Friday, April 22, 2011

Surface Stitchery/Embroidery #4

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One does not have to use combinations of thin straight lines to produce pattern in embroidery. Embroidery books are full of a multiplicity of hand embroidery stitches that can be used to produce patterns. Stitches exist that have threads that loop and cross leading to a wide variety of patterns.
Many sewing machines are also programed with a selection of decorative stitches. This is a selection of stitch patterns that can be found on an older model mechanical machine followed by examples of these stitches sewn out. Stitches can be further affected by changing the stitch width and or length.
Current electronic machines have 20, 30, 50 or more screens of possible stitches. Some produce patterned lines, some individual motifs and some an all over patterning.
By overlaying stitch pattern lines over stitch pattern lines, a surface pattern can be created.
The following are examples of pins, barrettes and earrings by Joanne Bast that use overlapping preprogrammed machine stitches to form an overall pattern.

Pattern stitches are preprogramed into the machines and when selected, stitch out using the ordinary sewing set up which involves an attachment called a presser foot which pushes the fabric to be stitched down onto a set of teeth called feed dogs. The feed dogs surge forward and are what moves the fabric so that the stitches do not end up all on top of each other.
Feed dogs:
Presser foot and feed dogs:
Sewing machines can also be used in a free form manner by dropping these feed dogs. When the feed dogs are not in play, the fabric does not move automatically, but can be moved by hand forward, backward, side to side, diagonally, back and forth or in circles. An open presser foot called a darning foot is often used in producing freeform machine embroidery.
Feed dogs retracted:
Darning foot with retracted feed dogs:
Freeform stitching:
Freeform machine embroidery may be done in an open fashion so that the fabric shows through or may be stitched so compactly that the stitching entirely covers the underlying fabric and forms a thread painting as in picture below "I'm So Sorry" by Joanne Bast.
Have a Happy Holiday weekend. Joanne

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