Posts Tagged ‘sample making’

Planning Pandemic Pattern 3

Monday, December 28th, 2020

Some of the pieces in the bag of beautiful fine leather offcuts I blogged about a few weeks ago are used here in Pandemic Pattern 2:

Pandemic Pattern 2, free machine quilting in progress. Donation for the 2021 annual SAQA Auction

This 12″ x 12″ work is way ahead of schedule for SAQA’s annual September auction, as I normally make my donor piece in late January or February. However, I also often use these small format pieces as samples, and this one is really a sample for the next Pandemic Pattern piece, which is already on my mind as I finish the applique work featuring gold on black.

What I learned from the Pandemic Pattern 2 piece is:-

  • that machine basting the small circles of leather to the fabric was all very well in a small work, but physically out of the question for the large piece I have in mind.
  • I sewed stemmed french knots into the holes that the machine basting made. I’d like the next covid molecules to have fewer spikes, and was thinking about how to achieve this using my basting method. Leather can be tough to sew through.

This morning I took a break from the black/gold to do a few test samples for Pandemic Pattern 3 I have in mind.

A set of stitches, including stemmed fly and some other long straight stitches with two short ones crossing close to the free ends.

In the first pic, there’s some hi-vis citrusy knitting yarn, acrylic, about 8 ply. I don’t know if it will be useful in the work I have in mind, but I auditioned it, anyway, in single, 2- and 4-strand thicknesses, with some french knots w/wo stems – underwhelmed with the fuzzy effect. It would be better couched. More importantly in this pic is my first pass at using hi-vis polyester thread. (upholsterer’s thread weight and very strong) I learned a while back that it is rather springy, so it’s really difficult to use in some stitches. Here, however, I liked the effect of very open or shallow, long stemmed fly stitch, enough to persevere with exploration of it –

Some wide long-stemmed fly stitches, plus simple long stitches with short stitches crossing at one end.

Next I did the long+2 tiny cross stitches in two weights of flourescent orange thread. Pinning the leather and stitching around with long straight stitches (up from beneath through the fabric, down from the top through the fine leather was no trouble with a sharp needle) That was followed by another round of small stitches crossing the free ends – the easy solution I’d been looking for, and I now have the heart to tackle the large work on my mind. I like the effects of both threads.

I just can’t get this fabric to photograph showing its flourescence, but it is much brighter than the kind of mint green it looks.

Trying out these various possibilities only took about an hour of my time, but helped me make some decisions. I’m a real fan of sample making.

Seduced By Colour

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Panama, on the isthmus connecting North and South America, pulsates with life and colour. We’ve been there several times, and one time several years ago I got totally out of control in a haberdashery/ merceria stocked with glitter and lots of interesting ‘stuff’ for all kinds of embroidery and craft activities. My eye was taken by reels and reels of gorgeous bright coloured ribbon, and, as if under some kind of Panamanian Bright Colours Spell, I bought 7-8m of every bright, narrow ribbon I could find, which didn’t look much when organised into balls…

Have you ever found that after buying something gorgeous in a foreign place, you get it home and wonder what the heck you are going to do with it? The only link I can see between ribbons and my preferred usual surface design technique, improvisational quilting, is ‘lines’. Over the following year or two I ‘visited’ these ribbons/lines of colour regularly, letting them slither through my fingers as I wondered what had possessed me, and what on earth I was going to do with them. I ratted one or two colours to tie around wrapped gifts … and realised that wouldn’t use them up any year soon!

However an idea came to mind late last year during a bit of a tidy up. (Don’t worry, nothing too severe) At the time I thought I needed another 100cm x 60cm piece for the SAQA Oceania call for entries for “Connections” so that I’d have two to submit by the closing date in January, but I’ve since re-read that prospectus and found it’s only one entry per member. So, whether or not what follows turns out to be something suitable to exhibit another time, it will be a good learning sample. I’ve always found it worthwhile to make samples when practising or learning new techniques.

I was inspired to use (up) these materials by the memory of one art quilt I saw nearly 30 years ago in Denver CO’s Arvada Centre A huge piece approx 2m x 2m, it was made of bright coloured fabric squares sandwiched between metallic insect screen mesh layers. On the front layer some squares were cut and the fabrics inside eased out in the manner of a facial tissue box top. It was stunning how the metallic mesh shimmered and the colours glowed. I can’t imagine how the maker worked with anything less than leather gloves and an industrial machine to assemble the mesh pieces. I didn’t take a photo or make note at the time, but finding it still on my mind a few years ago, I wrote without success to some likely sources inquiring who made it. I’d love to hear from anyone who recognises my description and knows who made that art quilt.

It was amazing how quickly this process ate up the ribbon of which I only had enough to do 7 x 9 squares instead of the 7×10 originally planned. As I’m using black nylon organza and a black polyester that unravels pretty easily, selecting an edge finish technique for this could be tricky. I ended up placing the ribbons a bit differently, but you’ll get the idea that squares have been marked by tacking to be removed once the organza and polyester layers are fastened together. I plan to have some ribbons hanging out on the front side. It’s well advanced, and we’ll see soon how this experiment finishes up, and I’m considering a smaller version for the annual SAQA auction.

Browsing On Pinterest

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

My readers know I dip into Pinterest every now and then, sometimes browsing and procrastinating for hours; but this morning I was a little ahead of my loosely imposed daily schedule so took ‘only a few minutes’ …. then felt moved to write a little on this, create and resize a collage pic to illustrate this, and so really, nearly an hour has flown !  But shortly I’ll head back to more quilting on the one I’m half way through.

To me, Pinterest is an ideas source, just like what journalists call a morgue – collection of files and clippings for reference.  I’m so glad I don’t have bulging drawers of paper clippings gathering dust somewhere – thank goodness for computers.  I watch out for interesting edge treatments, presentations, lines and shapes, contemporary hand stitch, holes, and a few other categories for which I have boards.  I just checked and among the 13 boards I have one for recipes – which I really don’t collect at all, hardly ever consult the cookbooks I have, and instead focus either on family favs or on the spot creativity.

With the exception of the broderie lace upper right, included because I own it and it inspires me  (holes) the other sections on this collage are samples I have probably tried out for reference having seen something relating to them on Pinterest.  This morning  I saw and saved some contemporary hand stitch that reminded me of mending, and several  things on paper which took me browsing into a couple of interesting bloggers’ sites that seem to have been abandoned several years ago – that’s always a bit disappointing.  But, hey, Life intervenes at times, and I’ll look further to see if they are still producing, perhaps in another medium.  But my hour’s nearly up, so that’s all for today 🙂

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