Developing marks into stitches

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My first attempt at creating marks with stitches was to use different types of stitches to create the patterns I found from footprints. I used a plain background and matching threads (of various thickness and type) all in a sand colour, so that the emphasis was on the actual stitches.

I think some of these stitches worked well (such as the triple seeding, closed feather stitch and circular couching), but the running and back stitches felt lazy.

 

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My next experiment was to use a plain running stitch in different ways. I based the stitches on drawings of my rabbits from my sketchbook.

The first attempt was using a freehand machine stitch. I really liked this method, and the loose tension added to the fur-like effect, producing a really cute but simple design.

I then transferred an image onto my embroidery machine, and created loads of rabbits using different stitch types and sizes. Whilst these designs would be useful for mass production, I felt that the freehand machine sample was much better. Maybe because it was produced faster and less accurate, reflecting the speed and craziness of the rabbits.

My last sample was a series of hand stitched designs. Again, these felt too neat and slow compared to my machine design.

 

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I used an image of a tree, with peeling bark and moss patches to practise different stitches and textures.

Pieces of leather and a woolly jersey were stitched onto some silver silk. I recreated the lines in tree with single machine stitches, then went over the leather and jersey with both zigzag and granite freehand stitch. Whilst the zigzag stitches worked well to create texture of the bark, the granite stitches kinda got lost in the jersey and wasn't very effective.

 

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This sample is based on a photograph I took of some bricks. The design was inspired from an image in a book Drawn to Stitch where Gwen used a single simple stitch to create patches of colour and texture.
I soaked some hessian in an acrylic / water mixture, then painted different shades on top to create some depth. I then added some stringy / weaved wool on top to form the gap in the bricks. Then french knots were added to form the colour and texture of the lichen and moss. I used the same kind of embroidery floss for all the knots, but feel the sample might of looked better using different thicknesses and or different kind of threads.

 

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My last sample was of a photograph of a rocky beach in Ilfracombe, made using ribbons and yarns. I wanted to capture the layered effect of the ripples of rocks that form the beach, dotted with large round boulders.

I couched and stitched various ribbons, yarns and scraps of fabric to form the layers. I then stitched thick ribbon through the fabric to form the chunky row of boulders. I used some hand dyed wool top as the row of seaweed, and sewed it where it naturally fell ... as I thought it looked more natural that way. I wanted to finish it with small beads or buttons for the tiny stones on top, but could only find long beads - which didn't work as well.

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