Project 2 Stage 6 Using thread and yarns to create textures

 1.Can you begin to see the relationship between stitching and drawing?

This exercise really consolidated the link between stitch and draw. I chose to work on a collage drawing, which was blue lines cut from magazines and furniture catalogues. This collage had been an exploration of SAD lines drawn in the very first exercises in pencil mark making, and so this piece of work is a result of pencil marks, fibre paper and blue strips of collage, which also had a cover layer experiment in fibre paper with bleach, and tracing paper watercolour painted in blue and then bleach-dropped. Lots of techniques and then as the work had developed, I had moved in thought from the original SAD expression to the sea nearby. Thus the inspiration in this texture piece is a reflection of a lot of development and progress through the course so far.

  1. Were you able to choose stitches, which expressed the marks and lines of your drawings?

I am pleased with some, and disappointed with others. The aqua-green ribbon is couched with zigzag stitches in metallic thread and then overlaid with zigzag and back stitches in metallic yarn. I wish the ribbon was wider, but I feel my choices of yarns, threads and stitches interpret the original well enough. I am happy with the second line which was blocked satin stitch in a variety of angles, with a variegated wool which reflects the stony building effect from the sketch. This is my favourite. The solid blue was difficult to do and I eventually chose to take some denim strip and couch it in with a herringbone thread which gave delicacy but also linked to the spikey nature of the piece. The third line of solid blue is a wrapping ribbon in a loose Cretan stitch. I chose that to give a movement in the texture and an additional gloss from the curving stitches. The pale grey blue is a cloud stitch with two blue tones of embroidery thread, and I like the delicacy but sense of depth. The fourth line top strip I had a little struggle as I wanted to sew with the net, but the little knots would not go through the fabric. So I couched it over the brown backstitch, and actually I think this gives a good impression of the original drawing. The last variation is a little disappointing. I used a long backstitch as the background and a loose spiky Cretan stitch over. I think the Cretan stitch is lost in impact because of the similarity with the base fabric. I had chosen to add spiked threads to the base linen, to try to give the impression of the fibre paper in the original drawing. That gives an interesting fragility to the whole piece but it reduces the impact of the strip .


  1. Did you choose the right source material to work from?

The linen was strong but the colour is muted and I would have preferred to use a more fluidly coloured textile. I wanted to stitch with cut strips of silk fabric for the solid dark blue, but it did not work as a yarn and I would have had to couch it. In the end I thought the denim was more matching. I had planned to use more metallic yarns and threads, but changed to the embroidery thread for its strength. I think the metallic thread would have looked better in the last variation with the spiky Cretan stitch.


  1. Do you think your sample works well irrespective of the drawing? Or is your sample merely a good interpretation of your drawing?

This is difficult to answer as it is so closely linked. I like my sample on its own as a study piece for interpreting waters and blues. It is rigid and I want to look at larger and more flowing lines. I feel it is a work in progress.


  1. Which did you prefer – working with stitch to create textures or working with yarns to make textures? Which worked best for you and why?

I was comfortable with the stitching as that is very familiar to me, and embroidery threads turned out to be my ‘go-to’. However I find using the varieties of yarns much more exciting and challenging. I think my actual stitching is much more creative now than it ever, ever was and I am losing the need to be completely accurate and precise. However I want to rise to the challenge of yarns and fibres of all kinds.


  1. Make some comments on individual techniques and sample pieces. Did you experiment enough? Did you feel inhibited in any way? Fix them into your sketchbook if you want to or start a separate book of sample references.

I was inhibited at first with the embroidery stitches as I felt the need to conform but a desire to experiment. Likewise I felt restricted with exploring the straight lines, but curved lines felt more creative and explorative. I would have liked to experiment more, and will do so, but the time management on the course is an issue for me. I had to draw the line.


  1. Do you prefer to work from a drawing or by playing with materials and yarns to create effects? Which method produced the most interesting work.

I find the working from a drawing very inspirational. I really enjoy the breaking down of an image into so many facets, and then building up again to reinterpret with textiles. However, the playing with materials and yarns comes intrinsic to the development of a drawing as the yarns etc move and change the lines and colours to another construct. So, drawing first as a deconstruction and then play with the materials to develop into a piece of work.


  1. Are there other techniques you would like to try? Are there any samples you would like to do in a different way?

I want to make more yarns and to make marks with dyes and paints onto fabric so that there is a more integrated end. I would like to experiment with machine sewing, although I have really enjoyed the hand work and I think that this will not change as a preference.


  1. Is there anything you would like to change in your work? If so, make notes for future reference.

I am worried that I spend too much time on the individual exercises and that I am too slow. Also not sure that I am putting enough creativity into my use of base fabrics. However, I have not found it always easy to get resources together here in Bahrain and so even that takes longer. I found a good source of embroidery thread eventually! I also worry about some fabrics but will be visiting UK and Canada soon so will be hitting the suppliers!