|Testing the characteristics of hand woven hemp with dyed cotton.|
|The quilt front?|
I did a lot of work this weekend experimenting. I have lots more to look at with making my quilt backs become my quilt fronts.
|The quilt back?|
Merely showing an occasional seam on the wrong side is not as interesting as I thought it might be. Work still to be done there.
I did play around with my samples of hemp. And learned some interesting things. Hemp needs to be reinforced- edges have to be finished or it will unravel quickly. The rough edges intrigue me- but I have to know how to control them. I played around stitching over the hemp, insetting the hemp and taking pieces and putting them over stitched lines. One thing I can tell you is that the seams really bulk up making very fine work difficult. I often have to use narrow seams to get the line quality that I want. It is hard to use fine seams with a material that frays so much, and I really do not want to finish every hem- which works, but adds two lines of stitching to every line. This fabric really bulks up the seam since I am not cutting my corners making it hard to press. This technique will not work where I have too many lines intersecting.
I spent lots of time seeing how the colors changed if I put different fabrics underneath the hemp. Black on black is almost unreadable until you get up close.
|The hemp really changes depending |
on the background fabric.
|Black on black- the left, is almost invisible. |
I also found that the background loose weave
fabric does not make crisp edges on the inset squares.
I could probably do inset squares for the next 10 years
and not get them perfect.
|Good example of how the background fabric|
which is a loose weave like muslin stretches
too much for even a simple curve
Sewing curves with hemp, or any material that has too much give is a headache since it is hard to prevent the materials from stretching. I am sure this is an area that needs further examination. But my initial test does not have the precision I want
I have been trying hard not to make things or turn these studies into anything more than studies. And I am trying to hone some of my sewing skills while I do this. Two things I learned today: I can't just sew with any old combination of color. I tried a few experiments with scraps lying around where I was not focused on the color combination. It was too hard for me to see past the colors I did not like.
I also can not cut corners. Sloppy sewing gets in my way and prevents me from seeing the test I am looking at. So this is going to take some time.