Culture Victoria

Major Surgery

By Susan Mathews Posted Under Wangaratta Textile Project

I have basically spent the last week at the sewing machine and fatigue is setting in. I identified some technical issues surrounding parts of the design which were not going to match up due to different rates of shrinkage from panel to panel. I needed to complete the stitching to the point where I was happy with the colours before I tackled this problem so that all shrinking had occurred.

A number of different "procedures" have taken place - firstly a "graft". I had not originally intended to join the four panels but had decided down the track that this might be better. My first operation was to join the two lower panels together. The thing about this technique is that unpicking is virtually impossible. However, there is the possibility with intensely stitched textiles to remove parts, replace them and then blend with stitching. These facts also mean that anything I tried in the remedial line I had to live with the results of. For my graft I cut the two edges to be joined allowing an overlap which was unstitched on one panel. I zigzagged them together and then worked my random zigzag on top to blend. This worked ok but the join is a slightly visible as a ridge so I have decided to butt any further joins together.

 

Offending part cut out.

 

Starting to stitch in the "transplant".

 

Blending the "transplant".

 

Operation number two and three were "transplants". There were printed lines on a couple of the panels which were meant to match with lines on other panels and which were clearly not going to oblige. I cut out the offending parts out with a craft knife and then used the cutout shapes as a pattern to cut an offcut of my fabric collage "fabric" to the right size to slot into the hole and be stitched over to camouflage. These were successful operations!

 

The major surgery was right at the heart of the piece where four panels meet and where different parts of the shape of a warp roll end were supposed to meet and create a whole image at the convergence of the four panels. This had ended up a very strange shape and so remedial tactics were definitely needed. You can see what I mean in the photo!

 

Mismatched pieces at central point

 

On a piece of conveniently left over fabric collage I printed a new warp roll end shape. I then stitched this so that shrinkage had taken place,  cut it out with a 1/4 in seam allowance and  laid it on the two stitched pieces which had already been joined together and drew around it. I then cut a hole in the piece ( and made sure that I had some matching marks) the size of the new piece and  sewed it in with free motion zigzag.

 

Hole cut in centre of work for placement of new warp roll end.

 

A lot more free motion zigzag was then stitched in the area of the join to blend it into the rest of the piece. I'm pleased to report that the patient is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.The photo below shows the completed "heart transplant". The top left panel is the last one to be attached. A job for tomorrow and then some refining last touches before the piece is attached to batting and backing and quilted, That should be a fun job! with a large piece of heavily stitched and quite stiff "fabric" plus batting and backing will be my next battle!

 

Warp roll end shape in centre replaced.
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