Assignment Two: The final pieces

The aims of this assignment were to:

  • consolidate my exploration so far by creating a series of stitched textiles
  • employ observational and compositional skills as well as material and technique handling in the creation of stitched textiles.

The final three pieces created can be seen here:

The brief for this assignment was to develop a series of three stitched pieces inspired and informed by my drawings and stitched paper explorations. The series also had to show:

  • a sense of repetition
  • variety of scale
  • a placement design

The way that I decided to tackle each of these was to have a theme of moving from bud to full flower to decaying petal across the three textiles (as can be seen in the photo above moving from left to right). This created a sense of cohesion and repetition of image. I decided that instead of creating a large variety of scale in the series of works, I created a variety of scales for the flowers that inspired me. I created the bud smallest, the flower in full bloom larger and the final piece was supposed to represent a single petal or section of the flower as decayed into small pieces.

I wanted to continue to use the sense of repetition and variety of scale in the each piece. The woven piece has repetition within the base textile design and then I repeated the bud free motion sketch playing with the scale. I also repeated the free motion on each sketch in increasingly darker shades to build up the depth of the sketches but by keeping the ones at the top of the piece lighter it makes the buds look further away, almost as though they are tumbling.

The second piece is a weaving of a variety of fabric samples along with pieces of yarn from the first weaving to contribute to the sense of cohesion. I printed using Setacolour opaque fabric paint onto a fine organza fabric using stencils to give a repeated, seed-like pattern to the fabric when it caught the light. By free motioning onto the organza first I was able to outline the seed shapes to make them more obvious (they tended to blend in when placed straight onto the white background. I created jagged free motion stitches to be reminiscent of the seed section of the original flower sketch. I also created petals from speckled organza using a satin stitch to outline the shape and then cut away the excess fabric. I stitched the organza layers onto the woven fabric backing using tiny stitches hidden within the free motion stitching and the satin stitch. To create texture I cut small pieces of yarn and stuffed each ‘seed’ to create a 3D effect. I also attached the petals using small stitches intermittently so that they appeared to come out of the work. I intentionally left the ends of the weaving free on the second piece to help lead from the second piece to the less structured third piece.

For the third piece I used fabrics and yarns from the first two pieces to create the confetti style base fabric. I then created long hand stitches to create extra texture and is reminiscent of the veins in petals.


The qualities that we needed to take into account in this assignment and how I tackled them were as follows:

  1. Directions of stitch and creating lines
  2. Using stitch to create texture
  3. Deconstructing and recessing
  4. Building relief
  5. Looking at the reverse
  6. Repetition/scale/placement

Directions of stitch and creating lines

I attempted to use a combination of hand and free motion machine sewing to create lines, whether to “sketch” with thread or to create the sense of direction, texture or lines reminiscent of the veins in petals.

Using stitch to create texture

I intensively free motion stitched the bud piece and this caused the fabric to buckle. Rather than attempt to press this texture out, I liked the texture as it seemed to add tot the sense of movement. The second piece, I used the placement of the stitches to encourage the organza to buckle or form domed shapes to create texture and interest. The final piece used long hand stitches to further encourage the already “decaying” textile base to twist or bend.

Deconstructing and recessing

I cut up pieces of scrap fabric to create the base textiles for the second and third pieces in the series. I also added a sheer layer of organza which was printed and stitched before I cut away the excess.

Building relief

I worked on the idea of building relief particularly in the second piece to emphasise the vitality of the flower in full bloom. I stuffed to organza “seeds” with yarn to create more texture beneath the free motion embroidery stitches which stand fairly proud of such a fine material and add to the idea of textured seeds. I also encouraged the organza petals to bend and appear to be protruding from the base material with tiny stitches placed intermittently to hold the petal in the position I wanted.

Looking at the reverse

The reverse of the free motion embroidery is almost as interesting as the front. I purposefully didn’t change the bobbin every time I changed the top thread to encourage a sense of gradation should any of the bobbin thread show through. I also had a limited amount of a couple of the colours on my spools so I needed to conserve thread to maintain consistency within the series of pieces.


I have outlined my thought process on repetition, scale and placement above.

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