Couching has kind of become my signature stitch in embroidery. I mentioned before that I love using Oliver Twists threads and many of them simply look better couched, whereas some really cannot be pulled through the fabric due to their delicate construction. But I also think couching allows you to create some beautiful shapes that are not broken up by individual stitches. This is also why I generally prefer stem stitch to backstitch for outlines, it creates a more fluid line. I also love that you can contrast or match the thinner thread with the thicker thread that is being couched down. In this sample I have completely filled the flowers and leaves by creating a kind of spiral shape within the individual petals. The threads in this sample are a mixture of silk, cotton and rayon, as well as a bit of the vintage linen thread which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.
I've been experimenting with the arrangement of my drawings using Photoshop. By cutting parts of a drawing out and moving them around I have created several new designs. I have been adding colour to several of these new designs using various different techniques, the design below was shaded with coloured pencils. Caran d'Ache is my favourite brand, I think their pencils are a little softer than most which is particularly useful for shading as in the design below.
I was given a set of fabric squares for patchwork for my birthday in the summer. I had a spare cushion pad lying around so I made up a cushion cover last weekend. The front is made up of the patchwork squares simply stitched together in a grid and the back is made with Vanessa Arbuthnott fabric and a couple of buttons to fasten it.
In my last post I mentioned that I had been painting colour swatches to form my colour palette. I painted several pages of each colour that I mixed so that I could make some collages with these colours. I used two of my drawings of stucco and plasterwork for the design of the collages, one of which was rearranged using Photoshop because the original drawing is much larger.
On Wednesday I managed to get my hands on some Linblomman threads from A Yarn Story in Bath before they all sold out. I had originally wanted to buy a box of them but they have been so popular recently that all the boxes had sold out. However they did still have some to buy individually, so I picked a couple of colours. The threads are made from flax grown in Sweden in the 1960s and they had remained hidden in a stockroom for decades. I don't yet have a particular project in mind for these, I just like to collect threads and fabrics for embroidery to save for the perfect project.
The Perpetual Maker - Hannah Mansfield
Welcome to The Perpetual Maker blog, I am an embroidery designer specialising in hand embroidery for fashion. I hope you enjoy reading the blog and I'd love to hear from you in the comments.