Shown above is the title piece from my 1987 solo exhibition, ” Sunburnt Textures”, and the detail is below. Long before I started making quilts in 1989 I was using my favourite stitch, straight stitch in various forms in my fabric and thread art. Other favourites include stemmed French knots, and stemmed Y-stitch.
Other examples are in the first gallery on my website, The Creative Stitch; pre-1988
Of course it is the running stitch that usually forms quilted textures but many other stitches can be used in lines or scattered/single form to function as quilting, although few contemporary quilt makers thoroughly explore these options. I am currently doing some more explorations with the straight stitch:
I did have hope that this construction of the silver mylar between a metallic fabric and sheer nylon would somehow lie flatter with added stitchery – sadly it won’t, but that aside, there’s some exciting stuff stored in this little sample. If I layered it with backing and batting it probably would then be flat, but I don’t want to do that so will have to try something more, which might take a while to come to me.
Unusually for me, right now I have a piece in mind that already has a title, more or less, something like “Mostly about Red” I am planning to use more of that shiny black chintz as the base, bond mostly red shapes onto it, and straight stitching over the shapes like this. I have some lovely florescent/neon threads that will really sing – like green which is of course opposite red on the colour wheel:
Finally, the red scraps and several uncut pieces of red that made it through the auditioning process for the ‘red’ work.
From every pieced project, which I cut and sew freehand, ie template free, I save the offcuts and segments of pieced fabrics in the large clear plastic bag you see on the chair behind the table. The way I work, using many small pieces, I can often find great small pieces in the bag and use them – not because I’m miserly, there’s only a small amount of Scots blood in my veins – but it just makes sense to check out what I have in small bits first before cutting into the larger pieces, and there’s the thrill of a treasure hunt going through that digging deep process.