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

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Certificate Module 3 Chapter 9 A Resolved Sample: a little bit of stitching

I sat down this afternoon to start making a series of little samples to explore stitching that I might add to the printed fabric for the outside surface of my scroll.  As Sian pointed out, I would need to be careful in choosing the colour and weight of the thread I used (and indeed, would need to consider whether stitching was needed at all).  With shibori-dyed fabric and printed ammonites on top, it would be easy to make the fabric too busy, so competing with the inside instead of being a quiet contrast to it.

The cotton fabric needed something to add stiffness and body to it.  This could be done with an iron-on stiffening, but I thought first I'd try making a sandwich with two layers of cotton with some felt in between.  I thought of wadding to start with, but I didn't want a quilted puffed up effect, just a bit of body added to the piece.  I decided to use free-machine embroidery in a toning thread to stitch along the spaces between the printed lines in each ammonite.  This was the idea I'd had in my head from the first.  I stitched one ammonite in this way.

3.9.AS 1 (The stitched ammonite is bottom right.)

I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this gave exactly the effect I had in mind, without adding too much to the busy-ness of the print.  It also gave a very slight 3-D effect without making it too puffy and quilted.

3.9.AS 2  a close up

Better still, it gave just the right stiffness to the fabric - enough to give it some body but leave it soft enough to roll easily.  (I'll have to be careful that the inside ammonites don't add too much to the stiffness.)

3.9.SA 3  the little sample rolled up
Now I have a dilemma.  Do I just go ahead with this, since I've been lucky enough to hit on just exactly what I have in my head, or do I go ahead with trying other ideas in case there is an absolutely stunning, fabulous, unbelievably wonderful idea just waiting to be discovered?  ...


  1. GO AHEAD!!!!!!! It's fine - go with your instinct.

  2. Just to keep you in a dilemma, one of my recent pinboard quotes is, 'stop before you finish'!! Hope you can make it to Touched by Scotland to see Naturally Strathdon...

    1. Thanks for your advice Judith. It has given me food for thought. I hadn't heard about Naturally Strathdon at Touched by Scotland, so thanks for mentioning it. I'll certainly go along at some time - to the "Meet the Artists" on Saturday if I can.

  3. I agree with Anne! Just go where your creative flow takes you and you will be surprised what will come out of that. I love the combination of the textured ammonite and stitching. It really brings out the design! I feel another creative project taking shape in my mind already...