Friday, 27 March 2015

Samples 2015: Week 12, Map

Free machine embroidery on vanishing muslin over Kunin felt. Zapped with a heat gun. Teasel brush used to removed scorched muslin fibres.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 21/03/15:
Elizabethan tapestry map to be displayed at University of Oxford's Bodleian library. Map of Worcestershire from 1590s describes mysterious event in the hills near ‘The Worldesend’”
Close-up of the map. Photograph: Graham Turner

Sample design
I liked the idea of a distressed textile map, and way the rivers were so exaggerated – emphasising their importance relative to the roads which hardly show up. Not wanting to attempt a copy complete with settlements, I just used the natural features - rivers and hills/trees. Quite pleased with the trees, the vanishing muslin gives them a nice worn tapestry effect, but I should've used a darker blue for the rivers. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Samples 2015: Week 11, England

Free machine embroidery on calico (hooped). Satin stitch and twisted cord edging.
Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 14/03/15:
"England’s uncertain future. Rescuing the English – what will become of England now that imperial Britishness has departed and global capitalism is eating the nation’s soul? Will it be discussed at all during the general election? It is time to retell the country’s story involving everyone, argues Paul Kingsnorth. And it’s time for the left to rediscover ‘Little England’.”

Detail from an illustration by Rob Pybus
Sample design
After playing with the old L-shaped cards for a while, I took a simple little square section and enlarged it. Colouring in with the needle was fun, but then came the edge…
I thought I’d try Linda Miller’s method of zigzagging over the unstitched calico edge onto a backing of “stabilising fabric”. Well. Maybe it wasn’t the right kind of stabiliser, or maybe it was just my incompetence, but it didn’t look good. And it looked even worse when I couldn’t get rid of all the little white whiskers of stabiliser. So I had to add a cord. Which I hand stitched on for fear of making things worse! Ah well, it’s only a sample. Moving on. 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Samples 2015: Week 10, Glass cuirass

The design was hand cut out of red felt, then this was embellished (needle felted by machine) onto white felt which shows through the holes.  

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 07/03/15:
“Fierce, feathered and fragile: how Alexander McQueen made fashion an art.
From his lethal glass corsets to magnificent Manga-style helmets to his use of giant antlers, Alexander McQueen’s designs reveal his vulnerability as much as his artistry, as a major new exhibition at the V&A shows.”
Cuirass. Columbia Glassworks for Alexander McQueen. V&A.
Sample design
I didn’t want to do anything too detailed or obviously copied. So I enlarged a tiny fragment of the pattern, with shapes simple enough to cut from felt.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Samples 2015: Week 9, Parasols

All hand stitched, on hand dyed calico over felt.
White viscose tape couched with stranded cotton, punched card circles attached with straight stitches, French knots.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 28/02/15:
“World view: gridlock on the beach in Italy. A perfectly groomed beach with tasteful sunloungers and parasols artfully arranged to cram in thousands of holidaymakers.”
Life’s a beach … as long as you keep it neat and tidy. Photograph: Bernhard Lang

Sample design
I edited a section to remove all but the striped line and the parasols and empty parasol bases. It looked simple – but I underestimated the trickiness of circles! They had to be nice regular circles so I couldn’t hand cut or stitch them. Buttons were too thick, sequins too sparkly. In the end I decided to use a hole punch to create white card circles – their tiny size then determined the scale of the sample. I let myself off any attempt at the red rings on the parasols and did “struts” instead.    

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Samples 2015: Week 8, Poppy

Long-tailed detached chain stitch in stranded cotton, felt applied with black perle straight stitches. Worked in a hoop, on an old fabric swatch (faux silk) backed with calico.  
Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 21/02/15:
Gardens: what to do this week. ‘Forget detoxing your body, detoxing your shed is much more rewarding’.
"Plant this poppy in wildlife patches and cottage gardens."

Sample design
Based on the flower centre (no, really?), without trying to be accurate. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Samples 2015: Week 7, HSBC HQ, HK

Hand-sewn seed beads and machined zigzag stitch, on navy felt.  

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 14/02/15:
“How HSBC's errors and lack of oversight hit reputation as ‘world’s best-run bank’. Tax evasion claims have added to catalogue of failings by bank that include money-laundering, sanctions-busting, mistaken acquisitions and mis-selling.”
HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong. Photograph: Steve Vidler/Alamy

Sample design
A little section from the left hand side. The windows on the left were just crying out for rows of tiny beads!