Language of stitch

Another really winter’s morning as I write this. I can’t remember having so much cold, snow and frost for a while!

Still, it’s good weather for a bit of stitching indoors, and the barnacle house is now finished.

I really enjoyed making this little one; a very limited palette and the small size. Despite thinking that it might need a different approach, I’m not sure that it did beyond how I usually consider the others in the collection. I’m really at home with greys, whites and creams though so that was enjoyable!

House walls

I started to look back at the original photos used to abstract marks from, just to see the extent they were reflected in the end piece. They live in my head, I suppose, whilst stitching and I do refer to the drawn marks occasionally along the way, but much like learning normal language, you pick them up and tuck them into your memory. Even now, I could sew barnacle marks, or feather stitches, or lichen ones. They have their own dialects.

Then, I looked across a couple of the fabric rolls to to see where the same marks occurred. I’m wondering if I had a totally different inspiration to natural objects, whether they’d keep popping up? I believe at least some would.

I’m working on some very small collages using scraps from the house projects which I wanted to do fairly swiftly using a machine, but I have decided they need some hand-stitch and that feels a bit more authentically me, so they will be another chance to ‘talk’.

I’m just starting to consider my arts council project now and this is another opportunity to develop my stitch vocabulary. I have calico and and thread at the ready, along with some books and mentors to help but I suspect in the end, whatever I do will contain some regularly used stitches and marks as well as some new ones. It’s such a different proposal, that I’m not sure if the bronzes will ‘sound like me’. Remind me and I will let you know in a year. 😁

What ‘words’ are part of your vocabulary?

15 thoughts on “Language of stitch

  1. It’s always a treat to read one of your interesting posts. As an ageing patchworker I am trying to finish projects and try to use my sewing machine more, but hand-stitching is so absorbing and easily picked up so I think my words would be in running and back stitches.

  2. Your posts are always so inspiring and these images are wonderful. My stitch of choice has been the same one for some time now, it’s the Colonial Knot, and it finds it’s way into everything I do!

  3. Wonderful exploration, thought of you tonight whilst watching Countryfile, there was an item (a cross between a house and one of your people) more sort of onion shape, unfortunately it just was there for a moment, but you see your influence is working. Much appreciation. Jean T.

  4. I googled experimental running stitch and this is were it led! I love your work Thank you for sharing.

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