Following on from my previous post on sampling breakthroughs, another bit of progress relates to the applique of leather, which can be tough to sew through; but I do want to use leather shapes in the large work I’m just starting. About 10+ years ago I made a number of pieces in the Tracks Series in which I hand basted leather shapes from the reverse side, catching part way into the layer of leather, so though attached, the stitches were not seen from the front. It was hard work then, and my hands are a bit arthritic now, so I wouldn’t dream of doing what I did back then.
I love french knots, especially stemmed ones, and here are a couple of examples: one from earlier this year as a Stitch Club workshop project (Haf Weighton) and the other from 2006, Timetracks 2. Considering I was already having hand problems, finding leather becoming harder to work with, I can only wonder that I didn’t think of this before. But now I’m concentrating far more than I ever did on hand stitch, so perhaps it’s not so surprising after all.
What I realised yesterday:
- that I can machine applique the leather shapes I want on this piece using a long/basting stitch or whatever else I choose by way of stitch pattern
- I can then sew the stemmed french knots, straight stitches or even a bead, using the holes in the stitching which will be removed when that’s all done
- and voila! a hand appliqued leather shape! (left, below)
I think the bonded nylon organza will be good for the ghostly figures I have in mind – the edges are oversewn with gold here, but something in a less brassy gold, or silver-grey metallic might be more appropriate – back to a little more sample making.