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Capture the essence of spring in textile art – Mr X Stitch Embroidery

Christine Cunningham

Recent posts by Christine Cunningham

BENEATH THE FOLDS DISCOVERS SPRING TIME

There are several ways to capture the essence of a season. In this month’s column, we’ll look at creating a color palette of new shoots and spring flowers using traditional appliqué and patchwork techniques, cutting off fabrics, adding textures with wool and naturally frayed fabrics, and embellishing light and depth with light-reflecting beads, jewels, and sequins to create the surface and hand-embroidered poems that hold the essence of my childhood for Easter in a crochet thread.

CAPTURE THE ESSENCE OF SPRING – BUILDING A COLOR RANGE

“Spring garden” and “spring” capture the essence of the season with a lively palette of lush green (new shoots) and blue (bright sky), brown (earth), purple, pink, yellow, orange and white (spring flowers) of hyacinths , Cherry blossoms, daffodils and snowdrops).

A rich color palette with new shoots and spring flowers in 'Spring Garden'
New shoots and spring flowers in the “spring garden”
A rich patchwork of colors that captures the essence of the season in 'Springtime'.
A rich patchwork of brown, green, blue, pink and purple in the “spring”

TRADITIONAL APPLICATION AND PATCHWORK TECHNIQUES

Folding fabrics (applications) and sewing fabrics (patchwork) forms a strong color palette and creates depth within the surface structure.

Traditional applications and patchworks ensure a rich color palette and surface depth in spring.
Traditional applications and patchwork provide color and depth

LAYERING TECHNOLOGY USING FABRICS

Gathering sections of fabric is a great way to create depth within a color palette. Individual color patches can be created by overlapping edges of similarly sized parts (for securing with a barrel stitch). Long lengths are formed, which are then layered and sewn to create a surface with texture and depth within the naturally frayed fabrics. In Spring Garden, additional lengths of frayed curtains and blankets were used. There is a natural rhythm within the sewing and contouring of the surface.

Layering techniques using sections of fabric have an effective effect on the depth and color
Layering sections of fabric creates texture and rhythm on a flat surface

ADD TEXTURE WITH WOOL

Because of its diversity, wool is a fantastic medium. The greater the thickness (layer), the greater the volume and the 3D structure. I love creating wool pompoms for fringing because they give the textile a flexible depth.

Use wool pompoms to create depth and structure within a textile
The immense wool pompom hem in spring gives volume and structure

Embellishing a surface with marker embroidery is effective in overlaying color, pattern, and texture. “Spring” uses a simple run and cross stitch to improve the panels and over sewing to anchor large buttons.

Use wool to embellish textile panels with traditional embroidery
Traditional barrel and cross-stitch embroidery

ADD TEXTURE WITH NATURALLY FROZEN FABRICS

Naturally frayed fabrics and wool (roughly cut) are a great source of texture that gives volume and depth to a flat surface. Use a variety of materials to achieve a high density in the structure of your textile.

Naturally frayed fabrics give a flat textile texture, volume and depth
Naturally frayed fabrics promote a rich structural depth

ORNATE WITH LIGHT REFLECTING PEARLS, JEWELS AND SEQUINS TO CREATE LIGHT AND DEEP

3D buttons, pearls and jewels are very effective in creating the surface contour, with a play of light casting shadows on the surface and creating depth within the structure.

See also


Creation of a rich surface contour of light and depth
Buttons cast shadows and add depth to the surface contour

Light-reflecting sequins capture the delicate light of spring

Catch the delicate light of spring with sequins and buttons
Delicate light is captured with sequins and mother-of-pearl buttons

CAPTURE SPRING TIME WITH ORIGINAL POSTERY

“Easter sandals”, hand-embroidered in a golden crochet thread, captures the spirit of Easter when I was a child growing up in the north east of England. The viewer is brought back to “with me in search of brightly patterned eggs … church bands pulling through South Shields …”. A personal experience creates an emotional layer that the viewer can relate to.

Easter sandals capture the essence of my childhood at Easter in the north east of England.
Join the hunt for brightly patterned eggs.

I hope you liked it DETERMINING THE ESSENCE OF SPRING. If you’d like to discover more seasonal abstracts, visit mine website and gallery .

Christine Cunningham

Christine Cunningham



Creating art from recycled materials using traditional methods (appliqué, patchwork, quilting) with modern research into fabric manipulation and the padded structure. Unusual materials are hair, plastic, rubber, metal, disintegrating substances and found objects. I get my treasures from carboot sales, charities, and freecycle.
Original poetry captures the essence of an experience, an emotional layer that the viewer can relate to on a personal level.
I have two works. The Natural Collection deals with abstract floral design and the seasons, religion, visions of India and Buddhism, the nostalgia of childhood and the sea. The Womanhood Collection examines natural states of being such as breast cancer, sexuality, aging, anatomy, love, fragility and independence. I was inspired by my own experiences with breast cancer, both the physical brutality and the fragility of life afterwards.

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