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Stitched Up!

We recently had the second part of a two day workshop with Rose Mary Cullen, BA MA who teaches in National College of Art and Design (NCAD).  We were working on stitch, surface and manipulation techniques to interpret the drawing work we had produced in our sketchbooks in the first session.   This could have been very daunting, but Rose Mary brought loads of samples of work she had completed using different stitch and fabric manipulation techniques.  Rose Mary gave each of us individual attention, both before, during and after the class, suggesting ways in which we might achieve the textures, colours and shapes  that we were aiming for.

We spent a wonderful day revising (or learning for the first time) embroidery stitches such as fly stitch, feather stitch, Cretan stitch, blanket stitch, button hole stitch and lots more and getting to grips with using gathering and smocking to manipulate fabric in creative ways.


Among Rose Mary’s samples was this gem (pictured above) – a hanging made by using pieces of colourful linen union fabric stitched onto a grey background and embellished with layers of Cretan stitch in a variety of thread colours and thicknesses.  We loved the blending of colours, the organic shapes and the contemporary use of an old embroidery stitch.

And this sample of subtle colour threads, couched shapes, trapped buttons and a myriad of stitches also won our hearts.


These samples of chain stitch and running stitch highlighted how effective simple stitches can be when used in imaginative ways.


Some more images of the work we produced, both sketching and interpreting in fabric and stitch, over the two sessions.




We had a good learning experience, good chat and good food – and we hope to do it all again early next year if Rose Mary will put up with us!





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