For the Love of Stitching Sampler – Band 112

For the Love of Stitching Sampler – Band 112

It is time to move on to the next area of stitching. After working the Autumn sampler I was working on my Masters and for a couple of years most of my samples ended up in my studio journals. As I explained  in the  Sampler FAQ I had a couple of samplers stolen that date from this period.

When I assembled the strip I did include this sample even though it could have been a seperate piece in its own right. It was an experiment that I worked to explore an idea.


At the time I was looking at traditional patterns that appear, travel and re-appear in various places around the globe.

I was interested in evoking their historical roots yet presenting them in a modern way. I also wanted to use them to hint at how we repeat patterns of behaviour and that cycles and patterns appear constantly throughout our lives.

I took a traditional pattern, simplified a black a white image of it scaled it up on a graphics program (Adobe Illustrator) and played around with it to produce this shape which I then embroidered. I thought I would show you some of my ideas from my studio journal.

I hope you can see how they relate.

This one I thought could be worked almost as quilt size using applique

This design could also be worked large. At the time I was thinking of a series. (I have not totally tossed the idea just as yet not got around to it)

This one was one of my favourites. I thought it was the most interesting and held the most possibilities. I liked the spiral section as I wanted to use pattern to hint at patterns in life. The spiral looked like some very old symbols for the female creative force and/or the womb yet the design looked contemporary

This page houses some of the print outs as you can see I chopped them up and pieced them together. There are about 40 designs in this series but I have never got to working them further.

As you can see these designs are all represented in with flat colours (I used acrylic paints) but the sample is shaded and worked in Long and short stitch thread painting. That was the idea I was experimenting with ie working some of these designs on a larger scale, by hand in thread painting.

I was wondering if I could use the fact that the work was hand done, to speak of repetitiveness and patterns in the cycle of life. It was the repetition of the same stitch and the possibility that it may be read on a number of levels that intrigued me. I was also intrigued by the balance between positive and negative space as I felt I could possibly use that to tease out/ hint at more ideas too.


A hand dyedwool which is about the same weight as Appletons.


This section of my sampler is worked on dress linen.


Procion cold water dyes for the wool.


All samples are 15 cm (6 inches) wide and stitched together in one long band sampler. The sampler is currently 44 ft 5 inches or 533 inches (1353.83 centimetres) or 14.8 yards (13.53 metres) long and still being added to.


This was worked in 2001

Sampler FAQ
For the full back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ.

All posts in the series are in the category  the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.



  1. Chitra you say would like to see the full piece – as I explain in the post it is the full piece – it is a sample which is part of a larger sampler. You can see them all if you follow the links.

    Marty a series would be very time consuming and it would mean other things have to go on the back burner but I will think of it. That is the upside of documenting this sampler I have remembered so many things I was thinking about! It was fatal pulling out my old visual journals to find these designs as I saw so many ideas. I have way to many to work in one life time

    Marg thread painting with wool is much quicker that stranded cotton and it has more depth if you control the tension. I like it but it can get boring doing the same stitch over a large area.

    Sharon B
  2. I was also working on curves today ,I used chain stitch to fill the lines,I’ll post the details, after the completion of the piece. Your work is exquisite.I would like to see the full piece

    chitra gangadharan
  3. This is beautiful, Sharon! I sure wish we had touch-o-vision, I would love to feel that stitching… sooo strong and beautiful! The range of designs in your Journal are really wonderful… it will make a wonderful series when you find time.

  4. Sharon
    i love this – at first glance i thought it was Casalguidi combined with some raised stitching. Thread painting in wool is something I would like to try – it must be very different from it done in 1 strand of cotton floss

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