Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hand Stitching Continued: Fabric Manipulation Fun

Susan S.: Combining needle weaving stitches with fabric manipulation. Detail.

Back to blogging! I just finished my last scheduled workshop this past weekend (will be posting about it this week). I am determined to get blog posts I can share the incredible work of my students. I admit to a recent addiction to Instagram...I finally got on it and I can't stop! Okay...back to blogging...

The pieces that follow are from the Hand Stitching Continued: Surface and Structure class (The Art League School in Alexandria, VA) that ended a week ago. This is the second of two installments of work from that class. If you want to see the other post...please go here.

The second half of the class focused on a number of fabric manipulation techniques. First, we played with what Running, Back and Ladder stitches could do to change the shape of fabric.

Kate M: Playing with random gathering and raw-edge reverse applique.
Mary M.: Gathering with Running stitch.
Mary M.: Random gathering with Running stitch, reverse applique, couching and stitching.
Susan S.: Random "smocking" using a variation of Back stitch.
Susan S.: Scrunching fabric and tacking with Seeding stitch.
Susan S.: Gathering with Running stitch.
Susan S.: Needle weaving and gathering with Ladder stitch.

There is really so much potential in just these few stitches! I'm looking forward to spending more time exploring over the summer...especially the Ladder stitch.

We also played with creating dimension with stuffed shapes. The techniques included: Cording (threading cord or yarn through stitched channels), Trapunto (slitting and stuffing from the back) and some techniques for stuffing shapes appliqued to a fabric base.

Kate M.: Cording and Trapunto.
Susan S.: Cording with the addition of Japanese cloth-covered buttons.
Susan S.: Cording and Trapunto. Trapunto center decorated with crocheted doily, beads and button.
Susan S.: Trapunto piece in process.
Mary M.: Appliqued and padded shapes.
In the second to last class, I showed students how to create small sculptures using a craft felt base.

Mary M.: Sculpture beginnings.
Kate M.: Sculpture in process.
Susan S.: Sculpture in process.
Susan S. took it one step further and turned her sculpture into an angel!

Susan S.: Angel in process.
Susan S.: Pleated and stitched detail.
Susan S.: Stitched detail on back of cape/wings.

The last class was an open studio. Students could continue working on their sculptures or choose to start a new project.

Annie G.: Layers and stitching.
Annie G.: Opened flat.
Mary M.: Boro stitching on indigo-dyed shibori.
Mary M.: Darning/weaving on indigo-dyed shibori.
Mary M.: Rolled and "whipped" fabric, couching.
Mary M.: Rolled and "whipped" fabric.
Thanks for a great class, students! Enjoy your summer!

If you live in the Washington, DC area and are interested in this class, I will be teaching it again in the winter and again in the spring. Prerequisite is Hand Stitching or Jumpstart in Hand Stitching. Please feel free to leave a comment if you would like more information.


  1. Wonderful work - you're obviously a great teacher!

    1. Thanks Linda! I set them on the path...they put in the time. I love the results!