Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Stitching

Linda McLaughlin here to tell you about my weekly stitching projects. One of the benefits of doing my daily stitching is that I keep getting ideas for other stitching projects. I keep a list of these ideas and review them when I'm getting ready to start a new one.  At the end of 2012 I realized that some of my ideas were not ideal for daily stitching, I knew that it would take much more time than the simple quick stitching that I do daily.

The 2013 weekly stitching project grew out of an idea to use some of my vintage linen collection. Here's how it looks finished.

-The fabric is vintage linen and cotton napkins that were divided into three piles and dyed either rose, teal or yellow. 
- Each dyed piece was then clamped with a pair of plexiglass shapes, either a circle ,square or triangle and then over dyed in one of the opposite  colors.
- Each one has a piece of flannel fused to the back, this gives the fabric a bit more stability when stitching and also gives the stitches a bit more dimension. I do not use a hoop when I stitch.
-The stitching is all done with pearl cotton thread, most of it  #5 weight. Some of the threads were dyed with the fabrics, others are commercial threads.
-I finished each piece by pillow casing a cotton fabric to the back. The fabric was ice dyed with the leftover dyes from doing the linens. This is a sample of the backs.

- Each back has the week it was done written on it.
- I only used seven simple stitches to do all 52 weeks. Frequently I would combine different stitches in a block, here's how often those stitches show up.
    - Straight stitch /running stitch, 32 weeks
    - French knots and variations , 33 weeks
    - Fly stitch and variations, 23 weeks
    - Blanket stitch and variations, 13 weeks
    - Chain / lazy daisy stitch, 11 weeks
    - Cross Stitch, 6 weeks
    - Couching, 5 weeks

Although I've used the same stitches over and over each individual piece is different. Here are a few of my favorites from the group.

You can see all of them here.

My 2014 weekly stitching is called The Weekly Leaf. Each week I use various surface design techniques on hand dyed fabric or muslin to get a leaf image. So far I've stenciled, gelli-printed, done rubbings, solvent transfers, stamped and drawn a leaf. After I get the image on the fabric its time for the stitching.  Unlike my daily stitching that I do first thing going into the studio, my weekly stitching sits in a bowl by my big comfy chair in the living room so that I can work on it in the evenings when the tv is on. I average between four to six hours on each one.  Here's a few that I've done so far this year.

Here are all twelve.

So far the only stitches I've used are;  french knots, stem and straight stitch.  
You can see all of them here.

I hope that I've inspired some of you to try doing some regular hand stitching. I've enjoyed sharing my hand stitching projects with you this month, at least once a week I do a blog post with the current finished pieces, please stop by and check them out. http://notesfromstudiob.blogspot .com/


  1. Wonderful stitching, colors and projects. Will you put all of the napkin size pieces together so it's one piece at some point? I love "The weekly leaf" project as well. Keep up the great work. I just posted some of my hand embroidery this week. I love doing it!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Hi Jeanne, I did sew all the pieces from last year together, actually I used beads between them. Thanks for letting me know that I've inspired you, you've got an excellent start.

  3. You have a nice variety to view!
    I really like the greens and the leaves. LOVELY!

  4. I found both projects fascinating and the stitching is beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  5. Gorgeous pieces, design, colour and stitching. I'm having a leaf themed year and loved seeing your work. Great post.


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