I’ve been overtaken by life for the last couple of weeks – this weekend was the first chance I had to get back to the TIF Challenge for February, and February is nearly over! I was thinking about joining fragments of fabric like fragments of memory, so I got out a pile of fabric saved from clothes I’ve worn to pieces over the last 30 years or so and tore a small square of each. Then I looked at several kinds of insertion stitches from Mrs Christie’s Samplers and Stitches, the book my grandmother used. Laced, twisted, knotted – how I struggled! Learning stitches from diagrams doesn’t come easily to me. I double checked the moves in one of the first embroidery books I ever got, back in 1984 (Needlework School by the Practical Study Group), but still I struggled.
In the end, I worked out how to do one stitch – buttonhole insertion stitch using a Tailor’s buttonhole – which is the same as buttonhole stitch but with an extra knot in the formation. I was jubilant when I got the hang of this!
I stitched the pieces together on a background fabric that was also an old shirt of mine, then cut away the background. It was something like shot viscose – another time I would use a natural fabric that would fray well. I managed to cut through one or two of the insertion stitches as I cut it away as well 🙁
I’m not sure if this sample will be the final piece or not – I’ll tell you on the 29th! I’d like to do another version on a different background, maybe a dark silk. I’d like to try a variation on vanishing fabric with machine insertion stitching. And I would love to master some more of those tricky hand stitches…