Stitching into paper
I used some of the paper covered grids from chapter 7 to stitch into. In order to make them more robust I attached a lightweight iron on interfacing fabric to the back of the pieces before stitching.
I chose some of the media designs from earlier chapters as inspiration for the stitching.
Image 8.2 shows a sample inspired by the lettering patterns created in 8.1 which was the word ‘writing’ written in various directions on top of each other. I wanted to represent the slightly spiky look of the lettering as well as some of the curves of the letters. I decided to use Sorbello stitch randomly placed across the fabric. I was pleased with this sample; I think the choice of stitch worked well to represent the lettering and it also added an interesting contrast the the very regular grid underneath. Adding more stitching would further improve the sample i.e. more dense stitching.
In image 8.4 I tried to recreate various elements of image 8.3. Firstly I machine stitched three rows of vertical lines to represent the rows of print on the telephone directory paper that the lettering was drawn on to. I then stitched wavy horizontal lines in a narrow zigzag stitch to represent the curved shapes made using the comb and ink. Finally, I used both machine and hand stitch to make letter-like shapes, or sections of letter shapes, onto the piece. This produced a piece which, despite having a lot of different stitched elements, is quite delicate looking.
In this sample I wanted to represent the circles which formed the letters shown in image 8.5, giving the impression of lettering without actually using specific letters. I started by using a pre-set machine circular embroidery stitch in a pale orange colour and created letter-like shapes as a background. On top of this I hand stitched detached chain stitch loops in a stronger orange colour. I think that this created a really attractive surface…the paper, grid and layers of both machine and hand stitching combined to produce some very interesting textures.
The lettering in image 8.7 was created using the edge of a credit card which produced very angular shapes. I decided to create an impression of this lettering using a combination of machine stitching and cording. To add more interest I loosened the tension on the top thread so that the bobbin thread pulled through. There were four layers of stitching; a white zig zag in normal weight sewing machine thread; an orange zig zag in a heavier orange thread; a yellow thick perle thread corded into place; sections of cotton string corded in place. I feel that the overall impression created is of graffiti style writing.
In this sample I decided to try to create a background of blue stitches to represent the ink, and white to represent the bleached letters. I created some letter shapes using French knots in three different weights of white thread; a perle thread, a wool yarn and a thin ribbon. This created quite a high pile on the surface of the fabric. I then used various threads and wools to create dark blue spots around the white shapes using French knots and then filled in the background using free-style machine embroidery. The machine embroidery had the effect of flattening the background so that the white sections stand proud of the fabric.
I have really enjoyed this chapter, and found it exciting to see what different effects and textures can be created using the different media designs as inspiration for stitching into the paper/fabric grids.