Fly Stitch, Tumblers and an exhibition

I wanted to demonstrate to a group the almost limitless possibilities of a simple embroidery stitch. A perfect excuse to indulge in one of my favourite activities – playing with colour thread and fabric. I used a piece of my snow-dyed fabric, working with that colour palette and chose fly stitch. It’s a basic, simple loop stitch and I think that often the simpler the stitch, the more you can do with it. Everything (except one back-stitched outline) in the as- yet unfinished sampler is a variation of fly stitch. Interestingly, the twisted version (on the left) looks just like twisted detached chain, and it is! Detached chain stitch and fly stitch are worked with exactly the same movements, the former has both ends of the “loop” into the same hole, the fly stitched doesn’t.

Progress is being made on a small quilt, too. I’ve had a charm pack lurking in a drawer for a couple of years now, I was determined to use. I found the traditional ‘Tumbler’ block and realised this shape would waste very little of each square. I used remnants from making a grand daughter’s dress to sash one side of each piece and loved the zigzag that appeared. Here are the completed rows waiting to be stitched together. Every charm square used and I really like it!

I went to an exhibition by RAWedge at Thaxted. An absolute delight. Not only were the six artists’ finished pieces a joy to look at but their sketchbooks were accessible. So fascinating to see that they had gone through the same processes (via workshops with Mentor  Alex Waylett) and yet produced completely personal work.

Embroidery stitch samplers

My local branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild issued a challenge for members to undertake a ‘Year of Stitch’.  The idea apparently is to completely fill an area with different stitches, making it very dense and colourful and doing some every day.  I gave this a try but actually didn’t like my results so instead I’m doing my own thing but still aiming to do some stitching every day.

‘Aiming’ is a good word to use because even when I miss a day I can tell myself that I am still aiming at a stitch a day so I don’t have to abandon the project!

I began with some work on felt; I’d been thinking about Glazig embroidery so plunged in with some of its stitches.  I’m very much enjoying the project and will carry on with it. I’ll probably move away from so much emphasis on the paisley shape though it does give interesting shaped areas to fill up. Watch this space!