Before I announce Stitch 10, there is a quick bit of housekeeping. Next week, I am going to declare a catch-up or rest week and some people are beginning to flag as they have slipped behind. When people slip it is common to lose enthusiasm for a challenge, then put the challenge down. In an effort to help prevent this, next week will be a catch-up week. But! and there is always a but, if you are all caught up and don’t want a little rest I will propose a little mini-challenge task. So, if you are a TAST addict, don’t worry – you do not have to go through withdrawals.
Okay, on with the challenge! Stitch 10 for Take a Stitch Tuesday 2018 is to learn or experiment with Couching. Follow the link for instructions and eye candy. Couching is a quick way to add textured line to a design. It is also a great way to incorporate textured and novelty threads and yarns in your projects.
Couching is another quick and easy technique. You can use it to couch metallic threads, novelty fibres and thicker threads to an embroidered piece, and in the process, building up rich complex decorative surfaces. You can use it in a freeform manner as I have done above or build more regular grid-like patterns as in laid work.
In the sample above, I couched a blue chenille yarn and novelty knitting yarn to a foundation fabric that is hand painted. I then covered it with textured embroidery and beads.
The sample below is a pattern built up by couching a grid of thicker navy blue thread to a background of hand painted fabric, before adding a pattern of cross stitches, detached chain stitches and bugle beads.
The sample above is a hint for those who are doing the Beyond TAST challenge as the sample is an example of contemporary laid work. Couching as a technique is the basis of Laid work. The next Beyond TAST ‘season’ is to explore couching techniques that create patterns for surface fills. Couching is the basis for laid work. If you google “Laidwork embroidery” you will find lots of ideas. Remember you do not have to stay strictly to the tradition – this is a challenge that allows for a modern twist to be added to a traditional technique. So give it a go – you have a good block of time to explore a few ideas.
How to take part in the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge
If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitches. Learn how to work Couching and share what you have learnt. If you are an experienced embroiderer, enjoy the Beyond TAST challenge instead. Try and give your work a modern twist and share it online so beginners can see what can be done with a little imagination.
For those who have done TAST before or if you already know the basic embroidery stitches join in on the Beyond TAST challenge. Beyond TAST is a season of 4-6 weeks that allows time to explore an aspect of a design, technique, style, or family of stitches. See the TAST FAQ for more details.
Where to share
Stitch a sample of stitch 10, photograph it, put in online on your blog, Flickr site, share it in the TAST facebook group or where ever you hang out online. If you have a blog leave a comment on the Couching stitch page with your full web address so that people can visit your site and see what you have done. For Flickr people, the group is Take a Stitch Tuesday. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.
If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.
Have you seen my book?
My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results shares detailed practical methods on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewer’s eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.