Drawing by machine and the unknown fabric.

While sulking about the Boundary Tree, I decided to do a series of small ‘drawings’.  The technique is very simple- mark out the design, thread machine, change presser foot, drop feed dogs and stitch, and stitch and stitch.  It is like doing a continuous line pen drawing but much noisier, more frustrating and slower. The  idea is so straightforward  – what could go wrong?  Not as if I haven’t done these before…..  but still…P1160558

Daft idea one.  Let’s try to recreate a quick, spontaneous pencil sketch done a month or two ago.

Daft idea two. Let’s go back to the site to refresh the memory – blowing a gale, and  raining sideways. Not ideal conditions.

Daft idea three Let’s experiment with this nameless fabric. ( A kind of  finely spun non-woven nylon – not even the people selling it knew what to call it. If you know please tell me!)P1160550

This fabric stuff is a pain – it  attaches itself to any little snag, goes to fluff when pulled apart, and the dye rubs off. Apart from this it is fine enough to let me layer for tones and it is quite tough. I tried it layered onto the backing as if it was a wash of tone and then stitched over, tore the excess away to leave feathered edges. One layer for the close hedge, two and three for the trees.  Not bad if a bit lumpy in the trees.

stitched  over nameless fabric. From original sketch. A4ish.

stitched over nameless fabric. From original sketch. A4ish.

But this is me – never happy to leave alone – went on to experiment more – Question – is this robust enough to stitch on  without backing?  err…..straight stitch yes,   zigzag no.  Densely no.  Question- can I use it with the rip or iron away stabiliser? Yes, but it is not a thing of loveliness to work on, in fact – No, don’t want to. How dense can it go? How black do I need? How much is too much? see pic for answers-  Does look like a very poor exposure. I was working on a brighter white linen which was way too clean so did also try ink staining as well which gave the colour halo.  I will probably play more with this one – try paler grey stitching as highlights-  or just start again and have another go. Wonder what bleach will do to it?P1160565


2 thoughts on “Drawing by machine and the unknown fabric.

  1. I just found your blog and love it! Although I am a hand stitcher (don’t even own a sewing machine) I find your process descriptions instructive and inspireing. I love landscape paintings/drawings in any medium.
    Good luck with your new blog, may you go strong with it for a long time.

    By the way, could it be this fabric is Tyvec or some other polyester fleece? Here they sell this as deco fabric or, uncolored, as acricultural fleece. I have used it in hand stitching for semi-sheer layers like you or treated it with a heat gun or ironed it for bizarre surfaces. However, I prefer sheer silks for layering and use polyester fleece mostly when I’m going to play with the heat gun or pressing iron.


    • Thank you, very kind, glad you like it. I don’t think it is Tyvec – I have ironed it on full heat without distortion – did small though. I’ve seen this in interior stores as a wispy decorator’s cutain and I know there are some spunbond fabrics out there for machine and embroidery work – Vilene do some. One day I will find out the name – then they will stop manufacturing it of course.


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