I have said less about the Poetry of Stitch course with Christine than I might have, since we started way back in September. It has been tremendously interesting. Since those early experiments with weight of line and making our curve apparent, we moved onto the same exercises but using machine stitch. This was followed by taking just one of the designs we had stitched and, using the same fill pattern, find out how a variety of free machine embroidery stitches would behave. These were:
I had a few tension problems to start here, hence the blue at the top and further down - the yellow thread was in the bobbin.
This time there was dark thread in the bobbin and yellow on top. On the left hand side the top thread has been removed, leaving just the thread pulled through from the bottom to give the lightest of marks on the fabric. That was a fiddly job! Bondaweb on the back stops the thread from pulling out altogether.
Thick thread hand wound onto the bobbin, then the stitching is done on the back so the bobbin thread is couched down onto the front of the design. It can get a bit too wiggly if you don't get the speed right. It would be interesting to play with colour on the top and bottom threads, and the speed of stitching, to see what colour blending effects might be achieved.
All these, as you can see, rely on changing the machine tension to persuade more or less of the top or bottom thread to be pulled through the fabric. A great lesson in understanding how the different stitches achieve a different weight and character of mark. The following session concentrated on using those stitches to make interesting "blobs" on some fabric which already had a layer of blobby marks. This helped us to move further away from stitch as "a proper stitch" and more towards the possibilities of hand and machine stitch to make a mark on the fabric, a drawing tool rather than a correctly constructed stitch. Something to provide the next layer of marks onto a piece of already dyed/printed/otherwise coloured fabric.
Christine then gave us a series of words; rough and smooth, jumpy, disconnected, sad and so on. First we used our drawing tools to express these in marks. Then it was back to our curves and putting into practice the lessons we had learnt already about how to create texture with hand and machine stitch.
|Happy and Calm seemed to go together|
|Angry and Jealous made another suitable pairing|
|Rough and Smooth, Disconnected and Jumpy|