ATV - A2 - Stitching - Placed & Spaced · ATV - Pt2 - PJ2 - Drawing with Stitch · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Stitching on Paper – Samples 2

 It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog, I’ve been having a blog ‘wobble’ and only really admitted it to myself today. I’ve also been away on my travels again and that doesn’t help, but this work was done before my hols and could easily have been blogged about before or during my trip.

I’m finding it difficult to make decisions about how much work is required on each exercise and I seem to be over committing myself and expecting to complete far too much in the time I have given myself and this is being complicated by the feeling that I am not exploring every idea/concept to its most innovative or adventurous point.  Grrhh! its all making me feel a little crazy, and along with thinking that my blogs are too short and not full of enough detail this has all combined to sent me into a mini freeze! 

I promised myself before I started this adventure that I wouldn’t overthink my every more or the instructions and just get on with things! Time to have a reset then and just get back to getting my head down and getting on with it. I now have a deadline of November 16th to get assignment 2 submitted and I’m going to do my utmost to get done by then.

So, back to the stitching on paper samples. It’s been a slightly strange eperience this; I’ve found that sometimes I really enjoy stitching a piece but then I don’t like the result. 

This flower bud was exactly like that, I love couching and I love these Colinette Yarn ribbons but for me the end result looked garish and the stitches looked poorly executed. I was pleased with it as an interpretation of the original but overall it didn’t work for me at all and don’t get me on to how the green stitches and the ribbon clashes! 

If I was to try to make it work I would probably chuck some bleach and maybe some gesso at it to tone down the colours but then it would start to become a mixed media piece and not a stitch sample so it will stay as it is. 


I had a little more success with this piece but I really, really don’t like the knots that have become bows, what is all that about? In the first set of samples I tried to make some knots and when they split they became quite attractive little splays of thread so I thought’d I’d try to replicate the action here. Far far too twee for me. 

The paper was very solid and difficult to stitch through but I didn’t mind that and I still like the effect of stitch over the really damaged piece of paper. 

After the first 2 disappointing trials I finally got into my grove with this sample. I love this bark paper, it’s strangly both very tough and very fragile at the same time. 

During the distressing/manipulation process I had bashed mulberry paper though the sheet of paper with the embellisher and some areas of the piece had become very thin and worn. The similarities to the wear and tear I’d seen in the linen smocks (my textile archive source material) made me happy  and I decided to continue with the close associations to the smocks and use some darning.

This really has to be the stitch that I wish to include in my 3 assignment pieces. I like to paint with broad brush strokes and darning lets me replicate this with stitch, I have tried in the past to use satin stitch but have found it too loose and difficult to execute, it always turns into couching for me as I try to hold it down with more little stitches. Actually, that gives me an idea to store away!

I decided to interprate the sunflower head prints and drew a few lines around the photocopied version to block out the areas that I wanted to individually darn. I chose a bright colourway; the flowers (my picking & portraying source material) had been bold and I wanted to prove to myself that I could use bold colours after the bud failure. 

For the last block I auditioned a number of different colours and decided on the cream, as a nod to the cream linen smocks and as a nice contrast, soothing influence to the other bright threads.

Then, Oh sweet jesus, what happened here?! A strange alien man eating plant in fishnet tights? This sample is beyond redemption and it’s only saving grace is that I like the bits where the thread has pulled at the tyvek and bound it down over the scrim. All in all, it’s far too busy, far too twee and well, just plain odd!   


20 thoughts on “Stitching on Paper – Samples 2

  1. I think you are being very hard on yourself Sally! These are samples after all … sometimes nothing very useful comes from them, that is what samples are for ;).
    I like the strong colours in the ribbon yard pieces. And the close-ups show those bits that are great :).
    I bet the ‘twee’ knots will come in useful one day, it all depends on the context I think.
    I also like the alien in fishnet tights hehehehe … lovely abstract pieces where you see more things every time you look.
    The darning is my favourite 😀


  2. I can so relate to the overthinking! Here I am with my tutor report in one hand, my list of “things to make and do” in the other, and a strong urge to plough on to Stage One and leave the re-working to another day…

    I’m loving the colours you’ve chosen for your paper stitching, and the close-ups really highlight the textures of both paper and yarn. Lovely!

    Oh sod it, I’m going to do both!!


  3. What if your samples had been created by someone other than you… what would you then suggest and reflect upon? Perhaps the samples are ‘no’s’ to you rather than ‘yes’s’… but from where I’m reading they are clues. I haven’t decoded these yet, but I like the act of following the scent.


  4. I totally agree with Helen, I too think you are being too tough on yourself! I am learning that to get the results I want I make stuff I don’t like, I have to just move on. Having to include ‘mistakes’ bugs me, I’d rather bin work I don’t like but there might be elements that can be resurrected later? (One day you might want to make a little green man with bows in his ‘hair’? Silly, but I hope you know what I mean, keep the faith x 👽❤️


  5. I like the darning, Sally. Plus you are genuinely experimenting and taking risks, which seems to be the main thrust of this part of the course – so, in fact, this is really successful work.


  6. For what it’s worth Sally, I think all of your work is gorgeous and innovative. I know what you mean though about enjoying doing dome things and then hating the result. I’ve had this feeling often and sometimes in reverse, I dislike the process but the result is quite interesting… I’m trying to take the view that at this stage at least it’s all part of the ‘doing it for a degree’ process, and the key thing is for us to allow some time to reflect and analyse why we like or dislike something. Which you also seem to do brilliantly in your very readable blog posts! Getting all this done in the allotted time is a challenge I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If I chose just three words in response your stitch samples they would be strong, exciting and experimental, love the substrates too. It seems to me that possibly the most difficult part of this course is to master the demon of over thinking! From my perspective you look right on course.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ll try to remember that! Most of the stuff I make i’m not really pleased with. Then I might come across it months later – and it’s ‘Wow! How could I have done that….? ‘ Well, not very often, does that happen, but it does.

    Liked by 1 person

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