Posts Tagged ‘stemmed french knots’

The Glorious Straight Stitch

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Sunburnt Textures Emb

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.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

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:

straight stitch samples 1

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:

Sample - straight stitch over flat shapes


auditioning for red

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.


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