft, surface with no visible weave and difficult to fray but fibres can be teased
B. Fleece-  soft and more flexible than felt
C. Adhesive vilene - flexible fabric which can be pulled without losing shape, adhesive spots that melt on heat on one side
D. Polyester/viscose face wipe - soft malleable fabric
E. Tyvek - visible, soft but tough structure which belies its character when heated
F. Nylon lace - open weave and design which is flexible and decorative
G. Nylon - opaque, even weave with yarns that are long
H. Nylon organza - sheer open weave fabric with high sheen, soft and malleable
I. Jersey nylon - distinctive knitted surface which stretches
J. Lace *  heat test seemed to proved this piece was in fact a natural fibre
K. Nets- different weights of net which don't fray but are malleable.

The task was to then take a closer look at the edges and see how to translate and explore the characteristic of the fabric into decorative edges.  Looking again at the detail in my photos the ideas that came to mind were:  jagged, soften, erode but before these I realised that the selvedges of the materials were in themselves interesting.

SELVEDGE, photo: strata image from previous chapter 5.3.2. Selvedge described in the dictionary as, 'as a woven edge that stops fraying' set me thinking.   Taking the original strata photo for inspiration and then blowing it up the following observations were made.  The selvedges proved not only interesting in how they were made but how they curled  and when the material was torn away from the edge how the torn edges reacted against a firm edge.

Ref 5.4.2
Top item blow up of section of strata photo  from 5.3.2
14 hole canvas selvedge
Cotton showing tenter hook detail
Torn edge formed a 'stepped' selvedge on silk
This fleece edge curled and again tenter hook holes can be seen
folded over this torn selvedge edge of silk
Elastic 'selvedge' and torn lace
This lace ribbon had two different 'selvedges' and again the tear proves interesting

Ref  5.4.3

JAGGED, photo the rocks from Mull of Kintyre( ref 5.2.2) top right side
tear, fray, snip, pinked, vent:
A. Cotton poplin torn and opened
B. Linen frayed and snipped top edge, frayed and knotted bottom
C. Fleece straight snipped and twisted
D. Cotton angled snip and twisted
E. Two weights of cotton pinked and place over each other
F. Silk noil

Ref 5.4.4
SOFTEN, photo: lichen stone from Broch of Gurness (ref 5.2.3) bottom right side. curve, scallop, twist, knot, gather
A. Nylon lace
B. Net twist 
C. Net twist and knot
D. Fleece knotted
E. Cotton twist and loop
F. chenille wire curved
G. Linen cut curve and frayed
H. Cotton gathered on edge and in middle

ERODE, photo: Arbroath Abbey wall, central detail.
Ref 5.4.5
burn, sear, melt, hole, wear away
A. Silk 
B. Lace
C. Cotton
D. cotton muslin
E. Face wipe, polyester and viscose
F. Nylon
G. Nylon lace
H. Sari 
I. Nylon net
J. Tyvek
K. Nylon spot net
L.  Nylon spandex
The heat tests were done with a two sizes of soldering irons and a candle.  The soldering irons were easier to handle but the candle flame made it interesting to see what happened relatively quickly! Good caution in Module notes to have a water bucket close at hand.  Slowly lowering fabric onto the flame proved more manageable than approaching from the side.  The character of the face wipes, sample E, where amongst the most rewarding of the samples  -soldering iron opened up fabric but didn't destroy the fibrous nature and the candle burn produced globules.  Tyvek, sample J, an addictive performance with heat as it moves, melts and opens up into holes but the open stiff net , sample I, proved more manageable with the soldering iron.  I only had a small piece of nylon spandex and pulled it onto a bias and soldered it in sample L.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Texture and relief in paper.

Started this chapter by selecting 6 photos, cutting them in half and mounting on black paper to provide a focus for textural sampling.  Before doing the sampling mounted images were fed into my Gimp computer programme to get a black and white image by using the 'Distort' and 'Emboss' options.
Ref 5.3.1a
Ref 5.3.1b
Ref 5.3.1c
Ref 5.3.1d
The centre image 5.3.1b shows the paper and method used and also includes pencil rubbings of the paper relief.  Below, ref 5.3.1d is a rubbing of the actual stone used on the middle photo. The rubbing was on textured paper with a crayon. A later chapter goes into rubbings in more detail but thought it good to start experimenting early as there are such a huge range of papers and pencils/crayons and its good to see what makes an effective rubbing.  I was intrigued with the distort, embossed image as it seemed to pronounce the negative relief when the object was on a light background and raise different layers on a black background

Ref 5.3.2b
Ref 5.3.2a

Using the same method as for sample 1a, above, the cut photographic images were in colour and those have been kept in my sketch book but for the purpose of the blog they are saved in greyscale.  The colours were muted and I wanted to keep a record of the natural tones as the greyscale lost some of that subtlety.
Ref 5.3.2c
For later consideration feel some of these images could be played with more.  Although the centre and bottom image of 5.3.2c have been turned on their side, there could be more mileage in chopping up images and enlarging sections, particularly when looking at stitching patterns...have inserted a little reminder , TEC, in workbook and on my story board! Turn, Enlarge Chop! The idea of soil, strata, stone that came from Chapter 1 shows a similarity in this sequence of papers with merely a change in scale of the original photo and type of paper used. Sian had observed from photos in Chapter 1 how, 'the long view, often reflects the close up view such as those of microscopic views...'

I have found that while you set about a new chapter you suddenly become alert to all things that have a 'connection' with what you are studying.  So imagine my delight when I noticed a project that was initially shown on BBC Scotland website  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-25916408.
University of Abertay shows a longer interview.  The idea that a soil sample can be translated into a 3D piece makes me wonder how to get a 3D printer or should that really be my task to replicate in a resolved sample for this  Module? Don't hold your breath I am sure some other simpler ideas will crop up with the intervening nine chapters!!!!