Thursday, 17 September 2009

Calligraphy cushions

The cross is coming along - I've got the appliqué done on two of the legs now. As I'm concentrating a lot on the appliqué at the moment, I thought you might be interested to see some other pieces I've made using the same technique.

These cushions show the Chinese characters for 'Friendship', 'Eternity', and 'Tranquility' (at least I hope they do - apologies if I've got that wrong!), and were done in exactly the same way as the shapes on the banner.

The basic idea was for the design to look like calligraphy, so the character would look like blank ink on paper. I used a natural silk matka fabric for the background; the character itself is in black silk satin.

I drew it up to look as much like brush writing as I could, then traced and cut out the shape in felt. Or rather the shapes - it was too complex to do all in one go. There are three separate pieces: the two smaller bits at the top, and then the entire bottom section in one go. I cut out the black silk in roughly the same shape but a little larger; snipping very carefully round the edge to get the turn-ins to lie flat, I folded the excess under the felt and tacked it into position, starting and finishing the tacking stitches on top.

I'd already transferred the design to the background fabric by sewing over a transfer on the cotton foundation fabric on the back with small running stitches; using this as a guide, I could then position the appliqué pieces onto the background and stitch them down, before removing the tacking stitches. I then went round all the edges in chain stitch in two strands of black stranded cotton.

I've used this basic appliqué technique a lot, and I think it works well both for simple and complex shapes, and for a basis for further embellishment, or left very plain, as here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ruth,
    Your cushions are wonderful.
    Thank you for sharing this applique technique as I have not used it before.
    Michala x