A Creative Approach — Project 2 Developing your marks — Stage 5 — Stitches which create texture
In this exercise I had to work stitches in different directions, initially using the same type of thread, and then introducing other weight threads. I used a single colour thread (or as close as possible) for each sample. Some threads are shiny and thin whilst others are thicker, multi-threaded and matte. when you mix them together you can see the difference in texture each creates, as well as different textures caused by the different amount of light the threads reflect.
I began with satin stitch in red shades, using different stitch lengths and shiny and matte thread. The rows of satin stitch sit nicely next to each other. Some of the threads look softer and others look rougher.
My favourite sample is the thin white triangle peaks. The stitches are fairly close together, thinner at the bottom of the upside down V and there’s a thicker gap at the top. I stitched different number of rows along the rows. I think this makes a nice pattern and it’s something I could use in a project. I’d tried he triangle peaks in thicker orange yarn too but I don’t think it’s as effective — it seems to soften the edges, whereas the thinner white thread is more precise so the lines are more defined and crisper to my eyes.
I also tried a few samples in red and whites for overlapping stitches that crossover each other, and are of different stitch lengths and thread weights.
02/09/2013 — After discovering Junko Oki’s work, I tried a few textured stitches that she uses to create circles, triangles and lines.
A Creative Approach — Project 2 Developing your marks — Stage 1 — Preparation
The first stage of this exercise was to sort my fabric stash into bags. I chose to separate them by colour. There are a couple of crossovers with the greens/browns.
I’m using my boyfriend’s mother’s sewing machine — a Globe Cub 7. So to start with I had to read the manual, learn how to thread it, load the bobbin and position it correctly. I did have a little Singer sewing machine years ago but I had given it to a friend who was using it more than me. So it had been many years since I had last used a sewing machine.
I tried some practice stitches on a piece of folded calico. I wrote the tension, width, height settings on each stitch row. I worked the calico from right to left. Sometimes the machine thread broke, especially when I tried the synthetic thread. When I switched to cotton thread it was better.
The Globe seems to have a built in glitch — I noticed that the machine seems to skip some stitches, especially when length < 4. when doing straight stitching it irregularly misses a stitch so the stitch lengths are varied. I tried different settings to see if it was the tension & it improved a bit but still has this. Purists would call this a fault, but I love it — it means there’s always a surprise! I think this is perfect for fibre/textiles art. For sewing dresses it might cause a few issues, but I don’t do that often & prefer the textiles art anyway. It’s a bit like those old synths with quirks that make it sound special. It has a character of its own. Lovely!
08/09 Update: I’ve since had the sewing machine serviced as my sister had told me the missed stitches were due to a timing issue with the machine. Now it stitches correctly. Whilst I miss the glitches sometimes, it is nice to have a machine that stitches properly again.
Rear side of fabric:
Rear side of fabric:
08/09/2013 — I retried some of this exercise after the sewing machine service and had better results. Even the machine embroidery worked now!
I also tried some hand embroidery on linen, but I am much slower at this! so didn’t get too many stitches done. The stitches I tried were:
- running stitch — 2 rows, offset from each other;
- stem stitch — 3 rows close together;
- satin stitch — a couple of varying width sections;
- half Cretan stitch — I hadn’t tried this stitch before so it didn’t quite work out. I’ll need to practice it more. The light was fading as I was doing it also so it was hard to see.
Close up – front side:
close up – rear side – actually I like the different size stitches of the stem stitches on the underside (wrong side of the fabric), so I’ll try some others like this with different length running stitch on the front side of the fabric:
Chain stitch is new to me, so I tried it first. Initially I did a straight line, but then I added a curve/circle at the end of the line. This was using DMC #5, Perle colourway 842. I’ve used blanket stitch in grass woven baskets, but I didn’t know how to start it on fabric, so I watched the video tutorial. I did a couple of rows of blanket (button hole) stitch — the first was using DMC #3 Perle colourway 740. The second row was using DMC #25, colourway 608 — a thinner, darker shade of orange. Both of these stitches were done on black hessian using a hoop. I made different length stitches and different widths, and placed the two orange colours adjacent to each other. I think this creates a nice texture for the blanket stitch sample. The orange doesn’t go that well next to the cream coloured chain stitch, but I think both look good against the black hessian if you look at them separately.
When I practiced whipped stem stitch, I made some notes, samples and added thread cuttings to my journal