Module 4 – Chapter 8

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.


Images 8.1


Image 8.2

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.

image Image 8.3

image Image 8.4

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.

image Image 8.5


Image 8.6. 

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.

image Image 8.7


Image 8.8

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.

image Image 8.9 was created using bleach on blue ink .

image Image 8.10

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.


Module 4 – Chapter 7

Applying paper to a woven fabric grid

Using the techniques learnt in earlier chapters, I made a few different fabric grids and some paper pulp.  The images below show my various attempts at adding paper pulp to the grids.

image Image 7.1 – the grid was made from linen with groups of threads removed and stitched over with zigzag stitch.  The grid was immersed in the pulp and lifted out to dry.  I was pleased with the amount of pulp that covered the grid, creating a beautiful holey piece which reminded me of a wasps nest.

image Image 7.2 – the grid was made from linen with groups of threads removed and stitched over with zigzag stitch.  The pulp was scooped out of the water bath and placed on to the edges of the grid to make a frame.   As the paper pulp dried it became brittle and didn’t adhere to the grid in places.

image Image 7.3 – the grid was made from a piece of cotton muslin with holes cut in it.  As can be seen, this didn’t provide a very‘holey’ grid and the pulp covered it completely making a less interesting looking piece of paper.

image Image 7.4 – the grid was made from linen with groups of threads removed and stitched over with zigzag stitch.  It was dipped into the bath of water containing a smaller amount of pulp to make patches.

image Image 7.5 shows the same grid as 7.4 after a second immersion with some blue coloured pulp.

image image

Images 7.5 and 7.6 show grids made by wrapping threads around wire frames and then dipping in the pulp.  These created interesting shapes which could interestingly be layered and stitched into when removed from the frames.

image Image 7.7 shows a fruit net used as a grid.  The holes were quite small and the pulp was quite thick and so this created a sheet of paper with few holes in it. 

image Image 7.8 shows an attempt to use a grid made of strips of muslin.  The muslin disintegrated leaving a very irregular piece of paper.

image Image 7.9 shows a piece of silk netting used as a grid.  The paper pulp filled some of the holes to create an interestingly textured sample which reminded me of a map with grid-lines.


Image 7.10 shows a grid made from loosely woven fabric with drawn threads and some of the remaining threads overstitched with zigzag.

I particularly liked the samples which were only partially covered in pulp, revealing parts of the grid, as the combination of textures were more interesting than a solid sheet of paper.  I look forward to exploring the possibilities for some of these samples with stitch in the next chapter.