Module 4: Texture

I finally finished Module 4 of the Level 3 Design and Stitched Textiles (Machine Embroidery) course! WOOP!

The theme for this module was geological structure, which initially I thought was going to be really tough.

I took a number of photos and made many drawings and collages of rocks and minerals, geodes, walls and anything else remotely geological I could find.  I spent an insane amount of time creating a sketchbook, using loads of experimental painted textures, collages using hand painted papers and drawings in ink, chalk, pencil and paint.

Although the whole module was to be done in a black and white colour scheme, to allow the focus to be on the texture, I wanted to complete a colour design for the final resolved design which I would then interpret into stitched samples.

I painted, ink splashed and used cross hatched coloured pencils on a piece of brown paper onto which I had pasted tea bag paper. I then wove this with a page of a vintage National Geographic article which I “knocked back” using tea as a tint.  I stitched this without thread (punched holes in it) and then drew onto it the first of my simplified designs in black ink using a stick. I coloured the design using acrylic paint, pastel, coloured pencils and charcoal.  I then cut up the paper and re-pieced it using the sewing machine with the painted brown paper into a large design and some smaller squares (see the photo entitled “Resolved Design”).

The stitched samples were supposed to show innovative use of presser feet…I have to say I didn’t really get this.  A line stitched with a zipper foot, a walking foot or a quilting foot is still a line, right?  In any case I only had 2 feet with my new (second hand) Bernina machine, cos those bad boys cost a FORTUNE.  I passed, so I guess my attempts sufficed.  I produced the requisite 10 samples using my basic zig-zag foot and a free motion embroidery foot, and did things like making bound button holes and threading them with things, making eyelets, Suffolk Puffs with Xpandaprint and bound points.  Also, how cool is Xpandaprint? Just saying.

The experimental sample was constructed in exactly the same way as the paper design – except in fabric and stitch.  I wove the background fabric from a tea dyed calico and Dylon transfer paste National Geographic fabric.  I then stitched on the top, cut it into sections (scary, after all that work!) and stitched it back together.

For the next module I have vowed not to spend such a ridiculous amount of time on the design, and be a bit more spontaneous, having essentially doubled the requisite design time for this one… happy days!

With any luck, I’ll post again in a month or so.  Til then.