I have been particularly inspired by the shapes formed by leaves and petals as they shrink and shrivel when they dry. So many possibilities for textile interpretation becomes apparent when examining these organic structures.
Some of the spiralling shapes are beautiful and hosta leaves are particularly interesting as the prominent veining along their length, forms ripples as they are contorted into a curly appearance.
Inspired by these characteristics I experimented with machine stitching to recreate the twisting and turning nature of the leaves.
I found organza to be particularly suitable as it distorts easily when stitched on the bias and I also like the fact that it is transparent as it adds another dimension that can be utilised. An interesting effect is created when layers of different colours of organza are used as there is an interaction between the colours and weaves of the fabric, causing a watermark-like pattern to appear.
I also liked the effect created when different fabrics were stitched together before stitching on the bias to form tiny tucks.
An organic texture is formed by adding more lines of stitching along the bias coming from the opposite direction.
The fabrics were made to distort further by using a heat gun to melt the fabrics causing them to shrink and also form holes which more closely mimics the deteriorated leaves.
I played around with the bias-stitched organza to form a flower shape which could be used as a brooch or embellishment.
When I begin to work around a theme I really enjoy experimenting in a broad way to explore all the things that I find mesmerising. Even if I don’t use all of my ideas they are never wasted as they are often found to be useful in another project later on. I am finding that as time goes on my ideas are becoming more focused and hopefully more relevant to my work as a whole.
I have lots of different ideas radiating out from this theme which I personally like to think of as a secret garden theme, where memories can be deciphered from the remains left behind.