Saturday, October 31, 2015

Humble Beginnings

This week, I finally started working on some samples for my upcoming Hand Stitching class. I've had lots of thoughts bopping around in my head (and I've gotten many of those down on paper) but for some reason I just wasn't sitting down and starting to make samples.

I decided to start by reintroducing myself to three basic stitches that I use a lot in my work...back stitch, stem stitch and running stitch. One thing I really want to do is set limits...both in size and color. So, I am trying to stick with black and white to start. These samples use black DMC floss on a slightly off-white Prepared for Dyeing Kona cotton. I also have black cotton and will use white floss. And...I'll probably try white stitching on white cloth and black stitching on the black cloth. I do want to try out some different fabrics....linen, silk, felt and maybe a sheer of some kind. The students will have the chance to paint and print (black and white) some designs during the first session...just for some variety.

Back stitch: Changing the thickness of the lines.

But getting back to these samples... I focused on thick versus thin so I stitched lines that gradually used fewer strands of floss. I tried to keep the stitches pretty uniform in length. Stitching the lines using 5 and 6 strands was not very easy (especially trying to keep an even tension as I worked) and I think that the weave of this cotton may be too tight to comfortably accommodate that many strands. The linen and felt will probably work much better (more samples to come!). Even doing these simple  samples has got me thinking...about designs with lines that become thick and thin. I want to try that next. And then I want to think about and explore the concept of line. Using descriptors for lines...and then trying to stitch them (for example...can a line be angry?).

Stem stitch: Changing the thickness of the lines.

Running stitch: Changing the thickness of the lines.

So this is the humble start...


  1. I'm so use to using one strand of Perle Cotton (8 I think??) or 3 of floss that I never thought to change either one using more or less strands! DUH! Thanks for the thought!

    1. You're welcome! I love to blend colors in the needle too...but am trying to stay true to this idea of black and white.

  2. I find that I learn so much by teaching ... have fun!

    1. That is SO true, Liz! In fact, I love to design classes...for my students...but also for me! This is giving me the excuse to step back and look at stitching from the remember the potential in even the simplest stitch. I have so many hands are not keeping up! BTW love all that you are doing with the little dyed squares.