Designing My First Assessed Piece - A Wall Panel ... scary stuff!

August 20, 2018

This was the most scary and exciting time ... I have never designed a textile piece before for assessment, so the process was daunting. I hadn't really got a clue as to what was acceptable, mainly because I thought I was doing something way out of my comfort zone! Give me some fabric to make clothes; thread to crochet; silks to embroider and I am fine. But it did make me think about and reevaluate what I have been doing for many years ...designing. Yes I am a designer ... I just didn't know it. I never crochet the same thing twice, just making it up as I go along; I have created bridal wear, embroideries, and so much much more over the years. Even in the early days, I never followed a pattern to the nth degree, always changing it to suit my ideas. My brain overflows with so many ideas, made and forgotten over the years. I just didn't think about the process or a way of recording those ideas so that they didn't disappear in the mists of time. I am still developing strategies for this, but keeping all my notes and sketches is a great start.

 

So where did I begin?  I was worried about this, but the Module notes gave me an option to use one of my Line design developments from Module 1.  

This image was my focal point:

 

 

 

I also made some initial sketches of how I wanted to use leaf shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a photocopy of a my initial ideas on double page in a notebook. It was further developed into the design below.

 Once I had this design, I knew basically what I needed to do to achieve the look I wanted.  I created samples of different leaves and stitch patterns. I used water soluble fabric for some and others were machine stitched onto a range of fabrics, including felt and gold Tyvek. At this point, I wasn't thinking too much about a colour scheme. Once I had my samples and knew what could be achieved, I ordered canvas fabric and decided on a  colour scheme. 

It was important to try the layout and so I made a card version, using the chosen colours

 

I tried a couple of dye lots on samples of canvas before settling on the colour I liked best.  Plastic templates enabled me to create shapes in colour on the dyed canvas, using Inktense pencils. The canvas was then pinned to a frame and the open section cut away. 

 

Water soluble stabiliser (WSS) was so new to me and opened up a whole world of possibilities, I never knew were possible! Of course, I knew that cutting away some of the canvas would destabilise the canvas that remained and I had to find a way to work round this.  WSS was the answer. A double layer was pinned into place and the stitching began!

 

Beginning to create the shapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here the stitching is well underway, but a few hours to go yet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base is stitched and the WSS is washed away to leave the lace background. Isn't it awesome? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here are  the shapes I created next ...  using the WSS; but also with some on felt or fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Here ... testing the layout

 

 

 

And finally ... the finished wall panel! Ta dah!

 

 I added a few beads on wires to complete the project.

 

Please let me know what you think and if you have been inspired to design your own piece. Thanks for reading :)

 

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