Autumn is far away, I know, but this week when I decided to continue on my path of creating monochromatic designs with stitch, I couldn’t help but think of autumn. The color I worked with is orange and when I finished putting together my orange fabric collage, it just reminded me of autumn and harvest time.
When I embarked on this year-long project, my intention was and still is to explore how far I can use stitch in a design. Last week, was the first time I used a fabric collage as the background of my stitched drawing. I wasn’t very pleased with my stitching last week because although I love how the flower – “Luscious Pink” – turned out, I realized I hadn’t pushed the boundaries of stitch in that design as much as I could have.
The presence of different fabric colors made me complacent. I relied on fabric to serve as my color and value and unintentionally ignored stitch. The result was that although I created a pleasing design, I didn’t push the limits of using thread far enough.
So this week, I created another fabric collage piece but focused on using thread as color, texture and value. Following are the pictures of the progression of the piece I created – “Autumn is Faraway”. Scroll down after the video to read the lessons I learned about using thread in conjunction with your fabric collage and how to determine the direction in which to stitch.
Reverse of Stitched Drawing:
Tips, Techniques, and Tools
- To make your fabric collage piece blend with your thread, choose thread that’s the same color and value as the underlying fabric. I noticed that if I chose thread whose color and value differ significantly from the background fabric, I get the fabric peeking out through my stitches.
- When the sewing machine is going very fast and you’re free motion stitching, it’s hard to make instant decisions. For example, how do you determine the direction in which your stitches should go? I found that a simple rule of thumb is to echo the shape you’re shading. If you’re shading a circle, stitching in a circular direction will most likely work well.
- You can easily create texture by making your stitch lines close together.
Well, these are the lessons from this week’s episode. As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Whenever I don’t venture to do more, I hardly learn anything new, just the same old things. And… “same old, same old”, can get boring.
What has been your experience in making new discoveries? Are your discoveries all happy accidents? Do you embark on explorations just to see what you can discover? How have those explorations worked out for you? I’d love to hear your stories.
Watch all the Stitch the Sketch Videos and read about the techniques.
Joan Schaller Bauer says
Clara, This piece is truly gorgeous!!! I saw this on the Sept. newsletter and had to come back here to leave a comment. Stunning! Congratulations on the commission!
Clara Nartey says
I agree with you, Joan. I told my client she made a good choice. I love all the pieces I make so it’s easy for me to say that. But hearing it from you means a lot more. Thanks.