Friday, 8 February 2019

Pleating and Gathering have never looked so good!!! City and Guilds Hand and Machine embroidery Busy Bees Patchwork.

Pleating and Gathering have never looked so good!!!

 City and Guilds Hand and Machine embroidery
 Busy Bees Patchwork

Tutor Beccy Paget

Every Wednesday I walk into class with anticipation, I am overwhelmed each week with the talents of my students. Each week I give them a new technique, and in the weeks to follow they bring the results of their endeavours and I cannot tell you how satisfying it is as a teacher to see the work produced from just playing with a different approach to a traditional method.

We have been looking into using pleating and gathering as texture, as a focal point and to use as a feature within a project, we have used the sewing machine to add decorative stitches built into the machine to utilize the many ways of embellishing a machine has to offer. The students are not keen machine users preferring hand stitching as their "go to" choice of sewing, but I think they are beginning to see the advantages and the beauty that machine stitching can offer. 
As an avid machine sewer I love the way in which the machine gives me an expressive way of working, I can be very accurate and precise and in the next moment be free and drawing with the thread as though it were my pencil. I love the sound of the machine making each stitch and the way it trundles along making complicated patterns with no effort at all. I can definitely loose my self in the mesmerizing hum of the motor as I create.
I understand why people say they don't like using the machine, especially when it chews the thread or gets stuck and you have to cut your piece away from the machines feed dogs, but then I also get frustrated when hand sewing and the thread shreds or I can't get a bead over my needle or how often I have to thread my needle and then the thread won't go through the eye of the needle. It's all the same really, without a little struggle or something that irritates us counteracts the wonderful and therapeutic side of this craft. I guess artists of all descriptions have parts of the craft that are tedious and irritating but over all making and creating are what is important and without those little annoying things we wouldn't end up with fantastic results.

Below some of the work that has been done over the past couple of weeks !

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I love the way Kay has used the patterns on her machine in this sample especially the isolated satin stitch patterns in variegated threads.

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Ann's soft colours reminds me of the patterns made by the sea on the sand when the tide is out, and the sun shining on the sand.

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This sample by Ann looks so much like fossils buried in the rock strata.

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Mel has used hand dyed fabrics in her sample below, I love the combination of the browns and blues,
gives the feeling of very old worn fabrics  
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Mel has really used her imagination in this sample, the placement of hand stitches holding down some of the pleats feels as though some these are areas are locked and forbidden places to look under. Her hand dyed fabric is stunning, makes me want do some dying!

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Another super sample by Kay above, decorated with her own hand made beads!

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You shall have a fishy!!! A stunning book cover made by Kay, I wish you could see it "in the flesh" as it were, my photo does not do this piece justice ! Fabrics painted using the geli plate, Fishy's are stuffed from behind and have been free motion embroidered on the sewing machine.

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Sonia has made this wonderful Japanese inspired wave design, the waves are raised and sashiko stitch worked to give the waves life, you can almost feel the spray from the foaming waves!
1,2,3, JUMP

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Sonia has used so many techniques in this piece and considering she is one who is not so keen on the machine, I think your quilting at the back of this piece really gives the design to whole picture. The lightly floating stenciled leaves and the flying birds gives this picture movement and the ducks below have been stitched in a method called needle weaving which Sonia has become particularly good at after taking a class with Jen Clements.
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A dedicated a beautiful embroidery, each individual flower cut and stitched separately, Such patience and talent!!

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Above is a wonderful embroidery by Celia, she has use her own rust dyed fabric to great effect in her pleating and gathering giving the appearance of marbled stone in a church with the printed image of Jesus with his arm around Abbot Mena amongst fragile fabrics. A well thought out composition that is really thought provoking.

Well done to all, in a fortnight I hope to have some pictures from this year's level 1 ladies. I hope you have a positive creative week and even though there is something that will annoy or irritate you it's worth pushing through when the results can be as amazing as those above. You can bet your bottom dollar there were some choice words said in the making of them:)

Best stitches

If you are interested in joining us in September 2019 for level 1, please don't hesitate to give me a call, where I can give you more information about the course ! 

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