Stitch and Buying Fabric

I spent today in the stitch room again, having a go at some more of my drawn imagery in embroidery.
Today I have been using a dark linen from Maggie, which I am starting to think could be a potential for my final pieces. The colour is perfect for my palette for this project and I like that it is a natural material. It is also thick enough to be easy to work with, which is important for me due to the sheer amount of stitching I am doing.

I started out with some brittle-stars, mainly because it was one of the favourite shapes I had drawn so far. I tried it both as a plain black outline, then with applique using a thick, cream upholstery fabric. I also tried adding some texture with some of them, because this was something that I was interested in while drawing. I’m really happy with these and think that the long, spindly shape is perfectly represented by the embroidery.

I tried the shape again but this time with a coloured outline, as I am still unsure whether or not to have black outlines in my pieces. This is an effect which I almost always use in my work, but I’m thinking that it could be too harsh for this theme. Here I feel that just the outlines aren’t as effective as the applique, which this time is using calico. The calico is also not as textured as the upholstery fabric used about, and therefore loses the likeness of a real star fish.

The beadlet anemone was another one that I was looking forward to taking into stitch, but was disappointed with the ones with a black outline. Again, I’m thinking this is much too hard compared to the coloured thread. I think my favourite is the one pictured in the largest image, with the red body and pink top, as I think this is the truest to real life.

The curled strands on the mermaids’ purses look great in stitch, however I think the overall shape looks much more successful without the applique. I’m thinking that this is because with the outlines, there was more freedom of the line. To overcome this I think I will just concentrate on the shape of the fabric a bit more when cutting it out. The lighter brown looks better than the dark cotton, because it is less flat.

When thinking about how to add some texture to the starfish, I had the idea of hand stitching rather than machine. This is a technique that I wanted to use from the beginning of the project but wasn’t sure how. I remembered back to first year when Maggie briefly taught us some hand embroidery stitches, and that french knots were one of them. This is something that I have tried again since and failed, so I Maggie showed me again today. These are a few that I did, and am happy to have more of a practice sometime this week.

While on the machine today I also had a go at putting my colour scheme together. Its really helpful to see them all in one place, and also to see them on this fabric, which I am thinking is a potential for my final pieces. My colour palette is almost made up of two parts, one the brighter blues of the mussels, and the other, more muted greens and creams.

This afternoon I also bought a couple of fabrics to try out. I bought a mustard yellow poly cotton which was perfect for my colour palette, and a green/brown organza which I want to manipulate with the ruffler.
I also bought some bits of green ribbon to ruffle this week.

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