Playing Around Day 3

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.