The Stitchbook Project

I’ve just finished another two pages of my Stitchbook Project. This is a year long course organised by Helen Bellingham of Untangled Threads, which is based not too far away from here in Scarborough. Each month there’s a different type of textile or stitching to try, there’s lots of little samples to try and then one larger piece to pull it all together. I think it will be a great way to learn about those things I see at shows but haven’t got a clue what to do with,like Tyvek, kunin felt, joomchi or gel plate printing. Helen makes a video to show us what to do, as well as providing written instructions.

Last month was all about textural stitching – it’s certainly pushing me out of my comfort zone as it’s much more abstract than my usual stitching…

This month it was Pleats and Edges. Our box of goodies contained denim, cotton tape, twill, embroidery thread, calico…we made samples of pintucks, gathers, pleats, smocking, irregular gathers.

What I like with this project is being able to follow the instructions but still be able to make it your own. The first sample was some pleats, I decided to embroider in the teal thread provided along the top. That was the start of the theme for the page, just a little bit of embroidery in teal.

One sample was pintucks, I have to confess I stitched these on the machine, but I then hand embroidered them to change direction in the middle. The smocking one was designed to be less formally stitched, but I decided everything so far reminded me of the Victorian clothing and embroidery, so I went down a more formal route. I did some smocking years ago when my daughter was little, I dug out an old book and did a short strip of traditional smocking.

Stitchbook project

There were about seven samples all together, we then had to arrange them on a piece of soft denim. I could only fit five on in an arrangement I was happy with. One sample has gone in the sample box and the other I used for my second piece – more of that later.

I stitched them all onto the piece of denim using running stitch and french knots. I added some tiny mother of pearl buttons to add a bit of interest, but also to continue the Victorian theme.

Stitchbook project

I wanted something underneath my pleats and after a bit of rummaging I found a beautiful mother of pearl circle, I’m not sure what it was for as I found it in my mum’s stuff. It just fitted under the pleats…

Stitchbook project

I went slightly off kilter for the final piece, in the instructions we layered up several types of fabric and then ‘quilted’ the centre, having cut out a frame in the denim. We were then to use any technique we chose to decorate the frame.

I decided to use one of the sample pieces which I hadn’t had room for – a larger rectangle of regularly gathered folds. I gathered the folds up irregularly and started to add different ideas from the samples, together with some very pretty trim I had in my stash.

I stitched a length of soft blue trim down one of the folds, I pleated a length of blue lace along the side, tucking most of one edge under a pintuck. I hand stitchd a running-stitch with some tiny buttons along the pin-tuck.

I found a narrow length of cotton which ws actually left from trimming blocks with a rotary cutter, I managed to gather one length to tuck in a fold and twist the other length down the side.

I stitched on half cotton balls which Helen had included in the pack and added herringbone and some mock smocking too. I was pretty pleased with the finished embroidery…I’ve just realised that it looks a bit like a snow scene when it’s on its side, well that was a fortuitous accident!

Stitchbook project

My next job was to make a textile frame. I cut a rectangle in the denim and decided to use the leftover centre to embellish the edges. I cut it into 6 strips and gathered them onto a long thread. I could then lay them along the border, twitsing as I went, securing it down with french knots.

I’m pretty pleased with my two pages, I like the neutral colours, the next box (which has already arrived!) is on staining fabric, so hopefully I can continue my neutral palette.

Stitchbook project

If anyone fancies starting the stitchbook project, I think there are still packs available – it’s a limited number. I’m learning lots of techniques and ideas and it’s ceratinli making me think outside the box!

I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, please follow the link for more inspiration.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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27 Responses to The Stitchbook Project

  1. I love how you have made each piece your own, as you say, that is one of the joys of the way Helen presents each project.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prue Batten says:

    I love the visionary nature of this project. I like it’s free-wheeling abandon which actually hides a great deal of thought and planning. Can’t wait to see how this eventuates.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Laura says:

    Way cool, Margaret! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kathyreeves says:

    A great adventure in this box and it turned out lovely too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tialys says:

    This seems to be a great exercise in going ‘off piste’ with your embroidery and stitching skills – it must make such a change from your usual neat and more controlled pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nanacathy2 says:

    Wow I love how you handled this box. the pleats were so hard. I love your framed piece, it looks so pretty. I’ve just made a start on my next box with the rust sample. I may have overdone the rust bit, but will know better when it is rinsed.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gail says:

    What a great way to try new stitches and ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. daneesey says:

    That is SO cool!! What a neat class … I’d really enjoy it. Your sampler pieces are beautiful! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Angela says:

    What a great project! I love your snow scene!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Karrin Hurd says:

    Love your project and all that you are doing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. wybrow1966 says:

    I thought about doing this -but have so many things on the go I didn’t feel I could do it justice. Your work looks wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lovely stitching adventure! The one piece does look like a winter scene when it’s set to the horizontal orientation!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kim Sharman says:

    I love all the gorgeous creativity that you imagine. This new piece is oozing with such pretty details. The pure joy you must feel as you stitch away, dreaming up new pretties.

    Liked by 1 person

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