Gallery of past work

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Stitch and shape and not much else?

These little cards have been prepared for Swindon Open Studios next weekend, 22nd and 23rd September. As I posted here previously, I will have work on show and for sale with Great Western Embroiderers in Cricklade United Church Hall and will be manning my table both days, ready to talk about what I do. It will be a pleasure to see you if you live close enough to come.

They feature tiny abstract pieces (around 3 inches square) and are a different approach for me since they are simply impromptu experiments in stitch and cloth. There has been no preliminary photographing, planning through sketchbook work or forethought of any kind - and there is no conscious underlying imagery at play. I just went to my fabric stash, chose a small selection that appealed to me and selected threads in an appropriate palette.

Thus the pressure was off and I played. My main thoughts, I suppose, were with stitch (as both construction and decoration) and with shape, although there was some conscious use of texture and pattern. I also explored diagonals and intersections and the careful posititioning of stitch. 

The whole thing has been a very entertaining break for me, though it was surprisingly taxing to do with every decision to be made on the spot. Stitch in my abstract pieces is mainly for construction and in my more representational pieces is generally for decoration and the development of imagery. It is rarely both in the one piece ... something to take forward, perhaps?

Another thought (not a new one for me) was that more is often too much and simpler is better. I always have to remember that. 

So, nothing is ever done completely in isolation, whatever one may think!

*Full details of Swindon Open Studios and the other contributors is to be found on their website here. 


  1. I love these little experiments. Less is more, usually. I also really admire your other recent works, altho I've been lax in commenting. Was delighted to hear you're now a part of that wonderful new-to-you embroiderers guild! Hope you're well. x

    1. Good to hear from you again, Connie, and thanks for your encouraging comments. I've been rather lax in commenting too - and in posting on Instagram where I found you again today. For a while, I found that running both this blog and posting small Insta snippets was taking up too much of my time. After a rest from everything, I chose to continue blogging as I really enjoy both writing at greater length and the conversations with readers. However, I plan to run both platforms for a while over the winter as I realise there's a lot I'm missing!

      The new stitch group (not in fact part of the nationally based Embroiderers' guild here in the UK) is exciting and should give me lots to think about. No doubt I'll post what seems worth showing here if not also on Instagram.

  2. These are delightful - spontaneous and fun. As you say, the simplicity is appealing!

    Hoe the Open Studios went well.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. The little pieces were great fun to do. Perhaps I should work like this more often.
      Open Studios went very well. It was a first for me and one I suspect I will repeat. I sold of the some cards and a couple of small pieces, but that wasn't the most enjoyable part of the experience. It was the quality of the conversation I had with the visitors who were interested and knowledgeable and wanted to know what lay behind my work. Talking about what I do and why is always a pleasure. There were even two most valuable discussions about where I might go next with some encouragement to go 3D ... so watch this space!

    2. It does indeed - much thinking and plotting needed - and asking questions, not least why 3D and if so how?!


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