I’ve been thinking a lot recently about being at home, working, and living in the same space. So my choices have included more scraps from my families clothing. Pieces that no longer fit, things that are a bit too worn out, baby clothes saved.
Working with cloth that is not new from a store, but has been worn seems to imbue more into a piece. The fabric carries with it the essence of the one that wore it. It’s as if the cloth tells the story that you are helping to translate.
Stitching, listening and repeating. Coming towards the end of the project has given me a boost. I am squeezing these last few in-between machine stitching my House and Home series and finishing up some long-standing projects.
There are so many types of embroidery, hundreds of stitches available to use in any project. Yet, I know that I tend to find a couple of stitches that I like to work with and use almost exclusively.
Even though I don’t stray from my tried and true stitches, it is fun to look around at other options. I stumbled across a resource on the Victoria & Albert Museum website. Their guide on embroidery stitches is a visual feast. Examples of the many stitches available include an explanation but also photographs taken from items in their collection. Gorgeous!
Article: Embroidery Styles: An Illustrated Guide. V & A Museum.
Composition can be defined as how elements are arranged. When I create my stitch meditations, I work intuitively. Selecting scrap pieces of fabric that I arrange on a five inch square of plain cotton to achieve the look I like. I am limited by the sizes of the scraps and the colours I have chosen and placed in my work box. Sometimes the composition is created with little effort while other times, pieces are replaced over and over, cut smaller and rearranged to make the design pleasing to me. Only then do I begin stitching.
The next step is the stitching and there are many other decisions that need to be taken to enhance the composition of the fabrics:
thick or thin thread
style of stitches
placement of stitches
All of these things are considered before any stitching begins.
My motivation to finish this project has improved now that I can see the end in sight. Creating these small meditations has given me ideas for larger projects. So, I have been stitching larger quilted pieces and it is so satisfying!
As I embarked on this 100 Day Stitch Meditation Challenge, I didn’t expect it to last so long! My first post was dated December 27, 2018! How the world has changed since then!
I’ve recently been asked what I am going to do with all of these 5″ squares. Nothing! The purpose of creating these stitch meditations was the act itself. So for now I will continue towards the end, only 14 left!
Article: Gharib, Malika. Feeling Artsy? Here’s How Making Art Helps Your Brain. National Public Radio. Jan. 20, 2021.
Playing with fabrics. by either dyeing it, cutting it up or stitching it together, makes me so very happy. Immersing myself in the colours, patterns and textures lightens my mood. Even sorting, stacking and clean-up following the completion of a project can help elevate my mood. Sometimes this is even the beginning of another project when a long-forgotten piece of cloth is found hidden on the shelves.
Article: Hobbies And Side Projects Can Transform Your Mindset. Huffington Post. Sept. 1, 2016.
A favorite and simple embroidery stitch. I think this may have been the first I learned to do when I was a child. I did a few cross stitch kits especially during summer vacations. It is so versatile – it can be scaled up or down, and the legs can be extended to make a wonky X!
Article: Verso, Jo. Threads of History. The Cross Stitch Guild.
I wonder what our ancestors would think of the term upcycling in relation to cloth? A quick search returned 7.27 million hits for upcycling fabric. Tutorials, videos, projects and so many more ideas are available! What we are now considering as popular, trendy, the right thing to do, socially conscious was once a necessity for most and still is for many.
Article: Farra, Emily. (2019, December 19). The Future of Fashion Is Circular: Why the 2020s Will Be About Making New Clothes Out of Old Ones. Vogue.com.