After reading carefully all the replies to my post which posed questions about the format of the Stitch Explorer I realise that for many people time is a big factor. Time is either mentioned directly or is a strong undercurrent to replies. Since much of this challenge is about exploring different embroidery styles if I continue as is, the issue will continue to be a factor.
Since it is better to have some extra time to explore in a relaxed but curious manner that feel pressured to do ‘something’ for the challenge I think the odd ‘catch up’ month is needed for most people. So catch up months will be June, September and December.
I figure knowing catch up periods are approaching will relieve pressure for those that worry about making deadlines. So for some personality types June is a breathing space in the middle of the year and yet it far enough away to not allow excuses for the procrastinators. December is always a high pressure month as many people are making gifts but at least if it is declared a catch up month people are not stressing about meeting a challenge deadline too.
On the idea of a list of what was ahead in the challenge the group was divided. Some wanted to plan and prepare, think ahead and perhaps do a little research others liked the surprise. I have prepared a brief outline of the challenge. It is in a PDF file so for those that want to download it and have it to hand they can. For those that want the surprise, do not download it as I will announce the challenge as per normal.
As always I am happy to hear reactions and have comments on these changes.
The challenge this month.
This month I am going to suggest that people look at needleweaving. This is a technique often found in drawn thread embroidery as the example above illustrates. That said, you DO NOT have to engage fully with drawn thread work to explore this technique.
Simply apply the key idea of weaving a thread to create an interesting surface and see where it can take you. The threads you weave can be part of a foundation fabric as you would in drawn thread work or lay a foundation of threads yourself to create free form bars as I have done here. I have instructions on how to work freestyle woven bars in the post below.
Slightly off topic:
I know I will get asked about this sampler section. What are you looking at? Australia was really shaken by the Victorian fires. I thought the event warranted marking. I made a Black Saturday sampler and it will be added to my larger band sampler … anyway back to what I was saying…
This is section of my band sampler, I have included here so you can see where I have used contemporary drawn thread and needleweaving techniques to create an area in the fore ground.
Hopefully these few illustrations will give you a small hint as to what is possible with needleweaving and some of the woven stitches.
For drawn thread work see Part I – Drawn Thread Embroidery by Therese Dillmont (PDF) and Part II – Drawn Thread Embroidery by Therese Dillmont (PDF) both supplied by the Antique Pattern Library
I reviewed this Drawn thread embroidery book online yesterday and as you can see on page 18 and 19 there are a number of traditional needleweaving examples with associated instructions.
You will also find directions on how to do “open work” in The Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont which is also online. You will find some interesting patterns about one third of the way down on this page.
How to participate in the stitch explorer challenge
Stitch some samples. You can explore the tradition or push this embroidery style into the 21st century by breaking a few rules.
Blog it or put images somewhere online where people can see them. If you use flickr send them to the Stitchexplorer group
Come back to this post and leave a comment with your web address in it so that people can visit and see what you have done.
Note if when you leave a comment, you fill in the form with your URL, it means that when people click on your name they will be taken to your blog.