I have been keeping the thread-ends from my sewing and you might remember that I used them as a texture in my church piece. I wanted to use them again and thought they would work well as a background texture, doing the same job as the random paint marks on my cut up work jeans. They are a bit tricky though: because I am hand-sewing, they are difficult to stabilise, without a lot of work.
I had an idea of sandwiching them between pieces of thin plastic. I happened to have some sandwich bags in the studio, that I'd been keeping yarn in. This worked really well, since the plastic was slightly milky, which damped down the thread colours, making the sewing over the top show up better.
I used some of my organzas to further damp down areas, to get richness of shade, particularly in the piece above, based on this square, where there are intense darks:
I am interested in the layering of different translucents, with stitching beneath and in between layers, as well as on top, to allow different stitches to interplay, as with drawn marks on paper.
I was very pleased with the results, but the base fabric needed pressing. I was worried about melting the plastic, so ironed very carefully from behind. What I hadn't realised was that there was another danger to beware of: shrinking. Have you ever done that thing where you place an empty crisp packet in the oven and get a really cute, diddy version?
The square at the top has survived okay, but the plastic on the second one had begin to shrink before I noticed, pulling the stitches and puckering the base fabric. The stitch-work in the centre also became baggy. Oh no!
As you can see, it hasn't entirely destroyed it, so it still works for me as a test piece. Fortunately too, the surviving square was my favourite of the two. Still, I am annoyed with myself for being so dim. Learning curve...