Intuitive Stitching - Week 3

Intuitive Stitching

A few stitches at a time..

Week 3, Part 1 - Background/First Layer

Click on the image below to view the video:

Scroll by Rita Summers

Week 3, Part 2 - Background/First Layer

Click on the image below to view the video: 

Scroll by Rita Summers

- please read as a reminder of what you have seen in the video

Lay out your scroll backing or foundation flat on your work surface ready to add your scraps as the next layer. These will form the background for your stitching later on. If you don't want your scroll backing to be just one long strip, you can work in smaller sections and join them as you go, but you can also join them up beforehand. Attach the sections together using various stitches such as running stitch, cross stitch, fly stitch and so on, as show in the video/s.

How to use your scraps - make a pile of fabric scraps on your work surface so that you have plenty to choose from. Sort them into colours that you like, or organise a colour scheme that appeals to you. You can then select what you want with plenty of choices to arrange and re-arrange on your scroll foundation.

Cutting ideas (or not) - I tend not to re-cut or trim my scraps very much at all! Rather I try to use them just as they are, as this makes everything more unplanned, intuitive and fun. If your scraps are too large, you might like to prepare a random pile beforehand, ie cut a whole lot of pieces into smaller shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles or triangles. Then you can rummage and experiment, allowing serendipity to happen.

Encouraging playfulness - when choosing and arranging your fabric scraps on your foundation, try to have a playful attitude. Enjoy trying out different shapes and combinations as you place, overlap and/or isolate the pieces. Also, don't try to cover the whole scroll in one go - work on it a section at a time, or on separate segments before joining if that's what you would prefer.

Consider negative space - don't cover the whole scroll. Allow some of the foundation fabric to show around your scrap pieces- this is called negative space. It gives the eye a chance to rest as you scan your project, and also creates opportunities later for stitching and embellishments.

Secure the pieces - as you work, use pins to hold your arrangement in place. Overlap some pieces and allow others to stand alone. The expression 'colour outside the lines' really helps here, so that you are not limited by the edges of each piece but can allow continuation and overlapping. This gives continuity so that the end result is not 'bitty'. You can even leave pieces hanging off the ends to attach later to the next section, as I show in the video/s.

NB - I play music in the background while I work, to help me relax and to enjoy the moment. This might help you to get into 'the zone' so that you are working almost without conscious thought. Make sure you have plenty of light, are sitting comfortably, and use a table or work surface that is the right height. If you are distracted by being uncomfortable it will be hard to follow your intuition! Turning off your phone for a little while might also help prevent interruptions to your creative process.

(c) Rita Summers

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