On Stitching

While mulling over the word stitch, it struck me that the literal meaning of joining, fastening, mending through stitching contains a metaphor for something deeper. Before I get myself into tricky terrain, let me just say that if were not for being able to thread a needle and to stitch on, these 100+ days of lockdown would have been much harder and harsher.

The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is lying open on my desk at the entry for stitch, and so I quote that stitch also means to “turn up (soil) in ridges in order to cover or protect the roots of potatoes etc. Also, plough (land) up deeply”. I did not know that and am enchanted by a small coincidence. Here’s why:

Trowel #2 (33 x 26 cm)

I stitched this piece in response to an online tutorial given by Sue Stone on the TextileArtist.org Stitch Club. She called it “The power of three” and the brief was to choose three fabrics and three threads and to use these to create a small stitched artwork. First we wove the strips of fabric to make a background, then we made a line drawing and stitched this onto the strip-woven backing, and then embellished it with hand stitching. I was not only inspired and challenged by Sue Stone, but also learnt some very useful practical tricks.

Again I sing the praises of Joe and Sam et al. of TextileArtist.org who established the Stitch Club, a most wonderful resource. Each week an established textile artist gives a beautifully presented, inspiring tutorial for a well-designed and manageable project. Then, at the end of the week, there are live question and answer sessions where the artists generously share their knowledge and expertise. What a feast! The Stitch Club is aptly named because members around the world interact and encourage one another through online platforms where we can post photographs of our work and comment on each other’s accomplishments.

The photograph above is mark two. The first piece (below) was made from fabrics and gold thread that friends had given me. Because it celebrated my quilting friends and their gifts I chose to (try to) draw a much-loved garden trowel given to me by a good stitching-gardening friend. I was so pleased with myself for managing to get a reasonable likeness, that I made the second piece. I also wanted to use higher contrasting fabrics and threads in order for the trowel to be more visible. Nevertheless, I am fond of the original, gold trowel. I hope you can see it now that you know what to look for.

Trowel #1 (26 x 22 cm)

This was not be the first time that I celebrated stitching in my blog which is, afterall, about stitching! (Pssst. Please treat yourself and click on the links above to Sue Stone and TextileArtist.org.)

To end off, here follows a teaser in the form of a small portion of a project I am working on. I hope to write all about it next week.

13 thoughts on “On Stitching

  1. I also didn’t know those meanings for stitch, which fit in so well with the stitched trowel. In addition to the stitching I also like the way the strips of fabric are woven together to make one piece.


  2. This weeks pieces are both enchanting.,
    “Stiching” is the word that describes the action of your favorite birds do when they probe the ground….up down up.😊


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