Sunday, 25 October 2009

Chapter 8 - Complex Samples

I kept the first sample simple as I was a little unsure of how this method was going to work. I bonded an indigo linen cross shape onto the violet polyester satin, and then machine stitched another cross shape over the top in a concetric pattern of variegated orange/yellow thread. I padded the central rectangle from behind. I'm not very impressed with the end result. It's very uninteresting and I think I've possibly 'over-stuffed' the centre.
Perhaps I will return to this sample when I have done a few more and hopefully have a better idea of what I am trying to achieve.

To make things more interesting on sample 2, I tried adding more layers.
On an orange shiny printed background, I bonded a yellow printed cross, over which I bonded a narrower indigo cross, machine stitching concentric gold squares in the centre for a bit of sparkle and to tye up with the gold printing on the background layer. I then repeated the outline of the first cross pattern at 90 degrees with machine stitching which gave interesting corner shapes that I filled with wadding from behind. I accentuated the outline of the finished shape with a chunky indigo running stitch which echoes the indigo printing on the yellow cross shape. I also machine and hand stitched a very interesting inner 'star' shape that had been created by the overlapping crosses.
I like the contrasts of the bold, vivid colours and the way the hand stitching helps all the shapes relate to each other.

On sample 3, I bonded a solid rectangular yellow cross shape onto an indigo printed cotton background. Over this I asymetrically bonded another cross shape in gold organza which I machine stitiched in concentric patterns. To the organza layer, I aligned a simple linen indigo cross, cut in relief , overcast by hand in ochre thread, and stuffed. The top and bottom indigo layers 'sandwich' the yellow & gold layers quite nicely, and the ochre stitching helps to tie everything together.
On sample 4 I bonded an indigo hessian cross onto printed yellow cotton. Over the top of this, I machine stitched the outline of another cross in gold zig zag stitching. The top layer is an orange hand-stitched cross, woven in the centre and stuffed. It was interesting to stuff the hand-stitched rectangle in a stump-work fashion, along with the hessian, it created a much more tactile, textural piece compared to the others, but I'm not really happy with the finished sample. Perhaps it's because none of the layers relate to each other.

I was beginning to get a bit despondent at this point. The only sample I was really happy with was no.2 and I was unable to identify why that design had worked and the others hadn't. I looked through my previous exercises again and came accross 0059 with its skewed and distorted arrow head crosses.
I cut my first cross in relief from gold printed organza, and bonded this onto metallic gold fabric. This dulled and 'knocked back' the glitz of the metallic gold. I then overlaid this with a similar shape created entirely from running stitch in idigo thread. I added a back layer of calico, machine stitched around the inner organza cross, allowing me to pad the metallic gold cross from behind. I think this gives a very interesting effect as the running stitch cross also overlaps the padded areas.

I love my last sample, but I think its just because I got carried away with the hand stitching on the top cross.
The first layer is a very simple orange cross bonded onto an indigo linen background printed with gold. The top cross is hand stitched with rows of running stitch and french knots in a blue/violet variegated thread. The corners of the cross are embelished with rectangular buttonhole stitch shapes. The central orange cross was then cut away to reveal the indigo background to which I added a calico backing and stuffed.
I like the way the variegated thread reflects the random dyes background fabric, and is accentuated by the vivid contrast of the orange middle layer.
I think this design could be improved by the use of shisha glass inside the buttonhole stitiched corners.

Although I was really glad to complete this exercise, I forced myself to return to my first sample, to see if I could improve on it. I decided to accentuate the diamond shape by couching metallic threads, cutting the ends and leaving them loose of the surface. I think this helped add a touch of opulence to the dull, muted tones of the original design.

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