Coursework Part 5: Project 2: Building A Response: Paper and Stitch Samples

For the next part of this project, I evaluated the paper manipulations I had made, and considered whether they would benefit from stitch to give them added dimension. Some, such as #18 (yellow, ‘tufted’ card, inspired by the catkin), had a finished texture already, in my opinion.

I selected a single colour palette to take forward to the next part of the coursework. This palette was derived from a painting of a tulip. I liked three of the palettes, but felt that, if the resulting textiles are to form a cohesive collection, they need to be associated by the same colour palette, as well as by the theme of ‘plant life’.

Drawing #10 colour palette

Paper Manipulation with Stitch #1, inspired by Drawings #1213 (plum tree in blossom)

Raffine on rice paper with folds.

These simple ‘blossoms’ mimic the plum blossom seen in the original drawing. This had a delicate and sophisticated feel to it, that I felt could work well on a fine cotton or linen fabric, with either pink or white stitch.

Plastic Manipulation with Stitch #2 , inspired by Drawings #8 & 10 (tulips)

Cotton and rayon embroidery thread on plastic with embossing.

Continuing the linear marks of the drawings, and selecting shiny threads to accentuate the gleaming tulip petal look. I used loose stitches in a Bargello-like pattern that reminded me of the colour blending in the tulip drawings. On a translucent material, the stitch marks on the reverse show through and become part of the pattern, so the stitch would look different on an opaque material. I liked the loose stitch on the plastic. It had a slightly ‘wild’ feel to it, enhanced by this colour palette.

Plastic Manipulation with Stitch #3, inspired by Drawings  #8 & 10 (tulips)

Red synthetic fabric, polyester ribbons, and sewing thread on plastic.

This was the half of the original sample (#14) that had small, irregular cuts in it (the longer, fine cuts on the other half, were, I felt, successful by themselves).  I tried to layer this in such a way that the cuts would open up to give more interest. The ribbons were added to enhance the shiny linear effect. It evokes a similar response to the last sample, but also resembles waves and reflections in water and would work well in blues and greens or greys for that purpose.

Paper Manipulation with Stitch #4, inspired by Drawing #14 (mixed media distant garden foliage)

Yarn, and embroidery threads, with tissue paper and wool balls on sandpaper.

The yarn was couched in place to define the creases and lines found in the scrunched tissue paper; functional stitch was added to hold the wool balls more firmly in place; and ‘twig-like’ lines were added to one side of each ‘branch’. There is something about this piece that I like: mainly the texture and almost abstract quality of the lines and forms. If I take it forward as a textile design, I would probably choose a more diaphanous background than is suggested by the textured sandpaper.

Paper Manipulation with Stitch #5, inspired by Drawing #13 (distant plum blossom)

Cotton embroidery thread on pierced tracing paper.

This paper manipulation was sewn with a sewing machine without thread to form the initial piercings. I had not been very keen on it, but the delicate stitch gave it an added dimension and texture that I felt was a vast improvement. I made this like a mini sampler, using various stitches, but felt that the three shown in the detailed view, worked best. The irregular patches of texture paired with the pierced areas could work on a fine cotton, or silk fabric. I just have to think of a way of making holes in such a textile. Maybe insets of a net or sheer fabric? The result is delicate and subtle and would suit a simple colour palette – maybe just the white from my chosen palette, or white and pink.

Plastic Manipulation with Stitch #6, inspired by Drawing #15 (chard leaf)

Couched polyester ribbon on melted plastic.

I aimed to add lines that highlighted the grooves in the plastic, echoing the veins on the original chard leaf. I thought that this sample was quite dramatic and exciting, and suited the red and black colour palette (which are thankfully both to be found in my chosen colour palette). It would make a dramatic contrast to the sample above. I will have to experiment to see which, if any, fabrics would react to heat in the same way as the plastic.

Paper Manipulation with Stitch #7, inspired by Drawing #14 (mixed media distant garden foliage)

Black quilting and embroidery threads on cut and gouged watercolour paper.

I tried to recreate the marks made in the paper, in stitch, varying the thickness of the thread, and type of stitch. I thought that this was quite an interesting sample and reminded me of insects in a garden. There is a lot going on, but the simple colour palette gives it cohesion.

Paper Manipulation with Stitch #8, inspired by inspired by one layer of Drawing #11 (abstract/pattern drawing of tulips)

Couched, cotton embroidery thread on Japanese paper.

This didn’t really work because I felt that the stitch was overpowering the delicate cuts and holes in the paper manipulation. I still like the cut areas in the paper, so will bear that in mind as the one positive element of this sample.

Paper Manipulation with Stitch #9, inspired by Drawings #8 and #10 (tulip drawings)

Machine stitch on wax-coated, embossed copier paper.

My sewing machine has broken down and this was the result of my using it anyway – jerky, crooked lines and incorrect tension control causing all sorts of chaos! (It is now with the engineer for repair!). If it had been in working order the orderly lines I had envisaged might have been more representative of the subject matter. As it turned out, the reverse showed the most interesting outcome: random marks that could perhaps be replicated by adjustments to the thread tension. They suggest distant foliage, a field of flowers, or a crowd of people, to me. On a practical note, I think that the stitch on paper would have worked well if the machine had been in working order.

Paper Manipulation with Stitch #10, inspired by Drawing #17, (stitch on catkin photograph)

Metallic embroidery thread on thin card, cut, knotted and wax-dipped.

The geometric stitch, or a printed version, might make a good background for areas of raised texture on a textile. I had seen some designers that combined natural forms with geometric ones in my research (for example, Lucienne Day).

I then went on to make some drawings to inspire the yarn concepts that I will make in the next part of this project.


What have I learnt in this part of the course?

  • a lot of thought will need to go into the colour palette for the yarns and textiles, if they are to feel like a connected ‘collection’
  • the scale of the stitch gives a very different aesthetic to the samples: some are light and delicate, others are bold and a bit aggressive in appearance. I think that the variety will make for an interesting set of textiles that can be combined, or layered



Website:- Accessed 02/05/17

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