My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.

I have been looking at this chapter for far too long. I started it at  a time when life was going a bit pear shaped for me about a year ago. I had to leave it for a while then came back to it, but putting together a blog, uploading images etc felt like a task and a half. I left it again. After summer school I felt more energised and did a bit more work on this chapter. I had also signed up for summer courses with Edinburgh Uni’s art department. My first course was about stained glass art. I ended up making something about the size of an average window! Getting it home was no joke! I had to walk like a crab with a hump through the streets of Edinburgh and Waverley Station as I tried to carry it without damaging it or anyone else. I think I must have looked like a ‘fringe’ act!

I did a short course, entitled Stitched Fabrics, with Scottish weaver and textile designer Fiona Hutchison. I signed up for this course because it sounded like it would be useful for developing my D. Stitch work and I like to experience the design processes used by various artists.

The following images show some of the work I did with Fiona. We started off mark making in  a variety of media then looked at translating those marks onto fabrics and 3D images using paper. I always had animal patterns at the back of my mind but tried not to deliberately create these, rather let it happen.

IMG_5260 animal markings

more marks with inkclose up of marks

circles in ink and oils IMG_5301


A variety of media was used to make these marks. Ink, oil bars and pencil, graphite and charcoal were also used. We considered the tools used to make marks. I used pens, sticks and paint brushes. We were also encouraged to think about how to use these tools to change the quality of the marks. There was only about 6 of us in the class but the variety of marks was amazing! When I got home I looked seriously at what I had done and the marks above stood out to me as translatable into animal marks.

We then looked at translating marks on to other materials.

a                                                             b

graphite marks graphite marks

‘a’ shows the different qualities of line made by various pencils. ‘b’ Shows these marks (top)  in folded and twisted paper and (bottom) in cotton which has been machine sewn to create lines and yarn couched onto it to represent the thicker marks. This could work on a striped markings.

c.                                                                  d.

circles with various mediums circles

‘c’ was made with pencils. The roughness of the lines was created because of the surface of the table. (I must stop cleaning the tables!).  Next I recreated these circles by free sewing circles onto paper. The top picture shows sewing with black thread. This was then dampened and distressed to create holes. Under this the paper had been crumpled up before sewing in places, with grey thread and the centres cut out. The bottom image shows the circles recreated by manipulating fabric. I sewed large circles then pulled up the thread so that the circles were raised.



‘e’ shows at the top, charcoal used to make lines crossing over and being thick to thin from left to right  in both directions.

Underneath this image we can see white cotton was used and a variety of black threads yarns and ribbons sewn on to emulate the lines. I also weaved paper in this images likeness but this is not shown here.

I then made samplers of different ways to create textured marks with cloth and other fibres.

f.                                                             g.

IMG_5295 IMG_5296



I can see these experiments and experiences influencing my work in the future.

This was a 5 day course. Unfortunately on the Monday we received some sad news and I had to cut the course short to attend a funeral. The above images were made between Monday and Wednesday. I also made an A3 book filled with samples of work done using similar images to those above and with the sewing machine and hand stitching on lutradur, cotton and water soluble fabrics. The book was for an end of course exhibition. I am still hoping it will be returned as requested but I haven’t heard anything from Fiona yet!



Lutradur sewn and heated up. Watching the fabric change was great fun.

After doing this short course, I felt more able to make some strips of fabric sewn into animal prints.

J. gecko marks and bird marks.

k. Turtle marks.

l. Elephant.

m. Zebra.

j.                                                                           k.


l.                                                                           m.



I should have done more of these sewn samples but I have slogged away at this chapter for so long I need to move on so that I can stay sane. However I plan to add some more in the future.


Comments on: "Ch 4 Drawing Patterns from animal markings. Part 2." (4)

  1. What super drawings and fabric samples! You have obviously been through a tough time, but you are certainly back with a bang. It’s hard to pick up the pieces again when life has got in the way! I’m pleased that the courses have boosted your confidence and sparked off so many wonderful ideas and hope you get your book back safely.

  2. What lovely work. Your samples are so delicate and beautiful in their simplicity. Love how you captured animal markings in a kind of diffused, almost abstract manner – you very much made them your own! Love that you took one of Fiona’s courses. I am a beginner level lover of tapestry weaving (always beginning again…and again…!) and dream of taking a tapestry class with her some day. Would also love to take a sketching class – maybe Sian can bring her to Summer School?! Sorry to hear of all your family crises – it’s hard trying to get started again, especially when problems arise repeatedly. I know all about that. You have my sympathy!

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