The embellisher has arrived:
I finally picked up my Janome embellisher from the shop yesterday and spent most of the afternoon and evening getting to know how it worked. I started on a white piece of felt with the instruction book in front of me and made a flower! Having negotiated that safely I proceeded to weld more and more adventurous fabrics to the felt, but as I hadn't watched the enclosed CD carefully enough I didn’t realise how important the background colour is when you are using this machine. For this reason I haven't included the first sample here. Way too embarrassing!
Day 2 (today) I started the day by following Jean Littlejohn's tutorial in the Oct/Nov issue of Stitch. As I wanted to keep to the rust colours I used a sample of an old army blanket dyed a lovely deep brown, exactly the colour of the rust samples I had collected from Hurst Castle. Next step was to bond a pre-painted piece of Bondaweb to the wool, as instructed. This went well till I tried to bond some transfoil to the this layer of Bondaweb, also as instructed, and it pulled half of the under layer of colour off with it when I removed the plastic paper. I thought I had got the hang of this, obviously not! Anyway undeterred I just stuck a bit more painted Bondaweb on the gap. I followed this by applying some bronze powder, some Soya bean fibre and some dyed silk tops. As Jean had instructed I covered the lot with some matching nylon sheer fabric and pressed it into place.
I embellished the whole sample with rough swirling movements to match the rust patterns and let it distort and pull the sheer away in places. This done I then embellished it from the wrong side in three circles to represent the mouldings on the gun doors. Machining from the wrong side caused the fabric to distort and I could easily push it into mound shapes.
This was a great exercise and I was delighted with what the embellisher could do.
Sample 2. For this sample I roughly followed Lynda's tutorial for embellishing scrim onto velvet. I started with red cotton velvet and some painted scrim that I had worked at the beginning of this project. After I'd put down several pieces I wanted to see what else I could put down and used some painted silk organza, this worked quite well but benefited from being embellished from the wrong side too. My favourite fabric was a piece of dyed Twinkle, this just meshed into the velvet perfectly. On another project where the colours were different I would use this exclusively, I may try it on a post card. I also tried another dyed fabric that's a bit like plastic but I don't know what it was, this virtually disintegrated but gave a good effect.
Finally I added a bit of the dyed silk tops used in the first sample and applied some stitching to follow the rhythms of the underlying textures. I didn't like the coral chain stitch so I zapped it with the embellisher. Great!
These samples are just learning pieces and visual thought processes, they’re not meant to be finished samples. I’m still very woolly as to the direction of this piece and can only hope that in the midst of chaos will come order. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed making them, just for the fun of it which is a 'turn up for the books'!