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DECORATING TEXTILE ART USING MACHINE COUCHING

As an active member of the textile artist community, I believe I speak for many of us when I say that our search for innovative methods to create art, and decorate and embellish our creations is endless.


One of the easiest ways for me to create textile art is by using a sewing machine. Of course, I need to have some materials as well as threads and yarns. Using a sewing machine also means that I must have the correct needle for the project I’m working on. That leads me to the next important thing; the use of the correct foot for the yarn and the technique that I want to do on the piece.


I have recently rediscovered my couching foot and it is so fulfilling to make use of this foot to lay down so much thread and therefore, so much colour in a short time!


The possibilities of how I can decorate an artwork or utility item, is endless! Sometimes the project only needs a bit of loosely stitched patterns and at other times, I can ‘draw’ a picture and then colour it in!


THE TREE OF LIFE

The Tree of Life, an example where I did a combination of couching techniques, was such a learning curve for me! I had to find yarn that was the right colour and the correct size couching insert. It was so much fun and I learnt a tremendous amount!


PRISCILLA, QUEEN of the OCEAN (SOLD)

An example where I ‘drew’ a picture and then coloured it in, is Priscilla, Queen of the Ocean! I machine couched Priscilla but it felt like I ‘painted’ with yarn. I had so much fun with it! She now lives happily in a private collection in the USA.


The same couching technique was used on the Cape Robin-chat where I experimented with shading.


COUCHED CAPE ROBIN-CHAT

I have often mentioned just how therapeutic quilting and in this case, free motion machine couching is! I sit in front of my machine and once I have decided what the pattern is that I want to couch and my first stitch is taken, I go into a state of meditation. I allow my mind to relax and to go to places where fulfilment awaits and my hands move almost automatically.


LOOSELY STITCHED COUCHING PATTERN

Of course there are cases where I have to do a lot of restarting so the meditative process doesn’t really flow. These are mostly when I do a pattern where I stitch from one side to the other, cut the threads and have to start again on the other end. This in itself can easily become meditative because it is so repetitive.


STITCHED FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER

Quite recently one of my Instagram posts went viral. With so much interest in machine couching, I thought I will do a short class which will be available on my website in the next two weeks. It will have clear instructions on how to use the couching foot, how to thread it and many tips and tricks that I have discovered along the way doing machine couching. Subscribe to my newsletter and I will send you more info regarding this class. You will see how much fun it is to see the rewarding, quick technique used in this way!


Textile artists all over the world have been looking for new techniques and materials to make more and better art. I urge you to try out free motion machine couching. You will have a lot of fun and you will achieve a similar feeling of satisfaction when your work develops so quickly!

Love,

Tilly


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