Sunday, September 3, 2017

Backstitch patterns 2.1

Now in my course we are moving on to focus on the versatility of backstitch. Sue Stone, the tutor, says she likes backstitch as it gives a raised line unlike running stitch. The challenge was to divide each square into smaller areas and make patterns with backstitch.

In the first square we were advised to make a simple design to get the feel for the backstitch. I marked out the 4x4 grid and backstitched that first in a stone embroidery floss (3 strands). Then I filled them in with circles in stone, grey and white floss for a neutral textural effect. It was surprisingly hard to sew neat circles!

Next I had sketched out this pattern in my book. I decided to stitch it all in black floss, again 3 strands. Although the design was clear in my book, it wasn't that clear on the fabric so I decided to emphasise it by colouring in the shapes I wanted to portray with orange Inktense pencil. The background furnishing fabric I am using took the colour surprisingly well and I didn't have to add any water to make an even wash.

For the third square I looked back at my City and Guilds pattern book again and tried sewing a less precise grid in 2 strands of grey floss on the diagonal. To fill in I mixed several colours of floss in the needle and backstitched some 'roses'. These weren't that effective even though I tried different ways of stitching them.

For the final square I found a geometric design on the internet and practiced marking it out in my notebook first. To make it work I had to mark the diagonals and centre lines even though none of these would be stitched. When it came to marking it on the fabric I used an air-ereasable pen to mark these. I used the full 6 strands of floss and chose lighter colours in the centre and darker at the edge to emphasise the design. It was hard to get the design precise so that the star in the centre looked even so I am very pleased with my efforts. I think this could be really interesting over a larger piece, although it would be very time consuming to make.

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