Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Landscape of your own - 2

Well, I have finally gotten this tutorial together for you.  Today we will look at free motion embroidery on our landscape.
Since I am not videoing the stitiching for this tutorial, I have included short videos of the pattern on a whiteboard to help with visualising the motions.  Remember, drawing is great practice for free motion embroidery.
So far we have cut some strips and arranged and fused them.  It is a simple landscape, but a really easy one to start with and one that can be changed in many, many ways.
The first part I do is the sky.  This is a very simple treatment for sky, a sort of flattened stippling.  Look at the video of drawing this pattern on the white board.

Next the far away hills.  I have used an up and down motion to cover the whole hillside.  I used a grey thread and allowed the purple to show through.  I also used two different greys in the bobbin, which was loose so the colour spotted.  Darker towards the bottom and lighter towards the top.  The reason I use grey, or sometimes a grey blue colour here is that these colours will make the hill seem far away.  See the whiteboard video for this stitch pattern.

The next hillside was with a matching olive green thread and grey in the bobbin.  The bobbin thread was loose so it spotted from time to time, helping to meld the two into the distance.  I used granite stitch along the edge of the hill here.  Watch the whiteboard video of this pattern.

On the next hill, I again only stitched the top edge.  Variety in textures will give depth.  The thread was a slightly lighter thread with no spotting, starting to move forward in the picture with brighter colours.  The pattern here was a  horizontal zigzag (using straight stitch) down the diagonal slope.  Watch the video below for a clearer idea of the pattern.

In the layer above, I used a bright green with balanced tensions (no spotting) and drew grass shapes of uneven heights.  The white board video is below.

In this last layer, I actually did two different threads.  The one above in a dark green with the same pattern as the previous layer, and the one below, where I used a variegated thread.  The pattern is the same again, grass shapes, but I spaced them apart.  You can also see at the bottom the stitches going left to right, where I was marking time waiting for colour changes in the thread.  Again, this has led to a serendipitous change in my plan, which I will discuss, but first, here is the pattern video.

Below is my practice fabric.  I always have a practice fabric, made up the same way as my piece, so that I can test out tensions and patterns on it before I begin on my actual work.  When you change colours and bobbins and bobbin tensions frequently, you need to test everything on a similar piece of work - every time.
OK, so here is the piece in a piece of mount board 3x5 in.  The serendipitous part is that when I put this on the scanner, the fabric slipped a bit and uncovered that little bit at the bottom.  Now that I have seen that bit at the bottom, it looks like the side of a road to me, so road it shall be, and perhaps we need a fence post as well? 
All art, if it is good art, takes us on a journey, and sometimes that journey is not where we intended, but somewhere better. 

I will show you the decorative stitch tutorial tomorrow, hopefully.