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.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 4 Yvonne Watson

Hi Everyone,

Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun. I can’t believe it is week 4 already and this will be my final post.

Here are my interpretations of area enclosing.

I thought I would start with a basic shape just to get the hang of enclosing an area.

I stitched a diamond shape and dyed it black. 

I decided that I would look at the direction and regularity of stitch and here are a couple of samples below.
Both are done on a piece of white fabric that I had painted with Procion dye in Lemon Yellow, Magenta and Turquoise.

I marked lines on the circle and decided to have stitches going in different directions on the butterfly.

Below is the circle after drawing up the thread and dyeing the fabric

Below is the butterfly

Whilst I was exploring circular stitching in week 2 of our blog I started to look for images that involved a circular form. My husband on a visit to our local library picked up books that they were selling off for £1 per bag. He filled a bag with books of his choice and when he returned home I discovered amongst the treasures a book on Labyrinths. Ideal for my project

I looked at stitching the outline of the Labyrinth and the pathways between.

Below is a photo of the pathways stitched. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the outline of the Labyrinth in stitch but I stitched the blue lines as in the photo below and stitched an extra line between the other two lines.

 Here are the results of the two samples


I propose developing this theme and will stitch on the first sample to define the Labyrinth and will probably print onto the second one with text. These are very simple Labyrinths but I hope to develop some more intricate designs later.

My next sample came from reading Nienke’s post on using a stencil. Thank you Nienke for the inspiration.

I looked for a flower stencil and having found a small stencil, which I photographed and then manipulated in Photoshop to achieve the size and colour I wanted.

I stitched each of the petals and outlined the leaves then stitched an extra row in the centre of each leaf. This was a piece of muslin that had been painted with Lemon Yellow dye and a touch of Magenta dye. I think this has real possibilities if stitched onto a firmer cotton or silk.

I’m sorry I don’t have a photo of the stitched fabric.

I have one more sample, which I call my “Dancing dolls”

I have tried this design a few times but to date this is one I think is the most successful of the samples.

I drew the shape pictured below on a piece of previously shiboried silk that I had folded into five sections.

The fabric had been previously dyed with Lemon Yellow and Magenta and after stitching the fabric and drawing up the threads I dyed the fabric with Turquoise dye.

I stitched around the head and pulled up the stitches but before putting the fabric into the dye bath I tied a piece of cling film around the head to retain the colour.

The outline of my “doll”

Below is the result of my stitching and dyeing.

I have thoroughly enjoyed contributing to this blog and I have learned several things.

The type of thread you use is crucial with stitched shibori. At the Knit and Stitch show this year in London I went round testing several spools of thread for their strength, with the stallholders permission of course!! In most cases I doubled the thread and it needs to be pulled up as tightly as you possibly can.
The dyeing method you use is also important in order to achieve good results. I usually make my Procion MX dyes up with chemical water so they are ready to use for painting, printing or low water emersion using Ann Johnson’s method. However this time after a few unsuccessful dyeing experiments I simply soaked my stitched fabric in water. When I had mixed together the salt, soda ash and dye powder into enough water to cover the fabric, I added my fabric and left it soaking for an hour stirring the pot occasionally. This worked well for me.
Remember to take photos at every stage. I lost count of the number of times I found myself with a piece of fabric stitched with the threads drawn up before I had photographed the stitching. Grrrr 

Last but not least I should like to thank Nienke for inviting me to join in this blog and posting for me.



  1. The circle is my favorite!
    And the paper dolls are cute ad colorful.

  2. These are great! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  3. Very nice! I love the dolls. I think they look like angels!

  4. Those enclosed area's in dark colours look great to me. Nice to see all the different pieces you tried. It sure is a pity that this month is going to its end.

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  6. You achieved wonderfully concise images and the doll cut-outs are especially nice. Great work!!

  7. And more nice experiments, it was such a joy to work together this month, thank you for all the inspiration!

  8. Cool results...I especially like the circle where you did parallel stitching in groups of 2 or 3 rows.

  9. Jane Callander sells super strong thread, here in the UK, a cop goes a very long way.
    Love your experiments btw


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