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.

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! http://jeanneairdartfabricandquilts.blogspot.com/
    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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