Thursday, January 29, 2015

Returning to a more normal timetable.

When I was a teacher, in my former life, I used to love January and tried to keep it low-key, rejuvenating for the coming year.
Now it is rather slow and most of my usual things are not on. The interruption to life caused by the renovations, and waiting for that to resume, has contributed to all this also.
But things are starting to click into gear again. We start our Design for Stitch course again in February (next Sunday - rather closer than I had realised).
I haven't exactly been working the fingers to the bone doing the homework, so I got out bits and pieces to actually do some sewing today. It took a while to get set up as I had to find where I had cleverly put all my threads, then the hoop to hold the embroidery, etc. Then I couldn't find the silk painting I had prepared.

I eventually got started.

I broke two needles, the thread kept breaking, the tension wasn't right and I was beginning to think it was all a Bad Idea to start today.
Perseverance paid off though and I now have one small sample done. Hooray.

Mind you, a bit of the machine fell off the back as I was working, I'll have to investigate that further. It didn't interfere with the sewing, so I haven't really looked at it yet.

What have I learnt today?
I think I may have used silk that is too fine - again. I thought it was heavier than the piece I took to the Alison Holt workshop but you can still see where the needle is pulling the threads of the fabric, so I might try a heavier weight silk next time. Maybe I should not just use what I can find in my stash but actually buy the recommended weight. Probably won't though, I have too much silk hanging around and I am only experimenting with ideas at present.

The gutta I used was too thick for the fine image I was using. I will try to find a smaller nib for the bottle. I had to sew over the white parts quite heavily, hence the constantly breaking thread. It was also hard to tell exactly where the buildings were supposed to be, I just made it up a bit, so it doesn't look like the skyline I was aiming for. Not to worry, I can try again. Maybe I will even do it on a larger scale for the skyline - but that will give me a smaller sky. Hmm, that might not be what I am aiming for.

 Here is the finished piece - if I don't decide to do more sky.
Here is the same image cropped, it is interesting how it seems more dramatic when the white surrounds are taken out. I'll have to be careful how I mount it, if I bother. It is not very big, approximately 20cm x 8cm. (Actually, it looks a lot better on the computer than it does in reality, but it may be better once I mount it.)

Obviously, I need to try a few more samples. Now that I have found most of my equipment and the machine is set up again - assuming that the little bit that fell off the casing doesn't really matter - I may even do another before the class.

I do have another little silk painting prepared, I had used a largish frame for this one and decided to paint another scene while it was pinned.

I used the same gutta and the skyline is even harder to see on this sample. I think I will see if I can trace it again, using a soluble pen maybe, and then sew it.

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