Saturday, January 15, 2011

a wallhanging and a bag

No embroidery to show you.  Only some designs.
I have been doing a lot of research and mulling over some design ideas in my head.  I have also been looking a student work.

Here are two designs in my sketchbook
The left one is my outline of a design for a large wall hanging and the other is for a bag
I will go through each bit by bit
 This is the layer that is underneath everything.  At this stage It will only be visible at the bottom of slashed circles, so I am not really sure about it yet.

This is the plan for the second layer which will form the insides of the slashes.  It will be composed of several layers of blue and silver sheers topped by black velvet.
This is the embroidery for the second layer and it is quite dense in red, orange, yellow and brown threads, with a variety of decorative stitches forming the lines.  The ovals inside the curves will be slashed to show the fabrics underneath.

the bottom border is actually a lace extension of the layer 2 embroidery.  The threads from the embroidery will be arranged in a water soluble stabilizer sandwich and free motion embroidered into a lace extension with black thread.  Also, the final oval on the main piece will be cut out and included in the lace, with a spider web.

the final layer is a free motion lace overlay which will be embroidered over an invisible grid, previously sewn into water soluble stabiliser.  This will not be sewn down, but will be tacked and allowed to move freely.  I have also considered making it longer in certain sections so that it will project out of the piece.
Wow, that was a lot, wasn't it?  Of course at this stage these are still preliminary plans.  I need to get rid of the urge to put every single technique in every single piece and ask myself "Does it add to the piece?"

Now, the bag, perhaps a little simpler to explain.
I saw a program on Talking Threads Christmas Show Pt 3 with Mary Gamester (here, you will have to type  talking threads into the search box to find the program) The bag is made with strips in sets of three, two of which  which are pleated in one direction on the top and the other on the bottom.

The pictures above show  the strip repeat and the number of strips and a sketch of the finished bag.  Below is my design for the strips, however as you can see above, only part of each strip's pattern will be visible so i will probably only do the top or bottom third on each strip.
The design is inspired by moorcroft pottery.  I saw an article many years ago about moorcroft's centenary in Country craft and Decorating v7 no 2 and it has stuck with me.  The relief or dimensional nature of the designs is so beautiful.  This is based on a design by Kerry Goodwin called wisteria flutter  You can find the design at and as you will see, my design is not much like it.
The wisteria will be appliqued in a paler silk or satin and FME will be used to shade to dark at the edges. There will be some dimensional blossoms at the top using fabric folding.  The dimensional nature of moorcroft pottery will be imitated by couching around each piece of applique in a gold thread (?) At this stage the background is to be black, although the real thing is cream, with window frames and butterflies.  I have thought to put a butterfly on one of the drawstrings, but.... we'll see
Go give your brain a rest after all that!