Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 10 Basic TAST
Crossed buttonhole is one of those stitches that at first glance looks mildly interesting but once you experiment with it a bit, you will discover it has many possibilities. You can also work single stitches in a square as I have done in the photograph below. As you can see, it produces a totally different look. You can also use this stitch to couch threads down which can add another layer of interest and texture to your work. So check out my tutorial on Crossed buttonhole stitch for directions and ideas and have fun experimenting.
Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Week 10 Beyond TAST
Detached buttonhole is a detached filling stitch which is just plain fun. It produces a solid net that stands free from the surface of the fabric. In other words, it makes a little pocket or can be used to make 3D embroidered shapes. So check out my tutorial for it, and have fun exploring this stitch.
Take a Stitch Tuesday 2023 Design Challenge March
Today I am going to introduce the idea of using Point as a design element. Most people understand what we mean when we talk about a point of emphasis in a work. But to clarify, when an artist/designer talks about a point of emphasis or just the term emphasis, they mean an area that draws the eye. What happens is that the viewer’s eye is drawn to a point of emphasis in the drawing/painting/textile art piece, then the eye is led to move across the area being drawn, by secondary points. The artist aims to take the viewer on a journey, like going down a garden path, pausing to smell the flowers.
Why does this convention exist? The human brain is very good at glancing at something, classifying it, then moving on to the next thing. An artist wants to communicate visually, so we need to get the human mind to slow down, not jump to conclusions, and look at what we have made. The way to do that is first to draw attention to an area, and then get the eye to move to the next area, and so on — like a story. Each time the eye moves along its journey the mind that is looking is working to make sense of what the eye is seeing.
In design language, a point is the simplest unit or fragment of design. A series of points along a path can form a line. A line of dots is the easiest way to explain this concept. When you apply this to stitching, a stitch can be a point. For instance, a series of French knots can be arranged in a line and the eye will read those points as a line. You could think of them like stepping stones across a lawn.
The designs used in Candlewicking embroidery make use of lines of French knots to define the pattern. Another way that Point is used in stitching designs, is where you often see a bee or insect flying around and a line of running stitches defines the insect’s path. In the case of quilting, small running stitches create little tiny indentations meaning that the texture of the quilting forms a series of points. They look like lines because our mind links them together in a line but they are actually a series of points. People will describe them as a line of stitches.
What is the challenge?
The challenge is to create your own design abstract or representational piece, using Point in two ways in the same piece. Firstly, the design should have a point of emphasis and secondary points that lead the eye around the piece. The second is to apply a series of points to create a line somewhere in the design.
So, what stitches can create a line of points? I have already mentioned French knots, and how small running stitches are a series of points. Isolated stitches, as the name suggests, are stitches that will stand alone in a design. You can use them to create little motifs, scatter them across an area to create a sparse filling, arrange them in patterns, or use them as points along a line. Stitches such as Whipped Wheel stitch, single Freeform crossed stitches, single Wheatear stitich, Bullion Knot, Oyster stitch, Detached Chain stitch, Berry stitch, Woven Cross stitch, and Raised Cross Stitch Flower are all examples of stitches that can be arranged in a line. Feel free to follow the links to the tutorials and use any of these stitches in your piece. Of course, beads can be points too!
So to recap — use Point in two ways — the first as a point of emphasis in your design and the second use a series of points to create a line.
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 looking for past TAST stitch challenges the archives are in the Take a Stitch Tuesday category
Where to Share
If you are doing the design challenge you have a month to work a design and stitch it up.
If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.
My book for creative stitchers
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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