Using thread and yarns to create textures.
The brief was to take one of our drawings, enlarge a small part of it and work from that picture. The idea was to choose threads and yarns in the same colourway and proportions as the picture and to create a piece of work using the drawing as a starting point. I enlarged an area of my beetroot leaf from the drawing I previously posted.
I mulled over my idea for this project for a few days for various reasons. Firstly, I am very keen on the ridges showing from the paper base and wanted to incorporate this in my choice of background fabric and, secondly, I wanted the colour of the fabric to become part of the overall design so it didn’t look like just a bunch of coloured threads dumped onto an unrelated surface. That then led me to work more on my thread choices because what was the point of completely covering the background if that was to be part of the piece?
I chose a pale green furnishing fabric as my main heavier weight base. This was then covered with a light green crystal organza which was held taut in the frame and later had areas melted away with the heat gun to give the variegated appearance of the finished piece.
My design was to keep a linear look, based on the drawing but re-arranged in direction. Using some viscose trim I started to zig-zag machine stitch over it making a cord the colour I required. What a disaster. I’ve made many a machine cord but that day the viscose slipped and slid out of place. The covering machine threads bunched and snapped and it was awful. So that left me with no choice but to tack it to the background and machine satin stitch over the whole thing. A big improvement but very plain so I took some wool and, using buttonhole stitch, I embellished it to make it more interesting.
The picture here doesn’t show the threads I used in the proportions they were applied but that can be seen clearly on the final piece. I did random Cretan stitch first using the cream coloured string. That was interesting because it is a cheap loosely woven string which I was able to separate out into thicker and thinner lengths to change the effect. A minimal amount of grey was split backstitched around the central motif as it barely shows on the drawing so had to be unobtrusive on the textile piece. Perle 5 was used in different colours in straight stitch (sometimes crossing), twisted chain and colonial knots with bugle beads being applied to add a sparkle. The knots and bugle beads are exactly the same colour and darker than they appear to be in the picture above.
Overall I’m very happy with the result. It took longer than I expected but a lot of that was the planning. The close stitched single twisted chains have given a good covering and the changes in direction and width of the buttonhole stitch over the cord has made it much more interesting than the initial machined cord.