I tackled another box from the Stitchbook Collective over the weekend – I’ve caught up now, just the final one to do next month!! This box was all about making mock chenille. Apparently chenille means caterpillar in french, the fabric is so called as it does look a bit like rows of hairy caterpillars!
To make the chenille we sandwiched fabric in between two layers of denim. The layers were then all stitched together in rows, a bit like close lines of quilting. It could be done by hand, but I did the stitching on the machine. The rows were then carefully cut in between the stitching, leaving the bottom layer of denim. Then came the messy bit, the raw edges were brushed with a wire brush to make them fray, once all layers were fully frayed,, it was then washed, dried and then awaiting inspiration!
The first sample was made from two squares of cotton in between the denim. I stitched with straight lines. I found the denim frayed really easily but the cotton not as much. I’vejust kept this as a sample…
For the second sample I rummaged in my scrap box of silks – that sounds rather posh but back in the 1980’s we used to wear ‘ball gowns’ for parties, black tie do’s etc, I used to make dresses for my friends and I kept any scrap that was big enough to cover a coat hanger!! Anyway, I knew that silk dupion frayed very easily, so I chose two red and some orange silk. Instead of stitching stripes I stitched squares, so I could cut some away and not others. It did fray easily, but what I didn’t think of was that it was shot silk, so a different colour in the warp and the weft, what that meant is that the fibres hat were left depended on whether the cut was across or down. This sample was quite amusing when I washed it. Helen had warned us that the denim wasn’t colour fast – well neither is red silk, so there was lots of purple dye coming out as the two dyes merged!! This piece sort of reminded me of the red gingham and denim look, so I just added some red buttons..
The final sample was made by sandwiching a bag of scraps in between a folded piece of calico – in Yorkshire we’d call that a butty rather than a sandwich!! The scraps were all sorts of neutral fabrics which Helen had provided. I stitched this in a wave formation and boy was this a messy one when it came to brushing it!
Once it was finished it reminded me of rapids on a river. I decided to add beads like light twinkling off water. I rummaged in my bead box and sorted lots of pearly beads, sparkly ones, and just mixed neutral ones. I seem to have ended up with a lot of pearl beads – again this is from my twenties when I progress from ball gowns for friends to wedding dresses and bridesmaids!! This seemed a great opportunity to use a load!
I stitched them in lengths along the channels, fairly randomly. In fact the tiny beads were very random as I just stuck the needle into the mixed pot and used what came out! I really like this one.
So there’s just one more workshop to go, on weaving, then I can make a cover and put my textile book together. It’s been a great experience!