Exploring texture and pattern 2

Since Sue Stone’s course (see my previous post) came online just over a week ago, I’ve hardly thought about anything else stitch-wise. So far I’ve made grid samples of running stitch, back stitch and mock herringbone stitch and I’ve never found it so difficult to sew a straight line of stitches as I have for these samples but that seems to be a common problem for more than a few of us doing this course so I don’t feel so bad.

Like millions of others, I’ve had a Facebook account for years but I could count on one hand the number of posts I’ve written. I rarely log-in and frequently consider deleting the account but as a member of the FB group set up for this course I now find myself happily checking-in several times a day to look at the images posted and to read how others have interpreted the challenges set or to empathise with the difficulties they’ve also found in accomplishing what at first glance appeared to be an easy task but wasn’t particularly.

I stuck the words of the stitched and painted fabric on the front of an A4 notebook which I’m using for notes and details about the samples I’ve made. The samples will later be made into a separate book. Each challenge asks questions at the end and I find these more difficult to answer than the practicalities of stitching. For example, “How might what you discovered in today’s creative challenge inform a piece of textile art?” I haven’t answered that one yet because I don’t do textile art (?) but it’s making me think, so that can only be good.

Here’s my running stitch sample so you can see what I mean about my non-straight stitching lines!

an old wip

Had another tidy up the other day and put all but one of my stitchy samples and trials into plastic sleeves and then into a folder as they were beginning to acquire a layer of dust. This stitched attempt at a portrait remains my oldest work in progress. It’s been on the wall for a few months now and I really ought to get on with it but I keep forgetting to buy more grey threads. Poor excuse I know. There’s a lot done on it but many more hours of work still to do.

I was in Stroud the other week to look at an exhibition of ‘Magic’, pieces made by the Stroud branch of the Embroiderer’s Guild. The work on display was fantastic! Unfortunately, I have no photographs to show as the two ladies at the desk didn’t know if it was allowed for photographs to be taken so I didn’t, but what I saw there has me wondering whether I should join my own local branch of the EG. It’s all very well reading books and magazines and surfing the net for ideas and inspiration but it would be good to be able to meet with other like-minded folk and they give talks and run classes on various textile techniques. I used to think that the EG members sat around a table and did nothing but hand embroidery (apologies!) but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Have a look on the EG website if you’re interested. I’ve also been thinking about doing an online course in creative textiles or similar but the fees kinda made me gulp. The large financial outlay plus ongoing costs of materials during the course would be difficult to justify. Another back burner idea I think.