A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Expanding the repertoire: loops, lumps and loose threads

Helen Parrott was a tutor at CQ Summer School when I did a workshop with Jo Budd  and I could readily  have done her course,  enjoying conversations over dinner.  My copy of 'Mark-making in textile art'  is well thumbed now, it's an absorbing and stimulating read covering not just techniques but thoughtful insights into artists practice and taking things further. I've nearly completed a piece using some red Japanese shibori .  Besides extending the original stitch marks of the shibori, I've been having great fun experimenting with loops and knots  following suggestions in the  book. I love the graphic quality, like quirky calligraphy,  and the shadows cast add to the effect.

It's been good to experiment again, having  got into a bit of a rhythmic rut with  my lines of parallel stitches.
 Reading other hand stitchers blogs has also given me some ideas on expanding my repertoire. Among my favourites are Jude Hill, Judy Martin ,  Christine Mauersberger Dijanne CevaalOlga NorrisHeather CameronTiggy Rawling Alice Fox   and recent discovery Helen Terry.

 Although not an embroiderer like my mum , I can, with a bit of practice do French Knots and cross stitch and like the textures they provide. But perhaps I have to think about it too much, it's hard to be random and irregular.
 Taking part in the 'Take It Further' challenge  a few years ago, I embraced the opportunities to be a bit more adventurous, like using  huge tacks to represent  how I was barely  holding myself together at the time.
 Most recently, having seen Dorothy Caldwells'  pieces from  her time in Australia with their pigments rubbed over heavy large stitches, I've been  exploring stitches of doubled stranded cotton with acrylic paints. I'm learning to love stranded cotton for all the reasons I've hated stitching with it in the past: the way it separates out into the individual threads. I've even added to the stash of threads, sitting unloved for years, that I  inherited from my mum.  
This post completes my journey  in hand stitch from heirloom quilting  for function through to experimental mark-making. Hope you've enjoyed reading about it as much as I've enjoyed putting these posts together. I'll be back in September with some posts  and tutorials on combining stitch and acrylic paints - I do hope you'll join me.


  1. Glad you will be back in September as I enjoy your posts.

  2. I have truly enjoyed your posts and I have been inspired to experiment myself with stitch. Thank you for your thought provoking posts.

  3. This has been great. Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to September!

  4. Great posts and thank you for all the links to other artists.
    The indigo/blue piece is beautiful.

  5. I too have thoroughly enjoyed this month's blog
    A big thank you to all the people who have contributed this month with such inspiring posts.

  6. Thanks for the mention. Great post, looking to September too.

  7. Thank you!I have the same artists blogs in my blog roll and am always looking at what they are doing new.

  8. There are many inputs and ideas in your posts which are valuable and interesting. It was a pleasure to follow them. Thank you for sharing them.


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