I have been busy trying to get all my stitch homework done but was able to combine stitch homework with this quarter’s challenge. We are working on machine embroidery and are looking at others work who do machine embroidery. Then we are supposed to try to work in their style. I have always admired Annemeike Mein’s sculptural textiles and since she’s from Australia, I thought it would be a good match. I haven’t been able to find a website for her but there is information here about her work. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there are several links that show photos of her work. Or just google images under her name.
I decided that I would try developing a three-dimensional stitched bottle brush. So I found some photos online and looked at the various parts of the flower.
I did a bit of sketching and wished that I had a live plant to look at. It’s much harder to really see what something looks like and how the structure is formed from a photo. But since we don’t have bottle brush in Montana, I had to go with what I had.
I then started thinking about how I could stitch the various parts, what color fabrics and threads I would need and how it would all be put together. So in the bottom right of this page are a couple of stitched samples. There are two little buds and then a flower stem. It didn’t turn out very three-dimensional and would need some additional parts to work. I was happy with the buds though.
Next came thinking about how to do the leaves. I started with a heavy cotton and then spent a long, frustrating ten minutes trying to turn the leaf right side out. I failed. So then I tried a piece of felt. It worked fine but looked artificial and didn’t give the flexibility that I was trying to achieve. So then I tried lighter weight fabrics. Those worked much better and I ended up liking the “turban cloth” cotton the best.
Next, it was time to think about a stem. I could do a long tube of fabric, turn it right side out and then stuff it. But after the leaf experience, I wanted to see if there was a different way. I have made a lot of machined cords and thought that might work. What if I used a pipe cleaner and stitched over it like a cord? I didn’t have any green pipe cleaners so I used a red one. It did work to stitch over it and the stem would be flexible, positionable and sturdy. However, it is really hard. I’m not sure I would be able to hand sew on all the little buds and flowers. So the next step will be to try the long tube of fabric and see how that will work as the stem.
Believe it or not, this process has already taken me about four hours of work. Having not done much three-dimensional stitching, I have to figure out what works and want doesn’t. I have learned a lot already and I’m going to keep plugging along with the process.
Have you made anything for our Australia challenge? We’d love to see it if you have.