I am using this blog to chart my journey as I get involved with stitched textiles again after a gap of twenty odd years. I've tried once or twice recently to get started, but time - the lack of it - got in my way. Now seems right though, and this online diary will be my reminder not to let it slip through my fingers again.
Wish me luck.

Monday, 15 March 2010

First Lessons Learned

I said I was going to start with circles, and indeed I have - in a small way ( baby steps as I said). But I also said I was going to work in monochrome and that grey was one of my favourite colours. So first of all I've looked out a photo of one of the last pieces I made. It shows my trademark use of bullion knots and sprayed canvas, but the main reason for posting it here is to re-acquaint myself with the use of greys.
This was a little sampler I used in teaching, and again it is in monochrome.

And a quick digression into colour again, just to show another little stitch sampler. I wanted to keep this available for reference.

So... on to the first piece of new work since I started this blog. This was started this afternoon when I had two or three free hours. I felt it was important to get thread into the needle and put some stitches into the canvas before really giving much thought to the project.
I'm using the canvas as a kind of security blanket to start with - it's where I feel most at home. So for the time being I'll work on this little piece and see where it takes me. 
I like working with a tufting stitch but had forgotten just how much thread it uses up. It's also time consuming but very enjoyable. It was like riding a bike in that the first few rows I was completely lost as to how to make the stitch, then gradually it came back to me and eventually I got into the rhythm. I like the sound of the thread going through the canvas and the repetitive movements of my hand and arm.
It was therapeutic to sit alone with just my ipod on shuffle, and let my thoughts wander. Even the ipod was getting in on the act - believe it or not the first random track was Joni Mitchell's The Circle Game, followed by Carole King's Tapestry. And that's without a word of a lie.
All good things must come to an end, and I had to force myself to tidy the threads away and get back to finishing orders which are urgent.
The big development though is...... I believe I've got over the first hurdle. I've done slightly more than just play around for an hour or two, and have only temporarily put it to one side. Definite progression.


  1. Very exciting! Love seeing all your different stitches - creates such great texture :)

    As you say, getting stared is half the battle! Really nice to see earlier pieces - they are stunning :)

  2. God...your work is amazing!!

  3. Oh yeah--this work is absolutely amazing and your comments only make it even more interesting. I love working in greys--although it is so hard.