Tuesday, May 13, 2014

- Follow the yellow brick road: Trying out Spirit Cloth 101 stitches

After posting yesterday, my fingers started to itch. So I grabbed a cotton linen napkin and, following Jude Hill's suggestion to "scribble stitch" as a fill, made a series of random doodles with a water-erase marker (I'm not quite ready to use the permanent markers she recommends).


Then I chose a gold/green/rust variegated floss that has previously proved to be a little too variable for cross stitch samplers and decided to try out some of the stitches from Spirit Cloth 101. As each strand ran out, I ended with a thread bead (a JH alternative to French knots).


I also let go of my judgmental attitude about my handwriting (thank you Jude) and started labeling each stitch without resorting to the rubber stamp letters I've been using lately. Much quicker ... and truer to myself.


For now, I'm working everything in a single strand of floss and taking relatively small stitches. 


It will be interesting to try these same stitches with two strands later in the piece. I've already had to let go of a beaded back stitch that simply didn't work on the single-strand scale, but I can see how using two strands will make a positive difference. Indeed, this is a becoming a sampler in the truest sense of the word.

The back reveals even more about the process:


However, since I do intend this to be a functional kitchen towel, I've been considering how to guard the back from the wear and tear that will inevitably be visited on it. Taking a cue from Jude's spirit cloth quilting and combining that knowledge with the softly-layered towels that Meg recently purchased, I'm thinking that backing the finished towel with a layer of loose-woven muslin may be a good solution.

We'll see ...