30 circles, 30 days. A few minutes of quiet stitching every day, each one a little oasis of calm.
I like the negative space. It’s like the untold part of the story, the gaps between thoughts and activities.
I’ve also been working a bit more on the cover, since this will eventually fold up into a book.
It’s very simple but it’s enough, I think.
Next month, back to the grid – squares/blocks with occasional circles. Maybe the best of both worlds.
Incidentally, you can now purchase and download my 2023 templates here – 12 different templates, approximately A4 size (or 8.5″ x 11″ letter size, if you’re not in Europe): there are some grids, some blocks, some lines, some shapes. I’m looking forward to using them myself.
I’ve had a few enquiries recently about the templates that I’m using for my 2023 Intuitive Daily Stitching, and I’m in the process of gathering together some grids and motifs into a new PDF.
My linen/cotton cloth is too thick to trace directly from a paper template, so I’ve had to find alternative ways to transfer the lines and marks. I usually use a window as a light box, taping template and cloth to the glass while I transfer the shapes with a pen. I also wondered about using this iron-on transfer pen, which I’ve had for a few months and hadn’t got round to trying.
I tried it on this leaf template – (I’m planning to use this one in October – nice idea, yes? – I’m seeing red and gold falling leaves). Unaccountably, I really didn’t expect the pen to work at all. But look! I did a little squeal. I used the pen to trace around the shape on the blank side (the back of the paper template – if you print on thin paper you can just see the print on the other side of the page), placed the drawing over a scrap of linen and touched an iron (on silk setting) to the paper, and hey presto. Instant, and very easy.
The pen says it’s permanent, which I’m assuming means it won’t wash off, and that of course means that I will need to cover the lines with a stitched outline. But since I usually do that anyway, that’s no great problem.
Isn’t it great when a gadget works as it should? Tell me what time/labour-saving sewing tool you like to use.
I gave myself a break over Easter. I’ve come back to the cloth that (as yet) has no name: the first in a small series about cup and ring marks, ancient circles and spirals, lines and basic marks.
These lines and circles seem to communicate without words. Maybe they come from a time before language; certainly before literacy. There is a kind of magic about them, a deep and unfathomable wisdom in their shapes.
I’m enjoying the earthy colour palette here, and the repeating motifs.
I’ve been invited to give a talk to a local stitching group and I’m just gathering together some inspiration. I’ll take this unfinished cloth too, mostly to see if anyone can help name it.
I’m continuing with the linen cover for this year’s stitch journal.
I hardly ever do straight lines intentionally. I used masking tape to keep me on the straight and narrow. Initially I started with lines of running stitch to give some sort of structure on which to build something more complex. I was thinking maybe couching, or columns of embroidery, or whipped running stitch. If ever I don’t know what to do with a blank canvas, I generally find that making a start with running stitch takes it where it needs to go. And sometimes it turns out that running stitch is all it needs. I find I’m really liking the simplicity of it.
Initially it was going to be just blue, but I’ve started adding some greens and some space-dyed threads that give a flash of colour here and there. I’m using fine-ish threads – nothing thicker than perle 12 – and mostly my own hand-dyed cotton and silk. I like the unpredictable subtle colour changes that you get with hand-dyed thread.
The title box is outlined with couched silk boucle. I’m not sure what the title will be yet. The heavyweight linen came from a vintage French shirt, and is difficult to stitch on – I have had to resort to a thimble, which I hardly ever use – but beautiful quality. I can’t imagine it having been a very comfortable shirt, but I think it will be a perfect journal cover.