Thursday, June 28, 2012

"It's Just a Sample"

I've been working on Activities 4 and 5 of my C&G program (Module 7) this week -- experimenting with stitches for the edges of fused shapes, thinking about thread weight and colour, work by hand or by machine...etc.  Having chosen to go with the second composition, I began to put it together.

First, I fused down the shapes.  Then I began to stitch.  Assignment 4 requires that we use blanket stitch, and that we first explore what our machine can do in this area.  Here's my wee sample from my Husqvarna Lily:

I find I'm partial to the default stitch length (0.4), but slightly larger width -- a 3.0 or 3.5 instead of the default (2.0).

So...then, what colour of thread?  I wanted to keep it subtle, but didn't have enough of the right colour to match the shapes I was going to stitch down (the rectangles -- a turquoise would have matched) I went with what I had that matched the background instead: a deep pink Gutermann 100% polyester from my stash (the shops around here sell a lot of Gutermann.  I've been a fan of both Mettler Silk Finish and Sulky (poly, metallic, and "Blendables"), but can't always get them at my LQ Shops.)  The weight isn't marked on the spool, but I think from the look of it, it's 40 or 50 wt.  Here's my sample with satin stitch around the rectangles, FMQ to highlight the leaves on the right, and FMQ leaves in a motif at the bottom.

The next stitch to play with?  Blanket stitch.  First I tried it around the negative bottle shape (left rectangle), again in the Gutermann pink, and it essentially disappeared into the background.  It was also tricky to do a negative shape by machine.  I decided I'd try hand-stitching around the edge of the other bottle:

For this I decided to continue to match the background colour, and found some hand-dyed floss from Gentle Art threads in my stash, in the colour 'Pomegranate', left over from some long-ago project.  I found this worked quite nicely to give it definition without being 'in your face', so to speak.  

Next, the quilting.  At first I was loathe to do much -- afraid of detracting from the motifs.  I began, however, with free-motion in curvy lines to echo the leaves on the right border.  Getting into the process, I hit on the idea to use the rectangles as a quilting shape, so created what I call 'random rectangles' over most of the rest of the background -- dense from the top most of the way down, but sparser as I drew closer to the quilted leaf designs on the bottom.

Then what?  Those little leaf shapes look very bland now!  I decided to experiment with my red InkTense pencil, and this is how it turned out:

Now they look very red, don't they?  I have no purple, but there is a blue pencil in the set, so I think I'm going to gather my nerve and over-colour, just to see what happens.  It might even be terrific!  And if not...well, as teacher Anna Hergert so often says, "It's just a sample".  :-)


Jenny K. Lyon said...

Enjoyed hearing about your process-love that!

Judy Warner said...

Love what you are doing with the Inktense pencils, Margaret.