One more step towards a normal life again.
It won't come as a surprise to you then, that I've created a list for this stitch blog! So now at least I know where we are going; all you need to do is show up each week and we can go together. For 10 or 20 minutes, maybe longer, but at least we can do it together and we'll even be socially distant compliant!
Before I show you the stitches for this week, did you see our Monday Instagram post/story? It was all about using an uneven running stitch to create fantastic ripples on a quilted surface.
Sometimes the line made by a running stitch isn't quite strong enough and one way to strengthen it is to whip it! Cordonnet stitch or whipped running stitch is just a line of even, closely spaced running stitches with a toning or contrasting thread threaded through. As this second thread goes under the running stitch you will find it easier to use a blunt tapestry needle and avoid accidently splitting the running stitch. If you don't have a tapestry needle then carefully push the eye of the needle first under the stitch.
To start the whipping stitch bring the second thread up half way along the first stitch, whip along the line of stitches, making sure you do not tension the thread too much otherwise you won't create the ripple effect. To finish, take the whip thread down through the fabric and anchor neatly on the reverse.
I also used the circle shape for the next stitch we're going to go to. Back stitch is another very easy simple stitch which has endless possibilities. Bring your thread to the surface of the work and make the first stitch, coming up about two stitch lengths further along the line. Then instead of going forward take your needle back along the line and down into the same hole as the previous stitch, bringing the needle up approximately two stitches further along. Repeat until you reach the end of your line.
However this time, with a three week trip planned to first cycling the Mekong Delta of Vietnam and then 2 weeks cycling through Myanmar, I decided something different was called for. I had intended just to record the textures I saw; but in the end I ended up stitching the story of my holiday, how I travelled, where I travelled, who was with me and all the amazing sights, sounds and experiences I encountered along the way.
I used a vintage table runner and worked in a tiny hoop, using black stranded embroidery floss, which I spilt down into 1 strand at a time. And it's all worked in either back stitch or running stitch with the odd detached chain stitch thrown in where needed. No sketching, no planning: I just let the needle do the talking. Each evening I'd sit in the bar or at the dining table with a g&t (!) and record the day's events. I'm used to stitching in public, but I wasn't prepared for the level of interest and fascination I received from my fellow travellers and the restaurant staff; curious as to what I was doing, I think mostly they just wanted to know if I was stitching them into the story too!
The last stitch for this week is a detached running stitch or seeding stitch; a single stitch worked across the fabric in different directions; once you've established a rhythm it's a fast and versatile filling stitch. In the gallery above I have worked the seeding stitch in the same thread to give you some idea of how size and density can alter the look.
Evenly stitched and evenly spaced or totally organic, the choice, as always, is yours to make.
If you are not familiar with artist Richard McVetis I do recommend you take a look at his work. Working on a woven cream wool in fine black thread, Richard has made seeding stitch his own mark to tremendous effect. Later on this month. Richard will also be one of the featured artists taking part in the Community Stitch Challenge launched by TextileArtist.org.
Have you had a go at the mark making blog from Tuesday? If you have, why not extend the challenge and now try interpreting your chosen mark into stitch? Then don't forget to show us, details on how to do that are at the end of this blog.
When I'm sewing I like to listen to the radio or an audiobook ('reading' and sewing = multitasking!). I'm also slightly addicted to podcasts, so I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you. Without a doubt, my first port of call is BBC Sounds and after The Archers my favourite listen is Fortunately with Jane Garvey and Fi Glover. Look over my garden fence and I can often be seen bent double, giggling away as I listen to these two down in my potting shed (now there's a scene for you to imagine!)
But then there's Tim Hartford and his 50 things that made the modern economy, Fi Glover again but this time with The Listening Project and so many more fantastic listenings… all free, download the app and get listening today!
And if you aren't an Archers listener you won't perhaps have heard An Ambridge Spring. It's 10 minutes of pastoral music, sounds and a glimpse of rural life in leafy Borchester. A different world without Covid-19. Utter bliss, do give it a try.
What do you listen to, music or the spoken word? (the InStitches Studio is very divided on this issue!) Let us know in the comments below, after all we have plenty of time these days to listen to the radio and I'd like something more uplifting than the constant news updates on the crisis.
We would really love to see what you are stitching. Use your phone to take a quick snap and post to Instagram and use the hashtags: #institchescreative2020 and #institches2013. If you follow both us and the hashtags you will also get to see what everyone else is creating too!
On Facebook reply to the relevant week's post with your comments and images. And don't forget to actually follow InStitches on Facebook to see what everyone else is up to.
Until next time, keep stitching and keep smiling,
Hazel & Terry