Culture Victoria

Trails & Tribulations

By Susan Mathews Posted Under Wangaratta Textile Project

So, I met my 10 bobbins a day target for 3 of the 4 days I have spent so far stitching my piece. Each day it got a little harder and on day four I got to 9 but had some time trialing thread colour combinations. I have covered a lot of miles but have also realised that I have quite a technical issue to resolve. What was I thinking having four panels with various parts of the design which are supposed to match up on different panels?


All four panels with some stitching and some technical issues!


I guess I  was thinking about the overall layout and also the size of the piece would not have been easy to handle in sewing it as one piece. What I didn't take into account initially was the rate of shrinkage. This varies according to the thickness of the background and also of course how much stitching one puts onto that. As the fabric collages were made as four separate pieces there was a little variation in the thickness one to another. Needed a day away from that particular problem today so did some work on pieces related to the collagraph blocks. Yes, I am working on two very different things. I am not really feeling confident that either of them are going to come off. I am free motion quilting a piece to represent the wires of the enormous jacquard looms. This is many, many lines of straight stitching and I can only spend up to an hour on it at one time. It is getting there. The other piece I was working on today is going back to my linocut design of the warp roll end. I had printed the block in a repeat pattern in grey on white fabric and grey on brown organza a while ago. Today I layered these, added batting and backing and free motion quilted that. Its probably quite relevant to the project that all these things are super-repetitive. I was wishing today that I could automate the process like in the factory! I like the effect of the layered organza/cotton panel  and have stitched it in aqua and teal blue.


The two stitched panels


Normally I wouldn't sit at the sewing machine for hours day after day, I tend to mix up jobs and pace myself with the body stressing things. Now for some down-time!


Linocut block printed sheer and cotton fabrics layered and stitched with teal and aqua polyester threads.


Detail of the stitching of the jacquard loom inspired panel.
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