Sunday, June 17, 2012

Week 30 - Assembling 'Pylon Sky'

Only a couple more weeks till the end of my college course so I have been trying to progress my machine-stitch piece, 'Pylon Sky'.

I completed the fourth panel on Friday and then started to assemble it onto a blue sheer backing fabric. Before I could do this I needed to sew a channel at the top to take a thin metal tube that will be used to hang it.

Positioning the panels was pretty fiddly - trying to line up the colours and the lines, as well as get it square on the fabric. The diagonal ribs have ended up being wider in the centre than on the original design, due to the inevitable distortion of the panels as they were stitched. (With Satin Stitch you put a lot of stitches into each row, which have to go somewhere so they make the fabric buckle).

When I was happy with the position of the panels I sewed them down by hand - I just couldn't face wrestling them through the sewing machine with the distortion and the slippiness of the fabrics working against me.

I then made patterns for the diagonal ribs and the central 'H' section. My plan was to cut them out of blue dress lining but from my sample I knew that this wouldn't be completely opaque and the ends of the Satin Stitch bands would show through when it was hung in the window. Therefore I had to bond the lining fabric to some thicker blue  fabric I had and then cut the ribs out of the whole sandwich. I also had to remove some of the straight stitches around each edge of the panels as in places they showed beyond the ribs. I had sewn these lines originally to act as a marker of the original design and also to catch the ends of the Satin Stitch bands and stop them fraying.

Once I had it all in place I secured the ribs to the piece by stabbing pins right through the ironing board and then bonding on with the iron through a piece of baking parchment - a hot iron and sheer fabrics don't mix well!

I left the centre till last. I had worked out that I could alter the original design by having the 'H' section go over the ribs to neaten them off and in turn tuck the arms of the 'H' under the ribs so that you didn't see them either. I am very pleased with how neatly this has turned out as I was quite worried about the complexity of this central bit.
So here is how it looks now - only got to fray the whole lot! I spent an hour doing the bottom right hand blue section to see how long it would take so I've got a few more hours to go! I have then got to decide how to attach the long edges of each panel to the backing (they are just pinned at the moment) and how to attach a thin rod that I have bought to stiffen and weigh down the bottom edge. I really love this piece though - I will probably be sad when it is finished.

Father's Day this weekend - as I have been busy on my embroidery I didn't have time to create something from scratch so I printed out a photo I took recently and backed it onto black card. It was taken by the river Avon at Stratford where a big flock of swans were fighting for lumps of bread that were being thrown for them.

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