A few days ago I re-blogged Donna Cheshire’s post about the workshop she taught at Weave. I was one of the lucky participants and learned a lot from the day. At the end I did that thing so many of us do: I compared my work to everyone else’s and was disappointed in myself. I was just about to cut it up and reconstruct it when I had a light bulb moment. Instead of trying to change it, or make it better, I have displayed it on the wall of my studio. That way when I look at it I’m reminded to push past my comfort zone. When I was stitching on it during the workshop I fell into doing vermicelli stitching, an old technique I learned at college, probably due to muscle memory and staying with what I knew. I can look at it now and think “What did Donna teach me?” That way I’m inspired to try something different.
The main technique I took from the workshop was painting on craft vilene to create a background for stitching on. Craft vilene is a great substrate for FME as it doesn’t need to be put in a hoop, so it gives much more freedom the for shapes and sizes of your stitched pieces. The result of this light bulb moment is a crab for inclusion in my maquette for the Newbiggin Geneology Project, a piece based on Joan Cuthbert’s story of her family entitled “Inside the Tartan Shopping Bag” I’ll share the full piece once Joan has seen it; for now here’s my edible crab. I traced an outline, from an image I downloaded from Graphic Stock, onto craft vilene, and painted it the colour of the type edible crab you can catch in Northumberland. I then FME stitched all over it. I am pleased with the result and I hope you like it.