C&G Machine Embroidery- Module 1 Lesson 9: Playing with Colours, Building Layers

 

 

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Here I am – playing with my machine at Diana’s!

Page 1- Playing with primaries – building layers

  • Fabric: Muslin (calico)
  • Stabilizer: white felt (polyester – lightweight)
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length: 0.5
  • Stitch width: varied
  • Feed Dogs: up
  • Threads: sewing cottons with matching bobbin colour

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My sample was too long – it took forever to stitch it!!!! The sample shrunk width wise. The colours are very vibrant – not relaxing at all. I used two values of each of the primaries. The wider rows of yellow zigzag seem to dominate or pop out. Once I added the yellow-orange rows, I think the piece looks more thoughtful or pulled together, not just a child’s primary colour exercise. The dark value of the red – burgundy- also helps to soften the primary colour combination. I like the look of the thread tails at one end only.

When you are stitching over a previous row – or half of a previous row, it was sometimes difficult to control the smoothness of the line. You get a look of poor tension where the colour contrast is great because the zig is showing up so much – but my tension was correct.

Page 2 – Playing with Primaries – building layers – automatic patterns

  • Fabric: bleached muslin
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length: varies
  • Stitch width: varies
  • Stitch pattern: D 8
  • Feed dogs: up
  • Thread: sewing threads with matching bobbin threads

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I changed my sample size – stitched 5 samples on one piece of cloth, then cut them to size. There is not as much shrinkage on the smaller samples, [perhaps because they are smaller and/or perhaps because the patterns are not as dense as simple zigzagging.

I find this sample much more interesting. I used the same yellow and blue threads (two tonal values of each) and only the bright red. (I did not use the burgundy nor the yellow-orange.) Changing the length and width of the stitch gives many more values to the piece. Using only the zigzag stitch gives a very solid look, whereas the patterns allow the fabric background to peek through.

Page 3- Experimenting with secondary colours

  • Fabric: hand dyed cotton
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length: 4
  • Stitch width: 6
  • Stitch pattern: E 14
  • Feed dogs: up
  • Thread: sewing threads with matching bobbin threads

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Using a fabric dyed in one of the secondary colours greatly enhances this exercise. I can see more use for this technique to create textured backgrounds. The colours seem to melt into the background, not stand out “in your face” as do my primary samples on muslin.

Page 4- Building layers with Primary and complementary colours – Yellow and Purple

  • Fabric: bleached muslin
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length: varies
  • Stitch width: varies
  • Stitch pattern: E 15
  • Feed dogs: up
  • Thread: sewing thread and matching bobbin thread

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 Red and Green

  • Fabric: bleached muslin
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length:
  • Stitch width:
  • Stitch pattern: E 36
  • Feed dogs: up
  • Thread: sewing thread with matching bobbin thread

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For this sample, I did not vary the stitch width and length, but I stitched from top to bottom and bottom to top. (For all previous samples, I had been stitching only top to bottom.) As this is a directional pattern, this does show slightly. I also used a variegated green/yellow-green shiny thread.

 Blue and Orange

  • Fabric: bleached muslin
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length: varies
  • Stitch width: varies
  • Stitch pattern: E 34
  • Feed dogs: up
  • Thread: sewing thread with matching bobbin thread

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This sample should really be called Orange and Blue as it looks like I used more of the secondary colour than the primary! But on counting the rows, I have only one more row of orange than blue – show that orange grabs your attention more than blue.

Using the complements in this manner seems a deliberate forcing of a colour scheme. Perhaps if the colours chosen were more subtle or closer in value, this technique would be a good background technique. I did like doing the exercise. It is more subtle to use a background colour of one of the colours used in the stitching. 

 

Page 5 – More experimenting – Blue and Orange – 2 samples

  • Fabric: bleached muslin and hand dyed cotton
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length: varies
  • Stitch width: 9
  • Stitch pattern: E 9
  • Feed dogs: up
  • Thread: sewing threads and matching bobbin threads

 

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I stitched this sample on two different backgrounds – same threads and same stitches, varying stitching direction top to bottom and bottom to top. The sample on the orange dyed fabric is more appealing to me; it is more subtle. The sample on the white background looks too busy.

Page 6 – more experimenting

  • Fabric: hand dyed cotton
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: B (clear zigzag)
  • Stitch length:
  • Stitch width:
  • Pattern: E 56
  • Feed dogs: up
  • Thread: sewing threads and metallic gold with matching bobbin threads

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I sewed this sample using the colours found in the hand dyed fabric – two tonal values of green and purple, with a metallic gold for accent. One of the greens was a variegated thread. I stitched the pattern diagonally – right to left and left to right, rather than straight vertical or horizontal lines. I like this effect very much and can definitely see this as valuable for a background. I think this sample does have a razzle dazzle!

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These are the threads I used to stitch this sample.

 

Page 7 – Colour grading – Tonal Values

I have used the blue-green colour range to do this exercise.  I have made three arrangements and stitched a zigzag column of each colour to show value change – light to dark, temperature change – warm to cool, and intensity change – dull to bright. 

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Page 8 – Monet’s Colours

Monet is my very favourite artist! I was very fortunate to visit Paris and Giverney last fall.  I dragged my husband all over Paris ti look at the paintings of the impressionists.  And I have many photographs of Monet’s Gardens at Giverney.

The painting I have chosen is one of Monet’s of  San Giorgio Maggiore, painted in 1908.  The colours I can see in the water section I have chosen include:  navy blue, pale pink, peach, orange, yellow, yellow-green, greyed yellow-green, green, blue-green, aqua, pale royal blue, blue-violet, pale violet.  I have included the section of the water that I used as my inspiration.

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Page 9 – Water colour rendition of the water

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I used Derwent Inktense watercolour pencils to create this “painting”.

 

Page 10 – Water Reflections A

  • Fabric: black felt
  • Stabilizer: 4 layers Armo intra face #6140
  • Foot: open toe darning foot
  • Stitch length: 0
  • Stitch width: 6
  • Pattern: free motion zigzag, not in a hoop
  • Feed dogs: down
  • Thread: sewing thread with matching bobbin threads

 

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I stitched my design from the top down and then went back to fill in areas I had missed and any highlights. I have puckering vertically – I was moving my felt side to side as I stitched to give the effect of water.  I like the dark shadows the black felt gives.

 

 

Page 11 – Water Reflections B

  • Fabric: transfer painted
  • Stabilizer: white felt
  • Foot: open toe darning foot
  • Stitch length: 0
  • Stitch width: 6
  • Pattern: free motion zigzag with no hoop
  • Feed dogs: down
  • Thread: sewing threads with matching bobbin threads –using primary and secondary colours, black and white and two threads in the needle

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I was fighting the transfer painted background colours a bit as this piece was not painted for this particular sample – just one of the pieces I had done previously. I think it could have been better if I had actually painted a background for the piece.  I did not stitch in any black shadows, and viewing this on the computer, makes me realize that I do actually neeed some darker spots.

 

 

Page 12 -Water Reflections C

Challenge: using primary colours, secondary colours, black and white

 

  • Fabric: transfer painted polyester
  • Stabilizer: 4 layers stitch & tear
  • Foot: open toe darning foot
  • Stitch length: 0
  • Stitch width: 6
  • Pattern: free motion zigzag, not in a hoop
  • Feed dogs: down
  • Thread: sewing thread with white bobbin threads: Red, Yellow, Blue, White Purple, Orange and Green. and using two threads through the needle.

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I stitched this sample from memory of the previous two and of the colour rendition. I had forgotten to bring these out to Diana’s the day I stitched the sample.  I also used up the leftover piece of the transfer painted fabric for this sample, so it is a bit smaller than the other two.  I think it is pretty good, having done it from memory

 

I have photos of the step by step process of stitching this assignment.

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