Friday, 21 December 2012

Couching.

Which is a word rather like couchant, which comes from the French word for lying down, which has a particular meaning for me as it appears in one of Ganna's novels, spoken about the sight of a headland, rather like. Beachy Head. This headland is in Swanage, know there as Ballard Down, I have a tinted photograph just outside my bedroom door.

The novel is called Glory Down. I have read it several times, but so long ago now I can't remember the detail. I'm off for a couple of weeks over Christmas, and might read it then.



Working notes in Ganna's handwriting
















But I digress. Couching. Using stitch to apply thread, or other, to a ground material, in this case the piece I've already used for the laid work.

I had been over in Eastbourne, and wandered into the little mall beside the station, looking for things to couch down. There's a little embroidery shop there, which always has something a bit out of the ordinary. I brought my treasures home, and, unpacking them, thought to look for what else I might have tucked in a drawer or two! I came up with these.


Then I thought to look further, what else might I couch down? A piece of fabric from a dyeing experiment, some fragments of Mum's dresses from. My scrap box, a vivid bit of turquoise, all repurposed fabrics, stitched to a charity shop find damask napkin which served as ground for the laid work.



Then I started stitching down the dyed fabric and did a little what if, which I am just starting to understand after following Jude's Blog for some years now? What if I bring the needle up and put it down within the profile of the strip of fabric?


A slight ripple in the fabric, which could be exaggerated but here is just held in with some turquoise fly stitches, their tails lengthened to accommodate the narrowness of the fabric.


I also discovered one has to have a full stop, or the fabric will flip up in an ungainly way!

Here some French knots and a little nine patch to echo the one in the centre hold everything in place, and stop the fabric from fraying any further. A little bit of fray brings out that lovely contrast between warp and weft.

Here, the same technique with the same thread gives me a flower garden, and allows a bit more of mum's dress to show behind the flower fabric.

I did my best to continue the colour theme from the central piece of stitching, it must have some common theme to pull it all together, colour seems a good start.
I also try to use an elbows length of thread, as advised by Barbara, more or less, depending on the thing I'm stitching, the change colour - so what follows can contrast entirely, so long as it works with the colour theme and with what's being stitched down.n

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for introducing me to this technique - I'm having such fun with it, although I think I'm going to be tied to the kitchen for a few days now - I'll be back to it as soon as I can. Merry Christmas. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still work in progress but I am learning so much! Luckily, I have a good man to do the cooking, so am feeling reasonably stress free!! Have a lovely Chirstmas

      Delete