Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 3 Creating Shapes and Three-dimensional Forms – Stage 2 Developing ideas and Stage 3 Applied fabric techniques.

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Using another drawing from my sketchbook, I created a small collage and explored ‘piecing and re-piecing’ and reverse applique as detailed in Contemporary Applique (Julia Triston & Rachel Lombard (2014) Contemporary Applique (Batsford).  An invaluable source of research and an inspirational book to me.

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As with earlier collages, although I had a small pile of fabrics in different textures and similar colours, when it came to making a selection for a small collage, I found I only used three for the most effective combination.  This was constructed using bondaweb.

I scanned my drawing and tentatively played with it in Word and succeeded in producing an image to work from.  The digital manipulation of images as a way of developing my drawings in an area for much greater confidence and exploration.

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For the reverse applique sample, I layered five fabrics on a felt base and machine-stitched lines loosely based on an enlarged section of my original drawing.


I am quite pleased with this sample. I think it has movement and interest but could be improved by using toning thread for all the machining and not using the red thread.  I think a little more contrast in colour would be more dynamic.  Although I like the white, it would be interesting to see if the red taped at the top of the sample would work.  The green of the muslin was too similar to the tray dyed cloth, another green patterned fabric or a darker green could be tried.

Taking the above colour thoughts into account I used the same fabrics as above and added a red and dark green and a different green in brushed cotton for the piecing and re-piecing sample below.


This sample was creating by machine stitching strips of fabric to a foundation fabric with decorative stitches, then cutting up the whole piece into strips of equal sizes, rearranging them and re stitching to a new foundation fabric.  I repeated the process three or four times.  I quite like the technique and the addition of the red and dark green but think it needs more planning to avoid some of the stitch repetition, eg the red zigzag dividing the piece vertically into three and the leaf pattern repeating through the centre.  These could have been broken up by cutting and rearranging the strips a few more times.  I would also like to add further embellishment with hand stitch and beads to create a more textural surface.

Working from this drawing was also a good learning experience.  I can really see that one good source of inspiration can be taken in many directions and am feeling a sense of excitement about the originality of some of the successful outcomes.


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