Developing Stitched Text – practice

Lisa provided all the materials and resources we needed. She suggested we take the exhibition Transience as our theme, where the artists were given the words: Silence, Stillness, Presence, Absence, Tranquil, Transience to work with.

P1000681Lisa also recommended we limited our colour palette to red, black and cream and to use a heavy duty sewing thread rather than embroidery yarn as it gives a crisper finish. I was reminded of my grandmother’s sewing box where she had reels of cotton in different weights.P1000680We worked on A4 pieces of calico and transferred the text onto the fabric. I chose to use a friction pen – wish I’d known about such a thing when I was working on my Mothers as I spent hours experimenting how to place the names onto the material. I decided to use  the same word throughout STILLNESS and stick to one colour, cream, in order for me to concentrate on the technique. The top right hand corner was stitched in running stitch – as I’m not skilled in running stitch the result is not good – the font too small for me to work neatly.
In the middle I used stem stitch with a small piece of wadding sandwiched between two pieces of calico. This gave the best definition.
The incomplete word at the bottom was done in back stitch – all the years I’ve worked this stitch I’ve been doing it wrong – the correct way has produced a far more satisfactory result.
I was too hasty in pressing my work and ironed away my unstitched inked text.P1000682

Then I remembered someone saying it reappears if put in the freezer – saved! I’ve still the stencilled STILLNESS to complete.  P1000679

Using the stencils again the text was transferred onto bondawab – remembering to reverse the letters so they read the right way when ironed onto the black fabric. I cut them out to appliqué onto the calico – the positive and negative. P1000678

Time to free machine. I placed a piece of paper with the printed words on then stitched over – about three of four times before removing the paper. Just as successful but much cheaper than stitch & tear. The disadvantage is that the printing ink discoloured the cream thread.P1000677

The last piece I did was on printers scrim – a lovely firm fabric but with a translucent quality.

photo 4 The ‘show and tell’ board
photo 5

My workshop colleagues.

I came away with a sense of achievement. I liked the fact that composition, subject matter, colour palette and form didn’t get in the way – I was able to think about stitch. My next step is to select some text to take along to my printing workshop on collagraphy.

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