Saturday, 16 May 2020


I am care taking the yard:ARTspace's Stitch a Month class, it meets once a month to enjoy a little bit of gentle stitching and has been taught by the very talented textile artist, Catherine Kingzett .
It was meant to meet up this week and of course we cannot. So this is a stitchy prompt for the lovely people who come and explore textiles with Cath and me.
Either go for a walk or wander around your garden and collect a handful of small leaves. Different sizes, colours and shapes.
We are going to do a stitch meditation and put into practice some of the stitches learnt with Cath in the last few glorious, out in the world months. Collect everything you need first, green threads, needle, biro or fabric pen that will not disappear over time or rub off. Choose a piece of fabric to work on, I am using some eco printed cotton...check out the first prompt. 
I know this is obvious, but I have rooted out lots of different green shades to stitch with. 
Here are my leaves ready to draw around. 
I have cut my fabric to a 5 inch square, you could make it smaller, but this is a meditation not the start of a project, a bigger piece will be daunting. 
Here come the rules: 
1. Lay your leaves onto the fabric
2. Make sure that part of a leaf or stem touches all 4 edges.
3.Try to get some of the leaves to touch each other, no leaf social distancing here.
4. Starting at the bottom, draw around each leaf, taking it off when you have done so. 
I used a biro because I could not find my fabric pen. Ensure that what you use will not rub off or disappear over time.
You don't need to be over accurate and only draw one side of the stalks, they become too bulky if you draw around both sides. 
I have stabilized my fabric with iron on stiffening because it is a thin cotton. Depending on what you use you may have to do the same.
Now get out your embroidery instructions from Cath's classes, or your favourite stitch book.
I am working my way through The right-handed embroiderer's companion.
Choose a stitch and a green and fill in a leaf. Pick another leaf, another green thread and another stitch until you have filled in all your leaves. You could sit down and work on this all in one go, but it is ideal to work on a leaf a day.
There are no real rules, it's just a sampler to help work out which stitches work and which I like, but I will fill this piece of fabric with stitches and hopefully finish it by next Sunday.
Stitch meditation rules apply, no unpicking. I have got leaves I don't really like, but once the piece is full they won't notice as much.

Good luck.
After a week of stitching a leaf a day here is my finished piece. 
There are several leaves that I do not like and given half a chance I would unpick them. You may have noticed I actually cut one off, but in the spirit of Stitch Meditations I did sew it back on in a different place.
I have learnt what stitches I like and it is a valuable sample to remind me when I do start a project what I might enjoy using. Now I fancy doing one about the flowers in my garden. Watch this space, but later...!

For those of you who do not sew, try this as a drawing, draw around collected leaves onto Eco Printed paper and fill them in with marks. OR... make a small collagraph plate with different wall papers as the leaf shapes. could be a series of interesting mixed media sketchbook pages.This little exercise makes a lovely record of your garden or a walk.

Have the best creative week you can.


PJ said...

Oh hurray another amazing inspiring prompt. Thank you thank you thank you

Eva Mari said...

Gorgeous! If I only had a little more patience... <3