Page 1 – Bond and Stitch
Looking at my rubbings in the previous chapter I really liked the sinuous shape of the oyster catcher Page 1, Chap 5
so I decided to use this but enlarged it to make it easier to stitch. I used a blue colour palette but picked black for the first applique, the base, to suggest shadow and depth. I head bonded that piece to denim backing then layered 2 more pieces keeping the idea of moving the shape along like the rubbings.
I tried free motion satin stitch for the first two but its too hard to keep even so for the final pieces used foot on satin stitch.
The lighter thread on piece 3 makes it ‘pop’. Finally I reversed the top piece and used a patterned fabric. It looked a little empty so I added an ‘egg’! which is a bit irregular in outline as I couldn’t see it very well!
I like this little sample a lot and really lied the denim as the background.
The curves are not so pronounced as the original to make the stitching easier.
Page 3 Raised Applique
Padded applique. The shapes for this sample come from my border pattern in Chapter 5, page 5, the V shape of the bird in flight and the egg.
Simple shapes to edge and pad. I am using batik cotton fabrics in this chapter, the colours and hues lend themselves wonderfully to layers. The bird V shapes are cut out and bonded one at a time. I used some different auto stitches to do the edges and was surprised how well they worked. Definitely more interesting than plain satin stitch. The background is green cotton backed with tearaway which just gave it enough substance.
The first 4 Vs are not padded just overlaid. The final V is padded with black felt cut out slightly smaller than the cotton and bonded, really just round the edges.
I found an egg like batik pattern for the eggs which are all padded, again with felt. I paid careful attention to the void areas created by the shapes.
Despite this I felt that something was missing at the end in the composition so I added a little egg as a focal point with yellow thread instead of the blue, I feel this finishes it off nicely. I’m pleased with this sample.
Page 5 – Free Standing Motifs
Again I went back to my rubbings and took inspiration from Chap 5, pages 11 and 12.
I used the angular shapes and cut them out, moving them around to create the composition, finally tracing around them for the finished idea – see page 6
I did cut out the free pieces individually but later on folded the fabric, fused it together and then traced on the outline, stitched and cut out. Far less fiddley although it probably wouldn’t work with padding as well.
Again I used batik fabrics with some contrasting threads. I added another auto stitch which also worked well. The padding was again done with felt.
The final composition, marked for padding and free stitched pieces. Actual size. – – – indicated stitching for ‘free’ pieces.
I like the colours and composition. The smaller free piece < should have been satin stitched, the auto pattern is too big and clumsy. I used an auto stitched on the two rectangles under the triangle and filled in between with the same stitch. Not sure it really works!
At the end I felt it needed something more, it looked ‘unfinished’ so I added the satin stitch triangles and I feel it looks better. Focal point is the long triangle on top of the two rectangles, the lighter colour draws the eye and it is in bas relief also.
Page 9 – Resolved sample using applique methods
I was thinking of flight so wings were foremost in my ideas.
I really love the V wing shape and also the fingered wings from Chap 1
which suggested a wonderful shape that would translate well to ‘free’ applique with the stitching just down the centre. I decided to keep it simple with just the two shapes in varying sizes for perspective. The flock patterning in chapter 1 was also in my thought for this piece.
Having picked my shapes and ideas (also influenced by Cap 2, page 16 – the spiral of bird feet – the decreasing sizes) I had no suitable background fabric but I really loved this sample from Chapter 4 so that was my inspiration.
This is cheap bridal satin that I had painted with two shades of oil based stencil crayons – yellow and red. I liked the colour and the idea so I took a piece of satin and covered it over with a yellow oil crayon brushed/rubbed on. I didn’t want such a stark contrast as the white on the original so after doing the base I cut out decreasing wing shapes in sticky back plastic and stuck them on before applying a second layer of red oil crayon.
After removing these shapes I was left with my background fabric which I was very happy with. Plenty of contrast but not jarring and receding and angled bird shapes.
Next I had to chose my applique fabrics and I used batiks again, they blend so well together. I picked the fabrics you can see on the page in shapes of green/blue green. I ironed the strips onto Wonderunder before tracing around and cutting out the shapes in a variety of sizes. Perspective large to small at top.
The larger shapes at the front would be padded. I carefully laid out the cutouts on my background for max effect leaving some of the background free as an echo of the applique.
The larger pieces were padded stitched on using auto stitches for extra depth and I also used a curved auto stitch inside the pieces to emphasis the padding.
The smaller pieces were bonded on and satin stitch edged, I used two different shades of thread to match the fabrics but both were of the same tone.
The free shapes were formed by bonding the cottons together first, then layering organza over, stitching and then cutting out.
I stitched on all the V shapes first then added some small satin stitch Vs to suggest more distance away, they would have been too small for fabric appliques.My design fabric was backed in white felt as its quite lightweight and needed more body with all satin stitch. This actually gave it some good indented texture as well.
The free applique was attached by simply stitching down the centre. I felt that I still didn’t have a focal point to this composition so I decided to add a small blue bird, the greens were all blue based so it wouldn’t be discordant.
Finally I used a soldering iron to sketch lines in the organza on the free large birds, the plain surface was too bland and this created some surface texture. The piece was edged with an auto stitch to finish.
The padded pieces
I’m happy with this sample, I liked the shapes and the colours and the background came out just as I wanted as echoes of the applique.