After a trip to the Japanese Museum in Leiden I was so inspired I thought I’d have a go at machine sewing an image of a geisha on calico. I have also completed a couple of linocuts after that visit. I wanted to play around with gold papers and incorporate those into my work. Surprisingly they sew quite well. I’ve been collecting the tops of margarine pots and butter wrap and chocolate wrappers to boot.
The trick with free machine sewing is not to lower the sewing foot- this enables the sewer to more easily guide the fabric hither and tither. Mind you it takes practice, especially when using sulky embroidery thread or any metallic threads. I have a particular like for gold and silk colored thread. and I think adding gold and copper embroidery to any piece adds an additional something.
I have hand stitched the geisha’s hair and the detailed Japanese lettering (which is truth is now partly Chinese – the languages share some of the same brush strokes) as well as appliqued silk pieces to represent the kimono. For her hair I used a variety of black threads and thicknesses. This is the work in progress. I have begun to add some paint as well, calico fabric takes paint well. Gold paint is a favorite of mine. The fabric will have to be stretched taut to frame which is why you see shadows on the photograph.
It is slowly emerging. I found the image in a calendar. I have adapted it to suit the medium. No doubt I’ll find a place for beading as well.
Here’s a suggestion of two books I have enjoyed in relation to machine embroidery:
Machine Embroidery and More: 10 Step-by-Step Projects Using Border Fabric and Beads by Kristen Dibbs and Three-dimensional Embroidery by Janet Edmonds both available on Amazon.