Very Small Pieces, 13

A couple of days back I posted this one, inspired by some drawings and stitch seen in a couple of places on Pinterest. Of course, I understood making such a pattern would be easy, especially if you were going for the lightly off-straight look, and therefore no thread-count precision is required here. The neon orange heavy duty polyester thread never actually lies down on the fabric as do all embroidery threads made from natural fibres – wool, linen, silk and cotton. But I really like this quality, as it lends a kind of hand-drawn look to whatever marks you make with it.

I had used little squares of fabric in a couple of earlier samples in his project, and so I fused some on to this piece’s final row. The fusing between the background and the cotton poplin was fine, BUT once I began stitching with the darning needle I have to use to sew the polyester thread, the bonding gave way – so completing this row with the outlines was fiddly to say the least. I thought I’d further explore this idea by stencilling squares onto fabric.

I still have about 7.75m of that neon orange ripstop nylon which makes great stencils, so I cut a small one to fit inside the 3.25in. square, painted one, then decided to stencil repeats until the small amount of paint left was all gone, so I ended up with another two.

Not thinking, though, I put them onto really dark grey poplin, would you believe? (apparently I was having a slow learning day) The large stitches on the front that you can see in this next one worked ‘ok’, but fastening down the corners on the back side required a fine needle and a thimble to do, and was ridiculously hard work. Note to self – never hand stitch on poplin fabric ever again! However, I was thrilled with the effect.

“Is this going to be a series?” asked Nancy Ann, the coordinator of the 100 Days Reboot challenge when I posted it on the challenge album for that day. I answered that my series tend to emerge rather than be declared at the start, but as I’d stencilled another couple anyway, I knew that poplin or no, I would finish them. Note this next one features a lot of machine stitching and a minimal amount of hand stitch, and still needs the same tortuous process to mount it on the foam core.

I have another print, and will probably use it up soon. So yes, Nancy Ann, it looks like a series might be emerging – but the next ones won’t feature any poplin anywhere!


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