Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Textiles 1 – A Creative Approach – Project 2, Stage 6, Using thread and yarns to create textures


This stage involved looking at drawings for texture, colour effects and proportions.  I selected three drawings and moved on to look at my collection of materials.   I chose the left hand drawing of the rusting table surface as I was more excited by the combination of turquoise and orange materials.  (Both these pictures have been posted earlier under Sketchbook and Project 2, stage 4)

DSCN2597                                  DSCN2604

I decided to continue to focus on machine embroidery as I thought it suited the detail of the drawing.

Considering the relative proportions of colour in the drawing, the following selection of threads were wrapped in the same proportion.


This was an interesting exercise and took longer than I anticipated.   It was particularly interesting to note just how many variations of colour there were in the small drawing and a very good way to focus on the colours needed for the sample.


The sample was free machined and hand stitched on a cotton background (which may have been curtain lining).  It was stitched in a 12cm hoop and developed into a very detailed and intricate piece.  Although there are sections I would approach differently if producing similar work, I am generally pleased with the overall result.  I really got to grips with repeatedly tightening and loosening the bobbin to use whip stitch to create different effects.   I used it for dotted lines but particularly explored the effects of using the bobbin thread colour to affect the overall colour of the top thread.  For example the gold thread seemed too dark in one area so I used a flesh coloured thread in the bobbin, loosened the tension and sewed from the top which had the effect of lightening the final appearance.  I was also interested in how the colour of thread appeared lighter or darker depending on where it was placed.   I am keen to explore the use of colour, particularly in relation to stitch.



I was disappointed with the peach area shown in the top right.  I used a six strand embroidery thread in the bobbin for cable stitch (machined from the reverse).  Although the effect was interesting, I didn’t feel it was appropriate for the delicate area of the drawing, it was far too heavy.  I toned it down by machining over it with a lighter thread which improved it in the context of this piece, but would take care to better match the proportion of heavy thread to light in this kind of work in future.  I was also frustrated that I found it difficult to replicate the delicate peach of the original drawing but was slightly hampered by the materials in my stash.

I enjoyed combining free-machining and hand stitch, machining over, under and around the hand stitches and vice versa to create texture.  Although I was in possession of some of these skills, I lacked the confidence and knowledge to bring them together into a coherent piece and feel I have made progress and gained experience.


2 thoughts on “Textiles 1 – A Creative Approach – Project 2, Stage 6, Using thread and yarns to create textures

  1. I really like the range of stitch and texture that you managed to create. Great idea to keep working into the piece. I love the very knobbly almost french knots. Looking forward to some expert lessons.

  2. Thank you, look forward to sewing with you!

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