Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Sketchbook Day 30: Stitch

I was fascinated by Sian's results when she stitched into the paper and printed from it.  I couldn't wait to try it out for myself.  I continued with my big white daisies, since I "knew my lines" from drawing them before and was still interested in the shapes they made.
I made a simplified drawing of some of the flowers then pierced regular holes with a large needle and stitched with a cotton thread.  I quite liked how this looked without doing anything to it.
Next I tried to plan the print I would get from it.  I was particularly interested in the layers of colour and shape in my garden and tried to depict this.  First on the opposite page of my sketchbook, I painted a few daisy shapes with white gesso and stems with dark green acrylic paint.  I hoped that they would just be visible faintly in the background of the finished print.
Since I wanted the flower heads to be white, I then coloured the left hand page with various greens, using the Koh-i-Noor paintbox and putting some blue at the top for the sky.  Since the colours are transparent, I hoped the darker stems and white gesso would shine through.  Finally I painted the stems on the right hand page with green acrylic paint and the flower heads with white acrylic paint and closed the sketchbook firmly. 
I was quite pleased with how the print turned out.  While the paint was still wet, I printed it onto a piece of plain white paper.
It was interesting, but fairly indistinct.  However, when I then worked into it with some green Koh-i-Noor, the picture came to life in a most gratifying way.

I am interested in how I could re-apply any wet media to the stitched page and print some more with it.  The acrylic paint will have waterproofed it to a certain extent.

I really loved this technique and plan to use it again in the future.  I also thought of printing a digital image of the last print onto fabric (using cotton lawn treated with Bubble Jet and ironed onto freezer paper) and stitching into it.  I like the idea of stitching into something which has been printed from stitch.  This multi-layer approach reflects the many layers in the garden.  It would also be interesting to print onto thin paper from the stitched page using transfer dyes and then iron it onto fabric.  Taking a rubbing from the stitched page is another possibility to try.  (All I need is a few more hours in the day and a few more days in the week!)

It is so interesting how many of the techniques I've learned in this sketchbook project have sparked off new ideas and ways of working which will keep me happily occupied for a long time to come.  Thank you Sian for the ideas and for all the hard work you have done in keeping the project going.  I am looking forward to the next sketchbook project in September.

In the meantime, I need to re-apply myself to my neglected coursework, inspired by the many new ideas from the sketchbook project which I hope I can incorporate in it.


  1. Love the white-on-white stitching. Stitching gives so much texture. Wish I'd persevered with the challenge. Well done Catherine.

  2. I love this work Catherine, absolutely gorgeous!
    I see you've drawn a chair too for your one of your carbon copy exercises like I did - the challenge for me would be to draw my dad sitting in it - but that's for another time.

    I love your compositions and use of colour. lovely.
    Well done