Category Archives: stitching

Stitching off the Page (fancy edgings) class

last saturday (31st jan) I went along to Alex Falkiner‘s “Stitching off the Page (fancy edgings)” class in marrickville. it was a lovely afternoon learning new stitches and techniques for the edges of fabric. I really wanted to learn her “netting” stitch and just block out a few hours to spend stitching. great to speak to others too

some photos of the “in progress” parts of the stitches for future reference. I felt I was having a bad day stitching – extra slow and making lots of mistakes (which given my state that week after the recent surgery/recovery wasn’t too surprising), but I’ll try these again when feeling better.

the netting stitch is like blanket stitch but you stitch into the air / where the loops join instead of into the fabric

finding a line

I sat down again to my stitch noodling frame today to relax and play and tried some thinner cotton. this time double stranded sewing thread. tried some button hole stitch — still my favourite ever since discovering Junko Oki’s work — especially her circles, last year. the first row is a row of straight edged button hole stitch. for the second row, I noticed the thread was settling into the fabric in a more organic way, not wanting to stick to the straight line. so I let it go, and it made this really nice organic, jagged line which I really like. it’s a bit closer to an open (loose) cretan stitch, but also looks more like a heartbeat, or simple audio waveform. sometimes it’s worth letting go of your plans to find the better line.

drawing with thread workshop

today I went to a workshop called “drawing with thread” at the Art Gallery of NSW where we played and tinkered with stitches and coloured threads. it was taught by Alex Falkiner and was lots of fun. Alex showed us how to use different stitches to recreate drawing marks, different lines and block colour techniques, and to ask ourselves “what would happen if …”, and to find the whimsy, playfulness and randomness in making. there were a mix of fluoro colours which I hadn’t used before, so it was fun to try. very relaxing. Alex also spoke of making things that don’t *have* to be functional. this is something I need to practice – previously I’ve don’t mostly functional craft making over the years

it was great to see fellow OCA textiles classmates Judy and Eva at the workshop too — Judy wrote a post about the day at https://fibresofbeing.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/t1e1p1-workshop-alex-falk…

lots of great discussions also, and names of other artists to check out – recommended by Alex plus others in the workshop.

stitches & tips:
– spring stitch (stem stitch) – transitions between shapes
– scribble on the fabric with your non-dominant hand in pencil then backstitch over it to draw the lines
– threading needles – bring the needle to the thread to make it easier
– button hole stitch for the loose netting
— —> | —> | —> | then back the other way | <— | <— | <—
– french knots – olives: if loose, then come back to the side with another colours and tack it down
– linen thread is loopy / rounded by nature so good for the curved netting shapes (gutermann linen thread)

artists to consider:
Tilleke Schwartz
Gwen Hedley
Allison Watkins ::: closet studies
Dorothy Caldwell ::: tactile writing and the written word. walking with stitch workshop
Demelza Sherwood ::: portraits
Ruth Hadlow ::: patternbook & working with threads and nails & translating the textiles university world
textile fibre forum in geelong
Natasza Niedziolka ::: colouring in shapes, like aerial landscapes, tacks down knots amongst the lines
Marian Bijilenga ::: objects
Nick Cave ::: sound suits
my stitching
the whole class’ stitching

square wave smocking

making squares and rectangles using contemporary smocking from square wave patterns. it’s based on the lozenge pattern. getting the hang of it. I drew the square waves by hand so they’re not perfectly even, so the squares sometimes don’t line up perfectly. but I like the 3D shapes they make. I need to iron/press these too to see the effect. I like the puffy (un-ironed) version also

 

I saw this cool photo of waveforms placed next to nature waveform patterns, so I wonder if an audio waveform pattern could be used as a smocking guide also. worth a try to see what happens

 

next I might try some shapes like Matija Čop used in these 3D architectural based garments. there’s so many fabric manipulations on pinterest too. I’ve pinned some on my textiles page to remind me to try them also

making a dragonscale sample – reverse smocking

I’ve been making dragonscale (reverse smocking) using Michele Carragher’s instructions (she is the game of thrones’ embroiderer). I finally got it to work, after unpicking the first few attempts (& realising I’ve done it on wrong side of the fabric – right side for regular smocking). I’m using this as part of the fabric manipulation topic in assignment 3 work. I’ll use this page to add more details and summarise it (with other samples) on the assignment page later.

notes for the pattern:

first attempt – I had only drawn the dots, not the triangles and became a bit lost, so these two didn’t work out. I unpicked them and started again.

next time, I drew the triangles as a template onto the fabric also. this helped a lot, and I managed to make it correctly this time

the right side of the fabric – this shows the smocking pattern, but the “dragonscale” uses the other side, so I actually made the whole piece on the wrong side of the fabric. oh well. know for next time.

the wrong side of the fabric – showing the dragonscale. I need to iron/press it to flatten it, though I like the puffy pattern also.

some more progress

woven eyes

testing some woven eyes for my bees. these have a matte black circular warp threaded into cut fabric (calico in the first test), and shiny black stranded thread for the circular weft, travelling across and around the eye. I used the shiny thread to simulate the shinyness of a bee’s eyes, and woven circles to remind of the multiple cells / lenses of the bees’ eyes.

I learnt this technique from jude hill on her wonderful “considering weave” class / project

the first one didn’t work out as i’d threaded both ways instead of one way only.

but the next sample worked out as I had hoped (seen in my mind) so i was happy about this.