Gallery of past work

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Sinchie challenge

Great Western Embroiderers, the group with whom I stitch regularly, always has a members' challenge for exhibitions. This time (see poster in the side panel), the focus has been on sinchies. These are small experimental pieces of embroidery, just six inches square, hence their name. They are stitched pairing just two randomly selected colours each time, using any fabric and any thread and completed in any style chosen by the maker. 

The colour pairings were drawn every two months throughout the past year and some unusual colour combinations resulted: pink and green; blue and orange; yellow and brown; purple and turquoise; black and white; grey and red. Colours can be loosely interpreted and it's always interesting to see which colours members choose to have predominating - and what effect that can have on the finished piece.

They are an excellent opportunity for trying out new stitches, colour pairings, media and ways of working and almost all the members took up the challenge, producing many and various interpretations of the form from the traditional and structured to the abstract and improvised. In this post, I've chosen to feature sinchies focusing on shape, pattern and abstraction in yellow and brown or blue and orange.

Maggie Harris machine stitched pattern
Ruth Hayman printed and pieced fabric
Maureen Walley shape and pattern

Shirley Watson complex stylised pattern on plain ground using machine stitch
Debbie Turner random pattern and hand stitch 
Jayne Fleetwood simple stylised pattern for impact

On a personal note, such small circumscribed pieces are unusual for me and, I have to admit, I did very few this time. I didn't want to experiment just now with new stitches, colours or styles of work as I felt it could distract me from where I wanted to be. 

However, the challenge is continuing after this exhibition in a slightly different format and I intend to pursue the idea at a later date. It could be a useful approach when I need to develop ideas or a new approach.


  1. à la fin elles sont assemblés ?

    1. Oui, Elfi. Elles sont déja assemblées. Elles accrocheront pour l'exposition dans les bandes, l'un sous l'autre, groupées par couleur.

  2. Oh I didn't know of the existence of sinchies. Thank you for sharing. Must explore this format and like you mentioned it's a useful approach to develop ideas.

    1. Very good to hear from you again, Maya, and glad to help. These little pieces are great for a group project, any style is possible and they are small and relatively quick to do. They've proved very popular with our group.


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