Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hand Stitching in the Car

Above is the "masterpiece" painting for Elements of Architecture XXXVIII. I used heat-activated paints on regular typing paper. I'm not much of a painter...OBVIOUSLY! I even accidentally stepped on the painting before it was dry (and figured sales tax in the upper corner!). Still, I used the result. Once dry, I turned it face down onto 100% polyester and ironed with a very, very hot iron. The chemical reaction between the dried paint and the polyester occurred....setting my "masterpiece" on the polyester...ready for hand stitching.

Above is the "masterpiece" ironed onto the polyester. I always staple such pieces to wooden stretcher bars. I stitch with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, fairly randomly...sometimes following the color I used for the painting...sometimes changing the color...I stitch quickly and rarely remove even a single thread. I like big, bulky yarns, decorative fibers, metallics, and cheap DMC floss. I try to keep my thread in plastic Ziplock bags...but they never stay organized. I generally have one, large bag full of an enormous "tangle". I love that bag.

Above is the stitched result. While in the car over the past few days, I stitched. I stitched during the ride to Charleston and Edisto Island. I stitched to West Virginia and back. This afternoon, a piece of a purple chiffon scarf (www.thethreadstudio.com) went over the hand-work. I free-motion machined stitching into the piece and zig-zigged the edge.

A few weeks ago...I seriously can't remember if it were last week, the week before, or even 10 days ago...I painted yards upon yard of paper with the remaining heat-activated paints that were in my studio. There is suppose to be a "shelf life". They were well surpassed it, but a test revealed that the product was still "good". So, I painted and painted and painted. I even tried to use a brush but that didn't last very long. I used a piece of wadding plastic, the side of piece of corrugated board, and my hands. It was so much fun. I did, however, have a plan...a rough idea...a hope.

I thought that I could use the heat-activated crayons on top of this haphazard painting. I hoped that a simple line drawing would fix my design without the need to actually PAINT a PICTURE. It worked! I lightly drew a "building" on top of the dried paint...using the heat-active crayons. The result is a colored background...perfect for big, bulky hand stitching...with a guideline for stitching.

Above is the "painting" with the crayon design...ironed into place on 100% polyester. Below is the stitched piece...hand work with free motion machine embroidery done on top of a sheer, chiffon overlay. This is an easier approach...especially since I'm much better at line drawing than trying the paint an area with full color.


arlee said...

HOW do you get all that done in such a short period of time???? I bow before your time management skills, as well as your talent :}

Alis said...

Susan, those are just fantastic. You are such an inspiration.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Fantastic stitching. Beautiful art.

Carol said...

wonderful stitched pieces, I love them,

MargaretR said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I love it all. I know I shall continue to come back again and again.

Karoda said...

Hi, I found your blog via Sarah's blog, And Sew On.

Yesterday I finally got around to experimenting with transfer dyes and because I had forgotten the typing (its not called typing paper anymore, is it?) paper, I used brown bag paper and was pleased with the results. I like having 2 copies of the same image but yet so totally different.

Also, I love Edisto Island and envy you being so close to such a beautiful and meditative area.

Debbi B said...

Hi Susan - This is my first visit to your blog and I got here via your comment on Jacqueline's blog! These pieces are just stunning and I am so glad you shared the process as you would never be able to work it out from just looking at the end result. So much colour and detail! I'll be back. Debbi B

Emmy said...

I love your work and I want to thank you for your comments on my blog I think it is very nice to get some good comment from a talanted woman ,,that is what you are