Friday, 5 February 2010

Sketching With Stitches



I've always been a doodler. I can't draw in any meaningful way, but if you give me a sheet of paper and a pencil, it won't stay blank for long (a fact which has frustrated me over the years, but this isn't about that). My doodling is just another form of fiddling - something I'm naturally inclined towards. If you ever saw me and my inability to sit still for two minutes, you'd understand.

Anyway. I was just starting out with this embroidery idea, and I was trying to think of things I could do to practise. And one of the obvious things seemed to be to try and doodle, but with thread.

So I started out by 'sketching' a flower:

IMG_8740

That was partly inspired by my very first attempt, but also because this basic motif is something I draw all over the place, and also something I'd be very happy using to prettify my clothes in future.

Next, another one of my regular scribbles - holly leaves (because it's not that far past Christmas... umm...).

IMG_8741

In case the magic of the internet makes this all look too easy, I should assure you that it wasn't. These little images, which would have been five-second sketches, took more like half an hour when I was using a needle instead of a pencil. And you don't want to know how many stitches I had to unpick and re-do (sometimes several times).

Still, I'm making progress, even if only in baby steps.

37 comments:

Charles Budd said...

You'd love what Sue Naydorf does with stitching. I can't find any decent images of her stuff on the net, and she doesn't often display. I saw her stuff at the Cheltenham Open House Art Festival, it's brilliant! If you seriously want to get into stitching art work, contact her. Her stuff takes ages to do, but it's amazing.

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

Love this! I would not even attempt a doodle with needle and thread - I'm in awe!

lakeviewer said...

Oh, how I love the words here, and the attempts to collect new skills. What a delightful way to live fully.

Tabor said...

Add these to a pair of jeans and you may be able to sell them for hundreds of dollars...;-)

forgottengenius said...

I just adore the contrast between the thread and the fabric. Your embroidering reminds me of a pair of jeans I had as a child; they legs were embroidered with pink flowers, and I loved them so.

Toni said...

Hi Rachel, just wanted to stop by and say thank you for your kind words. It's good to know I have people out there for me.
And I really like your idea of turning your doodles into stitches; very original x

LiLu said...

It's adorable AND original, though! Definitely keep at it.

Nic said...

They're awesome! I'm a doodler too, but I don't think I could make cool pics like that with a needle & thread!

Louiz said...

Very nice:)

And why is kids clothing covered with embroidery but adult clothing is mostly free of it - it looks really good

Jen said...

I bet you'd enjoy doing a sampler. There are instruction books at all the craft stores. It will get much easier with practice.

Jenny Woolf said...

Some artist (I forget who, Cezanne maybe) once said that you should be able to view a work of art as complete, no matter what stage it was at. I puzzled over this for a while and then did a crossstitch just of colours, making sure that every line made the work look complete. It came out very harmonious.

Kat @ www.TodaysCliche.com said...

Just loved this post... coming from SITS. Random, but are you going to Bloggy Boot Camp in Baltimore?

Bells said...

I'm sure it's one of those things that looks deceptively simple - I bet it's not!

Melissa B. said...

I try crafty projects from time to time. But I often end up with scraps of "this" and "that." The girls and I decided to make them all into a quilt one year. It's random, but we love it!

Sally said...

I can't even draw stick figures, so I'm in awe of someone who can do so many things. You have a great place here!! :)

Stephanie V said...

Very pretty. So simple but, like most simplicity, incredibly effective.

I'm intrigued by your default doodle as that flower is also my default. Have to say that doodling in threads had not occurred to me. I like how doodles can grow all over a page...what will this become?

"And so our stories go..." said...

Those are so cool. Must be really relaxing.
Mary

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

I think your work is lovely! I actually do a bit of embroidery, and I love how very relaxing it can be!

Keep up the good work!

gaelikaa said...

Oh it's lovely. I love knitting, but I've not finished anything in years and I'd love to get back to it. Must do it...

Suzanne said...

looks great!!! i've tried embroidery a few times, with less impressive results :)

Chef Aimee said...

Lovely!

xoxoKrysten said...

Just stopping by to wish you a happy SITS sharefest day! Hope your Saturday night is fantastic!

Jeanne said...

Sometimes you remind me of a(nother) friend of mine, who has a PhD in Electrical Engineering, has written two novels, run a marathon, has beautiful hand-stitched quilts all over her house and has now decided to learn to play guitar.

I comfort myself by telling myself it would be really distracting to be good at so many things.....

liliannattel said...

Awesome. I can't wait to see how your embroidery doodles progress.

Mame Afia said...

Pretty embroidering. I hope your day is good, full of sun. Stopping by from SITs, hope you will stop by my blog. Thank you.

BLOGitse said...

Embroidering is not my thing but pretty to look, like yours...

Your idea having a SITS conference in London would be cool!

BLOGitse

christine said...

It's lovely, isn't it, that if the stitch is simple, then the motif stands out more - sort of crisp. I love the holly leaves - I'll have to teach you French knots, then you can do berries, too!!! Don't throw it away like your paper doodles - frame it when it's done:) xx

Grace @ Ruby Moon Designs said...

I like stitching things too...although it does take painfully long to finish! Thanks for stopping by Ruby Moon Designs! Have a great day!

Blessings, Grace

Captain Dumbass said...

They're cute.

traveleatrepeat said...

Thanks for commenting on my site. I've really enjoying looking through your blog and travel log. We've been to a bunch of the same places. Doesn't travel just make life better?

D.A.M.E said...

From Dame...thanks for commenting on our website. It's always good to have a different opinions to a topic. Come again and let us discuss. Love the couch and little man...very talented!

angelcel said...

Yep, you're a fiddler. I know you just said that but I can also see it in your embroidery and lovely sugar paste art. That's a great first attempt at stitching BTW. If you want to take it further, can I suggest a simple embroidery kit? They're so easy to follow, produce great results and you'll learn a lot right from the start. I'm sounding like an advert for them here, but it's only because I'm a fellow fiddler!

(Came here via Carma's site). :)

Red Velvet Confections said...

This doodling method is pretty unique...I love it! Your approach to collecting skills is admirable. I look forward to reading your other blog entries.

MJ said...

I love embroidery, I think it might be my new project for the next holiday! You've inspired me.

http://dreamingspiresandoldcartyres.blogspot.com/

christine said...

I forgot to say that keeping it simple, with the running stitch that you're using, you can get do beadwork!! Sparkly beadwork:) Beg, borrow various lovely beads. When your needle is on the surface of the fabric, slip the needle through one bead, push the needle back through the fabric - making the stitch the same length(ish) as the bead so that it won't show, pull the thread taut, and the bead will sit on the fabric and smile at you:-)

BLOGitse said...

I voted London!

BLOGitse

Chef E said...

You remind me of myself, well not the PhD thing...no patience for school, and I had kids, no excuse I know, but...

Awww the memories of stitching...

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