Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Module 3 - Chapter 6 - Hand Made Tassles

Yarns, threads and fabric strips chosen from selected colour scheme to make a variety of tassles using hand and machine methods.

A variety of green cotton and synthetic threads, machine stitched in the middle using a wide zig zag to hold the threads together and folded half to form the tassle head. The neck is formed by tightly wound machine thread.

'ORBIT' Lime green and variegated deep red & pink glossy machine embroidery thread, machine stitched flat in the middle and then loosely twisted in a spiral formation around itself.

A selection of novelty threads in magenta and green, twisted to form a cord, then plaited. The top neck was formed with tightly wound green rayon. The cords were then unplaited, before forming the second neck. The cords were then unwound to form the skirt.

torn strips of magenta cotton fabric, knotted together 3 times to form the head, then tightly wound with pink variegated knitting ribbon to form the neck.

A selection of green threads and knitting wools machine zig-zagged together with metallic magenta threads to form a cord. Tied at the neck with the same cord. Loops at top of head trimmed to form crew-cut!


Pink plastic bag cut into strips to form skirt. Tied in a knot to form head. A purple sweetie wrapper is held around the neck with green wire tightly spiralled around the length of the neck and threaded with green beads.

Shimmery lime green, metallic green and variegated yellow/green machine thread. Knotted in the centre to form head, then plaited to form a long neck. An additional knot is tied at the bottom of the plait above the beaded skirt.

A selection of pink cotton, rayon yarns and metallic machine thread, twisted together and folded to form head. Tightly wound with metallic machine thread to form neck, then untwisted to form skirt.

Shimmery lime green, metallic green and variegated yellow/green machine thread, machine zig-zagged together to form cord in centre, then knotted together to form head. Neck tightly wound with magenta metallic machine thread.

Dark red & pink variegated machine thread, knotted together to form head, then wrapped with the same thread to form a long elegant neck.

Violet tappestry thread, lilac metallic machine thread and lace ribbon. A wooden bead is inserted into neck to make it fatter.

Mini tassles made from light pink and light green machine thread, tied around neck of larger tassle with a beaded thread.

Variegated violet machine thread, and magenta metallic thread, machine stitched flat in the middle, then folded to form head. Neck tightly wound with the same thread. Threads were beaded before being wrapped around the card, the loops were left at the bottom of the skirt to hold the beads.

A selection of machine threads and novelty yarns, tied with metallic thread in a simple tassle with 3 necks.

Two shades of green rayon tied into a simple tassle. The head is padded with a silk cocoon, then decoratively stitched with detached buttonhole stitch. The skirt was cropped short to experiment with different proportions, but I feel that this stumpy skirt looks ugly!

A selection of green and magenta textured knitting and tappestry yarns twisted to form a cord, foled to form head, then untwisted to form skirt. The textured nature of the threads made the twisted cord on the head a bit inconspicuous.

Actually the first tassle attempt. Variegated magenta cotton threads tied in a simple tassle.

Pink ribbon and metallic pink machine thread, machine zig-zagged in the centre with violet machine thread and knotted to form head. Skirt left in loops. 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Module 3 - Chapter 5 - Cord Making

I really enjoyed this chaper and was amazed and inspired by the gorgeous selection of cords that were created.


A wide zig zag machine stitch was used over a selection of different 'core' threads by threading the core through a drinking straw taped in front of, and behind the needle. The machine was set to free machining with the darning foot on.

Single threads and groups of threads were used as the 'core', including:

machine threads, hand embroidery thread and knitting yarn, strips of fabric cut into a continuous length, tights, ribbons, string, unspun wool fleece and silk, wire, and polythene bags.

The macine threads used for the zig zag varied between harmonious colours, contrasting colours, variegated threads and metallics. The 'core' was pulled backwards and forwards through the machine to vary the density of the stitching.


I experimented with combinations of various thick and thin yarns, fabrics and contrasting textures to make a range of different twisted cords.


A selection of machine stitched and twisted cords were used to create the following knotted cords.

left to right:
2 twisted cords side by side and knotted at intervals,
2 machine stitched cords knotted together in a series of half hitch knots creating an interesting knobbly effect,
2 contrasting threads tied in alternate 'half knots' to form a flat square knotted cord,
a half knot repeated the same each time to produce a spiral effect,
looped braid edge,
continuous twist chain,
double ridge hitching (or alternate chaining.)


I experimented with a selection of different cords. I thought that for my first knot it would be easiest to use a strong synthetic garden twine. I was very wrong! It was slippery and hard to control, but eventually created a nice knot! The pink twisted string cord created a nice simple knot. The last knot was made from a cord of twisted fluffy knitting yarn, ribbon, and green plastic shopping bag.


A simple three-cord plait was tied in the following variations:

left to right:
using three different cords,
using two cords the same and one contrasting,
one thin cord,
one thick cord,
using a string of beads as one cord,
one of the cords pulled tightly after plaiting.

Four plaited cords (2 green then 2 pink),
four plaited alternating cords,
seven plaited cords,
five plaited cords in a woven formation.


a soft fat core twisted tightly with contasting ribbon to give a 'bulging' effect,
a thin cord wrapped irregularly arround a thicker cord,
a thick cord wrapped around a thinner cord
threads wrapped in both directions around a thick, twisted fabric cord.


Saturday, 15 September 2012

Module 3 - Chapter 4 - Decorate with Stitchery


 Lots of small, densley stitched spirals using a simple straight stitch. Without a hoop, the stitches pulled the fabric creating an interesting gathered surface, much like Indian Kantha work. I experimented with a variegated threads in colours analoguous to the colour of the fabric.
One large spiral, starting at the middle, each time with a different colour.
The first row of blanket stitch used two threads -a silk thread, and a metallic thread in the needle.
The second was a row of simple running stitch in variegated thread.
The third row was a selection of five different colours and textures of thread all couched down together.
The forth row was mauve/green variegated running stitch.
The fifth row was a pink/green variegated chain stitch.
The sixth row was a pale pink (tint) running stitch.
The seventh was a row of mauve (shade) french knots.

Threads in various contrasting and harmonious shades and tints, couched in lines of spirals like telephone wires.
Open spirals in various contrasting and harmonius shades and tints in blanket stitch, overlapped to create a sort of spiralling network.


Lots of small, densely stitched spirals in variegated thread using cable stitch.

 One large continuous spiral, starting in the middle, each time with a different colour.
The first row was a thick variegated thread wound onto the bobbin and stitched from behind using cable stitch.
The second row was a metallic thread wound onto the bobbin.
The third row was whip stitch, The machine running very fast and the fabric moving very slowly to create a densely raised row of loops.
The forth row was zig zagged whip stitch with two threads in the bobbin - one variegated and the other metallic.
The fifth row used two contrasting threads in the needle (using a top stitch needle and a slightly looser top tension).
The sixth was another row of whip stitch spirals, this time in anologuous variegated thread.
The seventh was a thick variegated thread wound onto the bobbin and stitched from the back using cable stitch and a metallic thread through the needle. (frustratingly the metallic thread kept breaking.)

Different colours of variegated thread stitched continuous lines of spirals like telephone wires.
Using a thread in the needle similar to the colour of the fabric, I love the way this stitch creates a broken, fractured line of stitches that vary in length depending upon the speed and angle of the movements.
Overlapping spirals creating a spiralling network. I love this sample.
The first layer was rectangular spirals of green metallic and green variegated thread, threaded through the needle together.
The second was a continuous line of overlapping spirals of whip stitch with a variegated pink thread in the bobbin, and a green thread on top.
Finally, one large continuous spiral in thick variegated pink thread was wound onto the bobbin and stitched from behind using cable stitch.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Module 3 - Chapter 3 - Fabrics and Threads

My colour scheme, as chosen in Chapter 2, is Magenta & Lime.

A collection of beads, sequins, fabrics and threads that I already had in my 'stash'.


Purchases from the Festival of Quilts at the NEC. Threads, beads and buttons in magenta and lime, plus plain fabrics and threads to dye.


I collected a selection of buttons, curtain hooks, tile spacers, washers, matchsticks etc that I thought might make interesting embellishments. I put these into a jar with a small amount of magenta acrylic paint, and gave it a good shake. The result was very pleasing!

I set aside an entire day to dye my fabric and threads. At 9am I started to prepare the soda, salt and dye mixtures. I used turquoise and lemon yellow to achieve lime green and a citrus greeny yellow. I tried to mix a darker shade of green, but only achieved an ugly mid green, so used avocado as a darker shade of lime.

For the pinks, I used scarlet, fire engine red, magenta and marine violet.

The threads were a selection of silks, cottons, rayon floss and string.

The fabrics were cotton (pfd), cotton voile, silk dupion, habotai, noil, and linen and were all cut to approximately 'fat quater' size.



 'pink and green mixtures' mostly random dyed. Top row centre, and bottom row left were dip dyed.


12 hours later, I was still ironing my fabrics dry, but have never enjoyed ironing so much before! I was exhausted, having spent more than 4 hours just rinsing out the dye, but the results were amazingly rewarding!

 Monoprinting was fun. I printed some with one layer, some with two layers, and some with three layers of paint (acrylic mixed with fabric textile printing binder).

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Module 3 Chapter 2 - Design Work (Spiral 'Warm-up' Exercises)

The complimentary colours chosen to work with throughout this designwork are cerise and lime.

Papers were sponged randomly with shades, tints and adjacent hues of cerise and lime, and then cut up to translate some of the images from Chapter 1 into the following 2-dimensional shapes.





Of all of the above 2d translations, I find the buildings to be the most interesting. The Gherkin has very interesting spiralling lines, and Orbit (the viewing gallery building from the Olympic Games) is fascinating with its double spiralling effect.

Carefully using a craft knife, strips of corrugated card were cut and rolled to make 3-dimansional spiral shapes.

 Sixteen A4 sheets of paper were coloured and then monoprinted once, twice and in some instances, many times with spiralling print designs to create complex and exciting layers of pattern.

I mixed acrylic paint with fabric textile printing medium (binder). This kept the paints workable for longer.

My favourite method of creating pattern was by rotating a small square of sponge scourer. This gave a lovely rose pattern. Ideal for a first layer of print.

Twisting a zig-zagged cardboard comb in round swirling patterns gave a good effect, and hand drawn scribbles with a rubber blending tool was very successful as a final print.

Lime green paint was not very noticable over layers - very subtle, however I did find it useful for bringing prints back to a lime colour if the had gone too 'milky'.


Spirals created on the computer in Illustrator.

 Spirals created on the computer in Photoshop

My current thought for an accessory is a bracelet, spiralling around the lower, or even upper arm, with a beaded chain somehow loosely spiralling and hanging, inspired by Orbit???????