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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kantha design progress

While recuperating from my knee operation I have been working on the Kantha design I began in the Barbara Mullan Embroiderers' Guild workshop in June.  In my last post on the topic I had a design on paper. I transferred the centre motif and the four large corner motifs to the fabric using a combination of sketching and tracing. I worked these before adding the other motifs.
The central motif is from a marine photograph of a star-fish-like creature.
Two corners have crabs.
The other two corners have octopuses. In between, jellyfish swim around and a variety of shell fish nestle.

For the smaller shells and the jellyfish I sketched the basic shape with pencil then improvised with thread.

Once I had the basic design stitched, I began the process of background stitching. I began with the piece in a hoop to maintain tension in the running stitch, but soon abandoned it as too slow. It is much more efficient to work the running stitch with a scooping, rather than a stabbing, technique and the mantra from my class last year at the RSN was 'never scoop in a hoop'!

Without the hoop I progressed more quickly. I worked a swirling circle around the central motif - a current taking the jellyfish around in a whirlpool and washing other creatures off to the edges.

This process took several days of stitching. When it was finished I did a little bit of padding to give dimension to a few of the creatures. I was a bit ambitious with scallop shell, distorting the fabric - creating the need to block the finished piece.

I was able to successfully block it overnight. I am pleased with this result. I've decided to make this into a very large floor-cushion. I've ordered some dark green batik with which to back the cushion and mount a border. The border embroidery and construction will be my next post.


Monica said...

Never scoop in a hoop, you say? I haven't heard that, but it matches my experience too. A new mantra!

This turned out really well. I particularly like those crabs! The stripey kantha stitch is perfect for them. I'm sure it was tremendous fun.

I hope your recovery is going well!

Jillian said...

Thanks Monica. Ts the crabs worked quite naturally. ' Never scoop in a hoop' makes quite a good mantra, doesn't it? My knee is coming on well - saw surgeon yesterday, now allowed to drive again - yeh!