My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.

Archive for the ‘Distant Stitch 3. Module 2.’ Category

Ds 3. Mod. 2. Ch 9 Fibonnacci sequence and Golden Section.


These are my tonal columns  using 4 different papers. I have occasionally shown the same image vertically and horizontally (marked as a, and b.), because I am fascinated by the difference to the eye and imagination this makes. Also some designs naturally lend themselves better to one format or the other and others conform well to both.

1. a, b.

IMG_5745 IMG_5746

Here I have used the same papers but arranged them in a different way.

2. a, b.

IMG_5742 IMG_5743



DS.2, Ch. 8. Not What it Seams!

Not what it seams? Not seams, trims!


I started this chapter by skipping the seams part as I felt really lacking in inspiration or imagination.

However working through the trimmings etc helped me over this hump and it seems I can seam seams after all!


Each photograph shows a variety of samples which are each numbered according to the order in which they have been made. (I hope you can see the numbers well enough, I ran out of black pens, which seems incredible as I have a bit of an obsession for pens and mechanical pencils!  A bit like shoes, I am always on the look out for the perfect fit!).

Lot no. 1 – 5.

Trims 1



1. I layered strips of fabric using straight stitch  horizontally, spaced about 1cm apart and leaving tails of thread at the end.  There are many possibilities  for variations of this simple sample e.g. adding more strips of white stitching, adding alternate coloured threads, using different kinds of thread or using wavy lines are a few that spring to mind.

2. Here I changed the bobbin to one filled with embroidery thread and using zigzag stitching both types of thread can be seen on the bottom edge.

3. Similar to 2., except the bobbin thread is on the front of the sample. The strands from the start of each line of stitching have been folded down and sewn over to hold in place.  As an extension to this I could also have separated the strands of embroidery thread.

It does say in the notes to make ‘interesting’ samples. As my creative juices brewed with the help of the above samples (which are okay but not bursting with imagination!), I had one of those ‘aha’ moments and made the following two samples.

4. I layered lots of threads between pieces of bondaweb and ironed them together. I then pulled away at the treads and edges. I sewed a layer of this over the front of black cotton and another layer behind which hangs below the cotton.

5. I sewed the bondaweb sample over black cotton topped this with a strip of white cotton and sewed over everything using a free-motion foot and black quilting thread.


Chapter 7 continued.

 Seminole Method


DS3. Mod.2. Chapter 6 continued (again!)

       Using Acrylic Paints

The dying process was quite long compared to the process of using acrylic paints however I think I prefer the marks made by dying. There is still merit in using acrylics though. I am a fan of mono-printing and this is what I used most of the time on these samples.

I haven’t done a lot of these as I ran out of cut samples and even worse, acrylic paint. I will continue when I get more paint.

I took some painting and printing tools out to my shed so that I could work without worrying about any mess.

I mixed some acrylic with an extender (specific names and photo!) before rolling it out onto the work surface.

I then brushed in some quick marks zigzag fashion but I was not very happy with these.


I wondered how I could alter them without wasting ink. That’s when I wondered what would happen if I altered the cloth instead. I rubbed over it with a clear oil bar I have and pressed it into the paint. The paint clung to the cloth, especially where the oil was. I later  ironed this off onto grease proof paper.

This sample is the ghost of the previous one with thin scored lines, using a bamboo ink pen, made into the existing ink.


I was thinking about the various patterns I made on paper and the inspiration for them. I started making turtle rings into the paint using a stiff brush.  The ink was thinner round the edges giving a faded effect to the outer sides.


Continuing with the above inspiration I took a different approach to this piece. I dabbed some spots on the paint surface, printed this onto the cloth then added the loops of paint using a thick brush. I think this might have been more effective if the spots had been more defined.


Keeping the pattern and technique simple I made these marks with the edge of the bamboo pen which scraped the paint away quite well. I was thinking about feathers at this point.


Rather than print I decided to paint onto this sample. I have a small fan-shaped brush which worked quite well when pressed onto the cloth.  Although the marks look repetitive the painterly marks change over the sample in tone and shape.


This lead me to thinking about the shibori sample I did in ch.6.(Karamatsu Shibori). I folded the cloth and pressed the fan brush into the cloth so that the marks would show on the other side. This worked quite well at times and left paler areas at others. I had sprayed the cloth to make it damp so perhaps this had some influence on how the paint behaved.


The last sample was also inspired by shibori. I dampened and folded the cloth and made random marks on the  cloth on the top and underside. These show as the darker areas on the left and right.  I could probably have achieved better results through mono-printing or leaving the sample for longer before unfolding it.


I am moving on to chapter 7 now. It is great to feel like I am making some progress with this module and I am looking forward to doing some more sewing although I am having reservations about cutting up all these lovely samples.

DS. 2. Ch 6 Continued.


The cat’s face says it all, I am so busy with shibori I have no time for him!

After completing the stitching, winding and tying I moved everything out to the summer house, where the dying was taking place.

For this part of chapter 6 I did a bit more research into dying the cotton. There seems to be a lot of different opinions on what is needed and how to mix each solution. Eventually I settled for ………………..Shibori p? (list ing, and process)but I missed out the urea. Further reading on the use of this would suggest for my purposes it was not really necessary.

I did not remove anything from the dye bucket until after the recommended 1 hour.

I had tied a sample piece to a bit of thread and looped it over the side so that I could take it out and see the depth of colour before removing anything else. I was really happy with the results so the exciting bit went ahead.

I took samples out in batches as this was easier to work with in the untying, rinsing and washing process. This meant that some samples were in longer than others but I can’t see that this had any impact on the colour so I have put these samples into technique groups rather than groups of batches of various techniques.

Tritik Shibori



1. Diagonal stitching was used here. Unfortunately there is a tear in the left hand side. I could kick myself, I should have been more careful.

2. This sheet was folded concertina fashion. I drew semi-circles on the folds and sewed around the lines. (p. 45, Karamatsu Shibori, Shibori for Textile Artists by Janice Gunner.)

I only did 2 tritik pieces. I should hang my head in shame but still I find the other methods more exciting! Perhaps I will go back and do more of these later. I do like the results you can get but I am lacking patience these days and the poor results from my experiments have put me off a little.(And to be fair there is a tiny bit of tritik in a sample still to come.)

Tie & Dye






3. I used elastic bands, twine and thread to wind round sections of material. I also stitched some circles with thread. ( Tritik again!). I should have sewn more circles in different areas. Why do these things always occur to me when it is too late. I guess this is called ” learning from your mistakes!”

4. I used garden wire to secure different sized buttons into place. It was easy to wind round and tighten up securely and easier to remove than thread. I appreciate though that the resulting marks will be different.

5. Lots of elastic bands  at about 1 cm apart, wound round bunched and twisted fabric created this  delight.




6 and 7 have both been scrunched up into a ball. 6. was tied up with twine and 7. was held together with elastic bands. They are very similar but on closer inspection the lines on 7. are softer and on 6. they are finer and sharper.




I used little clamps on the folded edges of 8.

Although I did not use clamps on 9. I thought they looked similar enough to group together. I simply folded this the same way as 8. and tied it with garden wire to hold it together. I am delighted with the contrast of light and dark and the shapes in 8. but  the softer quality of marks in 9. is easier on the eye and not quite so dramatic!


IMG_552110.  I wondered (quite late at night!) what would happen if the material was braided, so I tore this A4 sheet of fabric into strips,  braided, folded and tied up with elastic bands. It can only be described as very random and I am not sure how I feel about it apart from liking the lines on the top part!

Arashi Shibori






11. and 12. were on the same pole. However the material could not be pushed down far enough for all of it to be immersed in the dye so I poured the dye over 11. at intervals. If I had made the pole shorter I could have used the cat litter tray but I would still have needed to turn the pole or pour dye over it.

13. I found a cylindrical, wooden candle holder which has a larger diameter than the other pipe! It is also much shorter. I had a piece of cloth, I quickly wrapped it with bits of twine and thread I had lying around and pushed  it into the bucket. It floated! I had to laugh, I thought I had found the answer to all my problems and it bobbed back up at me! However I had another candlestick which I wedged it down with. Revenge is sweet!





Just like 11. and 12. above, I4. and 15. were on the same pole and I had to go through the same process with 14. This one was held in place with elastic bands whereas 15 was wrapped with thread. I love the fine lines created by the thread, especially where the colour is at it’s deepest.

And Finally!

IMG_5524I had a few bits n bobs of calico, cotton and wool lying around so I threw them in the dye for a short while. I did not take the wrapper off the middle of the wool. I was surprised to see spaces where it had been given it was not tightly wrapped.


I thought it would be a good idea o cut the fat quarter of this hexagon material in half and throw part into the dye as it was.

I later began to think perhaps this was not such a good idea and when I removed it from the dye after a short time my fears were vindicated as it was completely black with no pattern showing at all! However after a good wash the pattern reappeared. Whew! The image shows the original cloth on the left and on the right top the right side and on the bottom the wrong side, after dying.

I am so much happier with these results compared to the first experiments. I would definitely use the same formula for mixing again, it was so easy to do and gave really satisfying results quite quickly. The only thing I would say is I would half the quantities for the amount of cloth I used here, as I could easily have dyed twice as much fabric.

I could think more about combining techniques, taking materials out earlier to get a greater range in shade and trying out other materials.

The cat is still waiting for attention but has moved behind me so that I am perched on the edge of my seat. Time for a little cat cuddle!

DS 3. Mod 2. Ch. 6. Dye and paint fabrics.

Dying fabrics.

First things First!

preparing for ch. 6.

It has taken a while to gather all the bits n bobs for this chapter but I think I am now ready. I purchased a very good quality pair of pure cotton sheets for £5 which was a real bargain. I have cut some A4 size samples and a few smaller ones for practising techniques on.  I don’t have much material which has a pattern except for the few pieces shown, however I think the hexagon one is exciting!

I am using Procion MX Dye (150 Jet Black) and mixing my own fixative using soda crystals and salt solution.

When I am mixing the solutions I will be wearing rubber gloves, and an apron. I thought about a face mask but the quantities are so small I don’t think this should be an issue. I will also be preparing these solutions in a well ventilated area.

Would you believe I have never dyed anything before! Not even tie-dyed a t-shirt…even my husband has done this! I have painted on fabric though so I am not completely inexperienced for this chapter, just a little bamboozled!

I have been looking for piping to use. In both books I have on dying and shibori a 10cm diameter one was used. However I could not get one that size and I suspect it would be too big for my samples anyway. Instead I bought a 4 cm tube which was easy to cut down to size , lighter and cost less!

A while ago my old plastic potting table got caught up in a stormy wind and I found it broken into pieces the following day. Naturally I threw it out but now I am wishing I had kept the legs! They would have made great pipes!

At the moment I am preparing samples for the various kinds of  Shibori.

 Manipulating fabric in different ways before dying is popular in many parts of the world but especially Japan, Africa and India. The universal term for this is Shibori. The word Shiboru means to wring, squeeze and press.  I hope am going to do some of this with cloth, not my hands!

Preparing some experimental samples


I used a quarter of an A4 cotton sheet for all the above samples. I made Number 1 using straight stitching across the width of the sample. I used single strands of cotton thread for this. When pulled together an accordion effect happened.

Sample 2 above shows what zigzags look like when the threads are pulled together. For this and the next two samples I used a thicker cotton which was labelled ‘Mercer crochet’. I bought this as part of a job lot years ago and have never used it. It seems a good thickness for this material and technique although none of the threads were coated in wax. I wonder what difference this will make? I need to get some thread waxing done.

Sample 2


This is what sample 2 looked like before I pulled all the threads together.

For sample 3 I marked wavy lines on the material and sewed over these with straight stitches. Sample 3 below shows what this looked like before I pulled all the threads together.

Sample 3


Sample 1 and 4 do not have ‘before’ pictures. Sample 4 started off as concentric circles. The larger circles only covered parts of the material. Drawing the threads together created four separate points.


Next I moved on to folding and clamping small samples in different ways. The diagrams bellow explains the folds I made .

IMG_0053 IMG_0055

tied samples

1. I found the centre of 1. and bound it from this point all the way down to the bottom in equal intervals using elastic bands.

2. I scrunched 2 into a ball and the raw edges were tucked in before holding everything in place with elastic bands.

3. I used twine here. The diagram shows how I folded this sample.

3. tie dye

Arashi samples

Sample 1 and 2 were worked on the same piece of A4 cloth.

Sample 1 was tied at 3cm intervals and pushed together.

Sample 2 is similar except I have used bands  this time and the fabric has been slightly twisted as I pushed together.

3 shows fabric held in place with cotton thread. I folded the fabric concertina style and wrapped it diagonally on the pipe. I tried to bunch it up too, but this was tricky as the fabric was already quite thick.

Ok, that’s my initial group of samples completed. I need to sort the dye now. This was fun, the next part will be really exciting!

How did they turn out?

As you would expect I had a variety of successes. A few were paler than others because I had removed them from the dye in groups at different times. Some of the stitching was very tight because the cloth was damp making  it a bit of a chore unpicking it all. However after all that dying, washing, unpicking, drying and ironing I was really happy with most of the results.

Tritik Samples.

1 .   Straight         2. Zigzag             3. Waves            4. Circles

 IMG_5484 IMG_5482  IMG_5490 IMG_5489

I think this was the least successful group of samples. They were also the first batch to be removed from the dye, making them the palest samples. Perhaps a thicker or waxed thread would have produced better results.

Tie & Dye Samples.

1.                         2.                          3.

Small Clamps.                  Clasps.

 IMG_5494 IMG_5492 IMG_5485

The clamped and clasped samples worked really well except for number 4. Where is number 4? Good question! It has disappeared. Normally I would include work which did not turn out well which was the case here, but unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to find it. Most annoying!

1. Centred          2. Scrunched   3. Twined       4. Buttoned

IMG_5501 IMG_5496  IMG_5498 IMG_5483

These are great! Number 1. is delightful, I was really pleased with this one. Number 2. was always going to be s surprise and turned out to be a really pleasant one. The 3rd sample was not at all what I imagined it would be and I was puzzled how this came about to begin with, however now I have looked at it for a while it makes more sense because essentially what I was doing was tying the points into circle shapes. Lastly the buttoned one was okay too although I think the other 3 are more exciting!

Arashi Samples

1. Pushed          3. Concertina’d

IMG_5478  IMG_5477

2. Twisted.

A wee reminder…1 and 2 are on the same piece of cloth. You can see the difference between the top half and the bottom part where the cloth was twisted as well as tied.

3. I think this is my favourite sample overall. I could not have predicted how wonderful the pattern and lines on this would be.

I am now thinking what animal markings do these remind me of? Lots spring to mind. Wrinkly elephant hide could be Arashi pushed and twisted. Birds feathers, zebra or turtle skin for Arashi Concetina’d and the random negative spaces in Tie & Dye Scrunched could be from a giraffe!

When I make larger samples I hope they work as well as these smaller ones. I need to leave the fabric in the dye for longer if I want the colour to be deeper and perhaps adding more dye powder to the solution would help.

Mod. 2, Chapter 5. Mono printing with acrylic paints.

When I taught art to primary children, I seemed to do a lot of mono printing! The children loved the surprise of seeing another image emerge and if things were not quite what they hoped for we had great discussions about the piece anyway, and went on to better things! This was always great fun for me too (although could get stressful with a class of 33!) and this is why I was looking forward to doing this part of chapter 5.

tools of the trade!The tools of the Trade!

 The images marked 1, 2, 3 etc, are made with black acrylic on white paper, a, b, c etc using white acrylic on black paper.

Bird marks

1.                            2.                           3.                           4.

bird 1 bird 2 IMG_5451 IMG_5452

1. was created by lightly running a toothbrush horizontally then making curved marks over this. Some areas have a 3D look.

2.I used the short end of a small piece of wood. (It is very small, you can see it on the pale blue card, l.h.s, in the image above). I layered the diagonal strokes which, I think has given it a latticed look.

3. A more controlled pattern here using a rubber tip. (I think this tool is really meant for blending pastels.)

4. Similar marks to 2, but using a palette knife. I call this the ruffled feather look!

a.                               b.

bird 2 bird 1

a. I made these marks using folded card. It was then printed onto tissue paper.

b. I used  white paper which had been painted with black ink from an earlier exercise here. I used folded card to make the marks. (more…)

Judith stitches ...

My progress towards City & Guilds Level 3 Embroidery Certificate, with Distant Stitch

Jamila Ibrohim

A Passion for Weave and Stitch

Teresa's Textiles

My progress through The Taster Module in Embroidery, with Distant Stitch

Hue Bliss: Color & Art notes by Karen Gillis Taylor

Finding art inspirations in the world around us

E.B's Blog...I'm in Stitches!

My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.