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28 July 2012

BEVERLEY'S BULLETIN : 1 Exploring Stitch

I thought I’d kick of my delve into the files with a basic. Something which is so worthwhile and yet so easy to completely forget about. Exploring with One Stitch.
Are you like me, have the stitch dictionaries on the shelf, and yes even get them out and look to use a stitch not tried before or remind myself of how to create a stitch – but after 30 minutes wading through the book, back on the shelf it goes and I slip back into the familiar.
I have favourites – Seeding, Cretan, French Knots and Raised Chain Band.

There’s a wealth of stitches available to create the look we are after, but each individual stitch can have multiple applications if we just think about experimenting with it. It can be hard to push the boundaries, particularly if you were disciplined into making it perfectly as per the given standard.
I remember back in the day having to produce a small square sample of Chain Stitch and all its variations (or Lazy Daisy).
For some unknown reason I’d worked it on polycotton, my square did not end up square! In class it went up on a board alongside everyone else’s and there was a class critique. I don’t remember what was said about mine, I just remember this wonky ‘square’ glaring at me!  And look I still have it... and its still hideous and I don't know which way around it goes!
Some time after that we were given a class project of stitching a ‘picture’ in one single stitch. I used Straight Stitch, a landscape of a cornfield, with trees in the distance and a barbed wire fence at the front. It was amazing to see how just one stitch could create all of these elements.
I’ve since seen other pieces of work made using one stitch and it can be very creative and usually provokes, is that really just the one stitch?

Work an individual stitch – big, small, make a cluster, a line, a circle, work spaced out, close together, work on top of itself, vary the threads used.
Again I chose a hideous fabric to work on - this time like a polyester knit - why?   This is variations of Cretan Stitch, you can see adding beads or sequins as its worked.

A couple of things have stuck with me from the early days, Texture and Contrast. You won’t see the textures created if they are against similar. Put the lumpy and crunchy against something smooth. And don’t think the Contrast always has to be about stitch – the blank space is invaluable.
This time the base fabric is more creative - its a monoprint using acrylic, with Buttonhole Stitch used to decorate.  I've also used a Couronne Stick to make the buttonhole circles, but anything like a pencil will suffice.  Its still just a stitch exploration, but a bit more attractive than the others.
So, even if you stay within your comfort zone, using the same favourite stitch, try to mix it up and see what happens. The bonus of experimentation is that no-one can offer criticism for it not being a perfect text book stitch.

Enjoy playing.


chocolatefrog said...

Inspiring! And I do understand the fabric choices - my stash was mostly unsuitable when I started C&G.

dianehobbit said...

Good to look back and see how you ave progressed.