Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Travelling Sketchbooks June - The Humble Running Stitch

So for June's sketchbook pages I have turned to the humble running stitch for inspiration or more precisely a bargain book I picked up (yet another book on stitch!) called Machine Embroidery: Stitch Techniques by Valerie Campbell-Harding and Pamela Watts. I followed a few of the exercises in the book based on running stitch which although the most basic of machine stitches can be overlooked as something more versatile. These then are my pages for June: 






I stitched lines of running stitch very very close together using a variety of metallic, rayon and variegated threads on artists canvas which is excellent for stitching on as it is thick enough to stitch into without the need to use a stabiliser underneath or an embroidery hoop. I must admit this exercise took ages and once started I felt I had to carry on although I was very pleased with the effect once it was finished, looking rather like a deckchair stripe I thought.


I love stitching onto paper so loved this exercise which used up torn painted paper combined with organza and then stitched to secure. Tearing paper rather than cutting with scissors always gives a more interesting and decorative effect and here the white torn edge forms a frame. I used Fabriano paper which is quite a thick artists' quality watercolour paper which comes in rolls. 


I keep a box of painted papers which can be anything from cut up failed paintings, old sketches, printing experiments or just messing about with paint and paper using various paint techniques using  watercolour, acrylic or inks. They will always come in handy to use in collage, sketchbook work or  to make greeting cards.  


Here I sandwiched threads and yarns of various thicknesses between sellophane then machine stitched random lines of running stitch to secure in place and cut an aperture placing the stitched piece behind it and then glueing to the page underneath to form a frame. 


I always like to give an explantion of my inspiration so again combining stitch with paper I have used cotton rag paper pressed with flower petals bought from Paperchase a favourite shop of mine for  hand made paper.  The humble running stitch really ain't that humble, the trick is how you use it! 


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