While I was preparing a lesson for a recent class, I decided to paint up some panels for a new computer tote.
I wanted something with a lot of color, and I found this piece of hand dyed fabric in my closet and decided it had suffered in the purgatory called my stash long enough.
I made a two layer mask (a pair of stencils) and then painted the fabric with two distinctly different designs. (You can see how I created some “new” rubbing plates for this project in this post.)
Now, if your eyes work like mine, you may find yourself cross eyed just looking at this photo. But here’s the deal. A simple stitch separator is all we need to turn visual chaos into a really cool design.
Better yet, the stitching doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs to be bold or bright enough to tell our brain that we are passing from one section of the fabric to another.
I used a combination stitch on this piece. I started with a stem stitch in a bright gold (size 5) perle cotton. Then I wrapped the stem stitches with a Pekinese-style wrap with a teal (size 8) perle cotton.
The teal doesn’t really show much until you get really close, but it gives some extra dimension to the stem stitch by making it stand up straight.
Here is the entire piece after the stitching is complete. See how the stitching allows your brain to make sense of the two designs?
To me, this is magic. A simple stitch separator can turn a muddled mess into a pleasing pattern by replacing confusion with calm. Who knew that a simple line of stitching could be so powerful?
Do you use stitching as a separator for your designs? Do you stitch by hand or machine? Fill me in by leaving a comment below. I love to hear what you’re doing as you create.