Monday, 10 February 2020

Chapter 10. Converting my design into embroidery

Chapter 10
Converting my design into embroidery

I have the go ahead from my tutor, Sian Martin to go ahead with my chosen design by repeating the image x4 so I took my decorated paper design to our local printer and had 4 black and white copies made which when taped together gave me the A1 design required.

And in colour:

This now gives me an idea of the scale I’ll be working to and I can use this to trace the outlines of the shapes of each separate area to produce a pattern piece to help me determine the size and shape of each piece to be embroidered.
The black and white copy also gives me a different take on the textures featured in the decorated papers, a useful reference compared with the coloured original over one quarter of the design.

The next task is to create samples which translate each decorated paper into an embroidered surface using mainly machine stitchery and manipulated fabric techniques. The embroidered surfaces must show a strong relationship to the decorated papers in my design.

I need to pay attention to:
  • colour and tone
  • the type of mark i.e. short, angular and linear or continuous, wide and curved
  • the size of textural marks i.e. large and bold or small and delicate
  • the rhythm and arrangement of marks

I now have to make 3 samples for each decorated paper in the design.
I could make these up to be very different to enable exploration of alternatives or very similar as I develop ideas.
When all 3 are complete I will chose one for each different area of my design but this needs to be considered carefully so that there is a sense of co-ordination when they come together as a whole.

I need to look for a common link between each of the embroidered areas. This could be through technique, a particular fabric or a stitched method. These became more obvious as I worked.

Samples 10.1
This is the conversion of my base layer of decorated papers [ 9.3.d Cartridge paper coloured with deep blue and turquoise acrylics and allowed to dry. Over printed with lighter blue acrylic using bubble wrap.]

The base layer will form the main stable backing for the wall hanging so I’ve chosen a heavier felted woollen fabric which has been space dyed using Dylon cold water dyes in Bahama Blue and Navy to which I added a fixative made up of soda crystals and salt. When dry I added some monoprinted patterning using bubblewrap and blue and orange acrylic paints with Fabric Painting Medium added.
This resulted in the rich, deep colour and texture I wanted

Sample 10.1.a 
Free machine stitching worked in circular pattern with deep blue on top and orange on lower bobbin. I tightened the upper tension in places to produce more of a whipped effect.

Sample 10.1.b
As before but with snippets of blue and orange fabrics appliqued in place.

Sample 10.1.c
Layer of space dyed felted wool overlaid with space dyed Chinese silk with a small amount of bubble wrap printing added. Free machine stitching added in circular and vermicelli style using blue thread on top and orange to lower bobbin with whipped effect in places to accentuate the orange printing. This was then washed in hot water to shrink the wool and silk to produce a subtle quilted effect.

Sample 10.2
This is the conversion of the third layer of my decorated papers representing the central sphere
[ 9.3.b. Tissue paper laid over a cardboard rubbing board and silver wax crayon used to create a rubbing. Aquamarine and turquoise Brusho sponged the surface over at random].

This is a manipulated fabric sample with free machine embroidery added.
Bands of fabric namely from top to bottom: space dyed silk, silk painted silk, space dyed cotton organdie, repeat space dyed silk.
Bands of these have been gathered on the machine using a wide straight stitch and gathered, tacked to a backing fabric and free machine embroidered using a wide zigzag and whip stitch horizontally following the direction of the gathers.
Blue thread on top and turquoise underneath with a hint of orange in places.
This has produced a beautiful undulated effect.  

Another manipulated fabric sample with added free machine embroidery.
Corded quilting using the back surface as the front.
2 layers of fabric. Space dyed linen and silk muslin [the latter becoming the front]. Pairs of machine stitching made in normal straight stitch using blue machine thread.
String previously used to make an Arashi Shibori sample threaded through the channels of stitching.
Sample then scrunched together and random free machine embroidery used to add distortion using the blue machine thread as before on top and ochre yellow / turquoise to lower bobbin. Whip stitch effect added.

A further corded quilting sample.
Backing random dyed linen and silk painted bamboo silk satin [the latter becoming the front].
I used twin needles to stitch channels with blue / turquoise threads to top and turquoise below.
Am embroidery floss and stranded cotton used individually or both together and threaded through the channels. I also added some small lengths of random dyed threads for dashes of orange.
Added channels added with free zigzag stitching with single needle but 2 threads maintained on top and turquoise below with loose bobbin tension resulting in a whipped effect. This stitching was also threaded with stranded cotton and one left as it is.

I love this last image and it has evoked other words describing the topic:

I can’t help but think of the recently coined phrase ‘Blue planet’.

Samples 10.3
This is the conversion of the second layer of decorated papers representing the movement of the water’s surface
[9.3.a Tissue paper crunched into a ball, backing of cartridge paper covered with PVA onto which the tissue paper smoothed evenly over and flattened with a dry paint brush. Allowed to dry and then a wash of blue Brusho applied, Chalk pastel rubbed over the raised surfaced when dry].

My final design resulted in 2 shades of this decorated paper – the first are lighter and represented by samples a, b, and c whilst samples d and e the darker.

Sample 10.3.a
Supported on Solufleece cold water soluble fabric
Nylon chiffon fabric. Free sideways zigzag. Chiffon tucked as I stitched. Turquoise thread below, pale blue variegated thread on top [whipped effect] and blue thread added in afterwards for tonal value.
I envisage this [transparent chiffon] being laid over the dark background layer

Sample 10.3.b
Solufleece as a support. Random dyed scrim with free sideways zigzag. Blue on top and turquoise below. Whipped effect.

Sample 10.3.c
Solufleece to support, Twin needle with blue and turquoise threads through twin needles and turquoise below. Worked on chiffon which was tucked as I stitched. Followed by free sideways zigzag using a single needle but with the two top threads remaining.

Sample 10.3.d
Solufleece as a support. Free sideways zigzag in blue on top and turquoise below, whipped effect. Snippets of random dyed silk added 

Sample 10.3.e
Manipulted fabric plus machine stitchery sample
Shibori dyed Chinese silk. Pleats captured with twin needle using blue and turquoise to top and turquoise below. Horizontal gathering added by hand at irregular intervals

First 2 pics show Arashi Shibori dyeing process:

Absolutely thrilled with this result:

And the embroidered result:

Samples 10.4.
This is the conversion of the third layer of decorated papers repeated this time to represent the blade of the turbine
[9.3.a Tissue paper laid over a cardboard rubbing board and silver wax crayon used to create a rubbing. Aquamarine and turquoise Brusho sponged the surface over at random].
Because this represents the blades of the turbine I’m looking to achieve a sharper and more powerful image.

Quilted sample, 2 layers fabric, top dyed Chinese silk and underneath calico plus polyester wadding.
Space dyed silk lozenges and strips stitched with sideways zigzag in dark blue and turquoise and whipped effect and appliqued onto padded background and secured with line of straight stitch and couched silver metallic embroidery thread.

Quilted sample, 2 layers fabric - bamboo silk satin coloured with silk paints and linen, polyester wadding.
Horizontal wavy lines of silver metallic thread worked in cable stitch to show on bamboo silk satin side.

Base layer of space dyed silk, lozenge and strip of Crystal organza stitched with sideways zig zag and twin needle wavy lines in dark blue thread to add texture and then appliqued in place with couched metallic embroidery thread to outline shapes.

Samples 10.5
Decorated paper from previous sample repeated again, this time representing the half sphere on the far left and right of the design which is intended to depict the power of the waves and replenished energy

Sample 10.5.a
Crystal organza worked with twin needle channels, fabric tucked as I worked. Self coloured machine thread dark blue with touches of orange

Painted silk as base fabric with turquoise free sideways zigzag over stitched by sideways zigzag cable stitch in silver metallic embroidery threaded

Nylon chiffon stitched with sideways zigzag using dark blue and turquoise thread with whipped effect plus a touch of orange to add a pop of colour. Fabric tucked as I stitched. Over stitched with sideways zigzag cable stitch in silver metallic embroidery thread

Samples 10.6
This is the fourth layer of converted decorated papers [9.2.d Bubble wrap painted at random with orange and yellow ochre acrylics].

All these samples are laid over a snippet of the base layer [see samples 10.1] as they will be transparent.

Double layer of nylon chiffon worked with orange thread in free zigzagged circles. Underneath a strip of free tiny zigzag worked in circles on Solufleece.

Free zigzagged circles worked on cellophane

Free straight stitch and zigzagged circles worked on single layer of nylon chiffon


My choices - one sample from each section.

I feel the common elements throughout the final choices are
 The types of fabric  mostly silk for its watery qualities plus nylon chiffon for it's transparency
Colourways blue and turquoise with snippets of orange for added vibrancy
The stitching - mainly sideways free zigzag for directional impact
Metallic embroidery thread used for cable stitch

Base or first layer - 10.1.b I like the more defined and textured areas of the appliqued 'bubbles' which will be picked up in other areas of the hanging especially the 6th section.

Second layer - 10.2.c I love this sample, I feel it will convey the spherical 'earthly' qualities well and it has an ethereal feel which fits well with the Blue Planet portrayal.

Third layers - 10.3.a The stitching has a lovely watery feel and I love the way the chiffon's transparency will reveal the depths below the water's surface.

10.3.e - The pleats and gathers portray a more directional and powerful flow of water which suggests movement.

Fourth layer - 10.4.a I feel this has a more solid and metallic feel [ turbine like] and that the shapes within reflect the shape of the turbine slicing through the wind and harnessing power. 

Fifth layer - 10.5.b The stitching, especially the metallic cable stitch will link in well with the metallic thread elsewhere.

Sixth layer - 10.6.a The double layer of nylon chiffon has a lovely bubbly quality and the under layer of free circular stitching adds texture and body 

I have added a key below of one quarter [to be repeated x 4 as per pic at the beginning of this post]

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