Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pointillist Stitching

I've just had a lovely day with Chris Cook - a great teacher - on a Malmesbury group Embroiderers' Guild workshop.

We spent the day machine stitching what Chris called Pointillist surfaces - after George Seurat and Paul Signac. The idea was that we stitched and restitched and over-stitched with primary colours so that they blended and worked with one another to shimmer and even to create secondary colours when viewed from a distance.

Reflections in stitch
I worked from a photo of reflections I had taken on a boat trip in Thailand - with rich colours and strong contrast. I found it a most interesting technique, though I'm not sure I really got the colour mixing. But then perhaps, given my inspiration photo, maybe I didn't really want to ....

Reflections of a river boat taken from the water in Bangkok
The piece here is very much work in progress and needs finishing and developing ... but I can see that the machining technique will be very useful for the next big project I have in mind.


9 comments:

  1. This looks very exciting. A couple of questions (if I may be so bold!!): do you mess about with the thread tension at all? and what do you do about choice of bobbin thread colour? Love your inspiration photo!! Just gorgeous!

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  2. Hi Marny - you may indeed be so bold!
    Yes - I set it to zero, though I'm not sure you need to. I just found it made things easier. Might be interesting to try it without doing so.
    Otherwise, it's free machining with the feed dogs down and embroidery foot on and using zig-zag set on 5 but with the stitch length on zero - or as low as you can get it. You then stitch with the fabric at right angles and manipulate it up and down so that you stitch over and over in lines of varying length as you work across the fabric.
    About bobbin thread, I used white - cheaper than the Gutermann Sulky threads I was using on the top. It didn't show at all, though doing this means you can turn the fabric over and work from the back for a more subtle effect if you want to.
    Hope this makes sense! Let me know if it doesn't Margaret

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    1. I had an extra thought, I didn't alter the bobbin tension, just the top thread, as my machine gets very bad-tempered and dictatorial when I try to do that ...!

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    2. yes, indeed. the machine that holds sway over the stitcher!! I suspect I have her sister!!! Tks for the info. Lots of ideas to try!!

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    3. They're just too intelligent for their own good, these modern machines.... Bit like my PC!

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  3. I noticed that you are a fan of Stephanie Devaux's work - as you say kindred spirits.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed - she does beautiful work. I especially like her use of machine stitch into paper - but without thread - in her latest pieces.
      Thanks for visiting!

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  4. An interesting technique

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    1. It was - and one I will use quite quickly, I'm sure.

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