Quilters and embroiderers alike share a common passion for cloth, stitch, and color! For centuries, people around the world have used hand sewing not just to stitch two pieces of fabric together, but to add interest to their projects. Here at Quilting Daily we appreciate all that hand sewing brings to our quilt world, and want to share our discoveries. To help you find the best in hand embroidery stitches and hand sewing technique here are some recommended resources.
|Sea urchin texture emulated
with hand sewing,
by Victoria Gertenbach.
There are literally hundreds of different stitches at your disposal, yet mastering just a few may be all you need to successfully portray your image on fabric with hand sewing. I tend to use mostly straight stitch and its variations, as well as couching. These basic stitches can easily emulate the drawn line and can also be used to draw directly onto cloth and paper, with anything from the finest of threads to simple raffia and string. In these examples I worked out of a frame, with fabric in my hand, to feel how the hand stitches move the cloth.
Spotty dotty marks: The surface of the sea urchin is rough with a fine gritty texture and protuberances in high relief. While the straight stitches give shading and tonal changes, it is French knots, padding, and appliqué that give the physically raised forms that reflect the surface and its marks.
Dyed linen upon muslin formed the ground, which was then textured and shaded with lines of thread in simple straight stitch. The stitches were worked in a manner similar to how I use cross-hatching with a pencil on paper.
Circles (with holes like donuts) were cut in three different sizes, from an old blanket covered in gauze, and stitched on with a blanket stitch. Circles of fine cotton were stuffed with batting and drawn up to form balls. These were then fitted into the "donut holes" and sewn from the reverse. Additional small raised dots of blanket were applied with cross stitches, and even smaller dots were formed with French knots.
Source: Drawn to Stitch: Line, Drawing, and Mark-Making in Textile Art by Gwen Headley, Interweave, 2010