Module 3 Chapter 2
Cut edges - straight
I looked through the collection of images I made for chapter 1 and liked this image of a dragonfly (below). I copied the triangle pattern on the body to use as a basis for my design.
I made a stamp of the same shape and printed a crinkled piece of blue silk with gold fabric paint, using a random print effect.
I then cut out the same shape in a light blue silk and placed these in a design over the top of the printed background. I sewed around the edge of each shape in straight stitch, using a lime green thread. I managed to sew two rows of stitches quite close together, but could perhaps have sewn closer to the edge of each shape. I liked the colour combination that I used, and also the way the printed shape echoed that of the appliqued light blue shapes. Perhaps if I had outlined some of the printed gold shapes in the background, this would have added more 'depth' to the finished sample.
For this sample, I found this picture of a Chinese kite and used the shape of the tail as a basis for my design. This time I cut out five different sized shapes in space-dyed felt.
I used a maroon piece of silk as the background fabric and decorated this with automatic stitching in light green, orange and pink. For the orange and green stitching I used a 'leaf' shaped stitch and the pink stitching I decided on a more triangular shaped automatic stitch to provide contrast. I placed the felt pieces so that they seemed to 'point' towards the centre of the fabric and then used a narrow satin stitch to secure these to the background, keeping the 'foot on'. The corners were quite tricky to sew - I tried going over the stitching twice and this seemed to cover any untidy stitches from the first attempt at sewing around the shape. I tried sewing from the centre of each side to the next corner and this seemed to make life easier!
I liked the colour combination of this sample, especially how the lime green lifts the other colours and also how the stitching picks up the colours in the space dyed felt.
Curved edges - for the next sample, I chose this picture of a butterfly Chinese kite design, as it contained some interesting shapes with curved lines. I used the shape at the bottom of the kite tails as a basis for this sample.
For the background, I covered a black piece of felt with Angelica fibres in gold, silver, metallic blue and pink and fused these together. I cut out five pieces of blue silk in my chosen shape and placed these over the background, overlapping two of them as this created an interesting effect and allowed the background to be seen too. I then sewed around the edges of the shapes using straight stitch, but 'foot up', in order to make it easier to sew around the curved edges. I used a gold thread, to pick up the metallic fibres of the background.
I quite liked the final design, but I feel as if something is missing from it. I'm not sure if I should have chosen a patterned fabric for the shapes, but maybe this would have been too 'busy' against the background?
For sample 4, I went back to the Chinese kite that I also used for sample 2, but this time used the curved fin shapes of the goldfish as the shape in my design.
I cut out five fin shapes in different sizes in a blue/green and purple spaced dyed felt. I used denim as the background fabric and decorated this with metallic fabric paint that had first been painted onto fusible webbing and then bonded to the denim. I placed the fin shapes in a design that looked a little like a flower separated into its petals, starting with the largest at the top and becoming smaller in a clockwise direction. I used a narrow satin stitch to secure these to the background in metallic purple thread. I left the foot up so that I could manipulate the needle around the curved edges of the shape and sewed around each one twice in order to create a neat stitched effect.
I liked the final sample as I felt the arrangement of the shapes worked well and that the colours worked well with each other. I also felt that I had arranged the fabric painted pieces more effectively over the background than my previous attempt in chapter 1.
Torn and frayed edges with fabric
I prepared a background on black felt by printing the shape I used for sample 1, in metallic green fabric paint, in a random pattern. I then fused strips of sheer fabrics over the top of this, using black 'Mistyfuse'. Over this base, I sewed strips of torn silk in orange and a deep warm red, using an automatic stitch pattern with a triangular shape in overlapping rows. Once this was complete, I used a heat gun to melt away areas of the sheer fabrics to reveal parts of the printed background.
It was interesting to combine different techniques I had learnt to create the background and I felt this was quite successful because I tried to link the colours of each different layer together. The different layers also add depth to the finished sample. This would be interesting to use as the edges to feathers or wings, as the frayed edges have the same fragile quality.
Torn and frayed edges with paper
I created the background for this sample by printing onto a textured green paper, using the dragonfly print shape used in earlier samples, but this time creating a 'shadow' effect by printing gold over a dark navy. I then tore strips of dark navy paper and a cream Japanese printed paper. I placed these over the green background with the cream paper layered over the navy one and secured these by using a triangular automatic stitch. I used navy and gold thread and layered the stitches over each other.
I felt that this sample was very effective because lots of the elements linked together. E.g. the shadow prints were echoed by layering the papers over each other and then the stitching. The colours of the printed shapes, the papers and the stitching were also similar and this created a feeling of unity in the design.