Sep 17, 2010

LilyCompassI Embroidery: Center - the Buldge

Ok, I'm going to bear an issue, here.  Warts and all.  Look above.  Is there something that might perhaps bother you just a little bit?  Notice how the center circle bulges in the bottom right?

I HATE this.  

Unfortunately, any time a pattern is preprinted on the fabric there is a chance that some sort of distortion can happen.   There is GOOD news!  When something like this happens the end result usually happens to be better because it creates an opportunity to be creative and perhaps create a better, more creative piece of art in the end.

Grab a proper cup of tea, java, or perhaps a glass of wine for a rare philosophical (and word-y) post.  No worries, plenty of pictures at bottom :)

How does such a thing happen?  In my studies I have come across a couple of explanations:
  • Fabric -- with traditional and contemporary Japanese Embroidery we are usually working with a natural fiber: silk.  Although everything may be done to take out any of imperfections, the reality is that it is still a natural fiber and there could have been some sort give or weakness in the warp and weft of the silk.
  • Framing -- perhaps I did not execute the tried and true framing techniques developed over 100's of years and am now paying a price for it now.
  • End Fabric and Square Fabric -- Perhaps I didn't cut the ends quiet right (although they were triple checked).  Was the end fabric sewn on straight and true?  Hmmm....
  • Applying design - Perhaps the screen printing was not applied correctly.  BUT!  Looks good to me.

How can we avoid this problem?  Well.....  my opinion is that when feasible, the design should be stitched on.  Here's is my early post on how and why to do this.  Now, I know that this is a very unfashionable and often impossible thing to do.  In the case if Lily CompassI, I have chosen the beauty of screen printing to supplement the design so I think the positives of applying design before framing outweigh the problems of something like this occurring (especially when there are options during the stitching process(.

What do we do about it now?  With one of my favorite quotes in mind ("Necessity is the mother of invention") envision what the end result should look like, plan, then stitch on the design.

Plan: Here's a couple of options for that center --

My choice is the option below, although not stitched with so many colors. Below I am auditioning colors to build the image of where I can and should place values.  Doing this on paper is a quick and easy way of auditioning what is around the corner.

Here is a link to the .PDF of the center design.  My recommendation is to print it on archival onion skin paper using your standard ink jet printer.

Position it on the ground fabric then take a couple of holding stitches to put it on just so.

I like to back stitch it on using a fine silk sewing or couching thread so I have clean lines.  Back stitch is the stitch of choice for me but others like to use a running or Japanese stitch.

Removing paper is easy - just take your Tekabari and draw along the lines.  (This is a great way of imprinting the design in your mind, too).  Careful not to press to hard, just enough to crease then the paper just pulls away.

Get out those fine tweezers and give a little tug.  ....Like the bowl?  More to come on Graham bowls and Koma...

And waaa-la!  Design on!

Coming Up:
Monday: Lily Compass I Embroidery, The Center
Friday: Lily Compass I Embroidery, Center Small Points
Following Monday: Lily Compass I Embroidery, Center Crescents
Following Friday: Lily Compass I Embroidery, Gold-work on Outer Points

Christa, Lilystitch and

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