Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Texture and Form

Here's a corded Brussels stitch petal. So easy to make, lots of examples of this kind of thing on the bag. Just concentrating now of self-supporting non-wired petal structures. Its so exciting because with those discoveries come all kinds of other ideas for miniature embroidered motifs. Just love miniature! Here's a kind of rosebud thing. Made it nice a loose but it would need to a be lot firmer to really look the part.
Here's just a trellis stitch coiled strip but this time I finished it off with 2 rows of buttonhole, to give it a little frill. There are lots of examples of this kind of thing on the bag, but they go one step further and finish it with metal or a contrasting colour, to create unity no doubt.
Here's an experiment with corded detached, wanted to see which side would look nicest. You begin with a buttonhole band and work upwards from a central vertical reversed chain support. I really liked making this little thing.
I also gave it the characteristic buttonhole frill edge. This could have been done a lot tighter but I was in a rush.
See what I mean about doing it 2 ways. I prefer the right hand side as it expresses the form in a more botanically correct way. for next time
So, I tried Corded buttonhole in mid-air aka 3-D, anchored only along the bottom edge and it worked. Just have to work out how best to anchor the straight stitch return so that its unobtrusive. Used a single Trellis stitch to anchor. Let's not forget, front side Trellis is also Rope Stitch and Cup Stitch.
Thoughts on That Bag
If you blow up the view of That Bag to say 200% you can really see the synthesis of texture and form. Its also quite obvious that the stitcher just got really carried away and 'tried this, then tried that'. Everything is just an expression of imagination running away with itself. This is what I really love about that Golden Age of embroidery: its exuberance. I think when you see modern pieces worked faithfully and precisely according to a kind of grid, you lose all the intended exuberance. I believe you have to remind yourself that what you are after is the ultimate expression of FREE FORM embroidery. And free is the key element. All the stitches; all the colours; the metals the whole thing were about celebrating life and God if you ask me. It was actually a very creative expression of spirituality in a way, especially when you remind yourself of the whole socio-political background of the post-Reformation and the revival of that age-old cental motif: The Tree-of-Life. Gone were the icons, the monks, the illuminated manuscripts.
By then the Tree-of-Life idea must have seemed like a celebration of God's bounty in its truest form: the garden.
I just noticed they made a little overlapping thingy using knotted buttonhole. Great, I really like that stitch.
I think I need to do a diagram of how I think they did bits of it and just add to it as I go along. I haven't yet worked out all of it, but I really hope to.
Btw, the spiral trellis you can see at the top starts as the Elizabethan's did it, from the centre outwards. I find this is the prettiest way to do it.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

more about single uncorded back and forth detached buttonhole

Here you can just see it starting to curl. Its only attached to the fabric at the base. This is what I call really 'detached'. The bag that I'm obsessed with has lots of these types of structures. I've tried them in Trellis stitch and although they are very stable, as say petals, leaves etc, I had to find another way of making more delicate petals. After quite a long time, it looks like I've done it.
And here is the reason why I was so obsessed with getting the closed form of single detached Brussels stitch right.
Here's another good close-up of how to achieve the important strong diagonals that ensure your work wont go all over the place.
Basically you must turn the work on the return row, and not just start any old way but start the correct way according to your dominant hand. Left handers must always do buttonhole stitch from right to left, right hander the opposite. The reason for that is that you are working with the direction of the 'S' twist in the thread. That way you ensure your buttonhole edge is nice and rope like.
And so in closed Brussels stitch, you have to turn the work and stick the needle in the same direction or else you go against the 'S' twist thing.
I think I'm going to do another video of this one.
And as far as the migrating diagonal goes, thats easy, you lose it, or bury it on one edge (the right) e.g. decrease, and increase on the opposite edge, by making a stitch of the little anchoring stitch that you made at the end of the row.
This stitch could look really good to show up the veins in two halves of a leaf, say. Thats one thing you dont really see in Elizabethan stuff.
I am really excited because I think that between this stitch and Trellis I will be able to work most of the flora on 'That Bag'.
The easiest to work is of course, corded detached buttonhole, but you can't really string up a straight stitch return row in mid-air, or can you? - need to investigate this idea...
need to post a picture of the flower I stuffed using one direction Trellis stitch with a return row.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Brussels stitch

Working on my next video about Single Detached Buttonhole aka Brussels stitch. Need to do one more bit of research then I'll be ready. Everyone seems to start with this one, makes 'something lumpy' then abandons it. Such a shame when in many ways its the most versatile. Don't get me wrong, I really like Corded Detached Buttonhole aka Cloth Stitch but it does produce a pretty thick piece of fabric. And you don't always want it to be 'chunky'. SharonB does say in her description that you have to TURN the work. I think a lot of people don't bother. The other mistake I think a lot of people make is that they aren't starting it the right way according to being right or left handed. More later. Had quite a trying time here these last 4 nights with a little white dog climbing the walls with firework fright....

Wednesday, 4 November 2009