Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 6

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 6

Fly stitch sample 9

The stitch for Basic TAST this week is Fly Stitch.

I made the sample above using 5 layers of chiffon and netting stitched over with mainly Fly Stitch. Much of the grass/reeds areas are also fly stitch. By mixing the thickness and type of threads I gave it more visual interest. I hope you find the sample above interesting and that it tempts you to experiment a bit.

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 6 Beyond TAST

hand embroidered sample of Italian Border stitch

Italian Border Stitch is very versatile. If you work this stitch close together, the knots form a neat line you can use as an edge or on a border.

This stitch is actually a variety of fly stitch it can be worked in a circle to create disk-like flowers. And of course, you can easily add beads. Since Italian Border Stitch can be opened out to form a V you can also arrange it in patterns.

As I said, it is really very versatile. I hope you have fun with it and enjoy Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 6.

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Design Challenge February

This month we can look at “shape”, or I should say, shapes. When a line encloses an area it becomes a shape. Shape is another building block of design. Elements of design such as line and shape combine to represent the world or convey an idea. This design is then interpreted in textiles — in our case embroidery.

You can say that all visual elements are shapes in some way but that makes the process of design as clear as mud. The idea behind talking about visual experiences in terms of the elements of design is to give us a toolbox – a way of thinking that will help us create better designs. So let’s break down the element of “Shape” into a few points of discussion.

People get “shape” and “form” a bit muddled at times. Shape is the flat 2D description of a shape! In Form, you will see shading and shifts in tone in order to describe a 3D shape in space, on a 2D surface. Some writers interchange the two terms which can be unhelpful. But just remember shape is 2D and Form is representing 3D.

Shape and Form

Shapes can be symbolic such as, for example, a cross. You can use shapes to decorate and you can use shapes in “Pattern”. Later in the challenge, we will explore pattern in depth as pattern is where most textile artists encounter shape. But for this month I want to look at other aspects of shape.

There are two types of shapes geometric and organic. Think in terms of geometric shapes being those that can be drawn with a ruler and compass. So they are triangles, squares, Pentagons, hexagons, and circles etc. Usually these types of shapes produce a feeling of order and control – particularly if they are repeated.

Organic shapes on the other hand are the type of shape drawn by hand and found in nature. They can be simple of extremely complex shapes that are free-form. Many people are attracted to shapes that are organic.

A key aspect of working with shapes in a design and one that many people slide past is that it is not the individual shape that is important, no matter if it is simple or complex, it’s the relationship between that one shape and other shapes around it. This relationship can trigger feelings and convey messages and make the design more interesting. That interest, the relationship between shapes, can engage your audience.

The way you use shapes can do other things too! Shapes — cleverly used — can add emphasis to an area of your design or create movement helping your viewer’s eye to move around the design. Some designers argue Shape is at the foundation of any composition. No matter how simple or complex the relationship of shapes within a composition is key.

Your challenge is…

When creating a design consider how shapes interact. There is a lot more to be said about shapes, but I don’t want to confuse people with a great long essay! So this month your challenge is to explore how geometric shapes and organic shapes interact together. In other words, your design must include an organic shape and a geometric shape. Lines too if you wish! Think in terms of being able to realize your design in embroidery. This challenge sounds simple but I hope you will discover how interesting this request is!

For those who like to see a visual, here is a small design I worked as an example.

geometric shapes and organic shapes in a design for Take a Stitch Tuesday
Geometric and organic shapes used in a design

This is a simple design that could be worked up using linear stitches. Below is the same design coloured.

Take a Stitch Tuesday design challenge geometric shapes and organic shapes with colour

This design is a free pattern sheet in the shop priced at $0. The pattern sheet does not contain stitching instructions I have left it up to you to interpret as you choose. This is a digital product that is priced at 0. When you place the order an invoice will be emailed to you. Your link to the download is in the email. If it does not turn up please check your spam folder as usually that is where it has hidden itself.

To Summarise the challenge

This month your embroidery design must include an organic shape and a geometric shape. The idea is to explore how geometric and organic shapes interact together. My tip is to keep it as simple as possible.

Where to share

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch and share what you have learned. If you are an experienced embroiderer, enjoy Beyond TAST and give your work a modern twist. And of course, share it online so beginners can see what can be done with a little imagination.

If you are doing the design challenge you have a month to work a design and stitch it up.

So the idea is to stitch a sample, photograph it, share it in the Take a Stitch Tuesday facebook group or use the hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on Instagram.

If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.

I hope you enjoy Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 6

My book for creative stitchers

Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery book cover

If you enjoy my site you will gain real value from my book:  Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery: Visual Guide to 120 Essential Stitches for Stunning Designs

Feeling stale? Wondering how to add sparkle to your embroidery? I have aimed Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery to be suitable for both beginners and seasoned embroiderers. It introduces techniques to encourage your creative interpretations of stitches. I guide you towards discovering play-points in your embroidery by varying the height and width; by stacking stitches; or by filling multiple rows with the same stitch. With creative variations and demonstrations of tiny tweaks, You will be ready to head off down your own creative path and, of course, illustrated with plenty of eye candy!

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  1. I just received your book today and look forward to diving in. I have minimal embroidery experience and quite a long time ago. Just returning to textile art after several years devoted to contemporary fibre art.

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