31 August 2016

Are you stitching comfortably?

As an attempt to break the tyranny of the computer, I'm trying to get into the habit of starting the "workday" with a bit of meditative stitching on the shorter "The Daily Round" scroll. There are plenty of inked-up colour catchers to hand, and its storage box contains a variety ofembroidery cottons and precut newspaper strips.

What was harder to come by was the old skills. After several years away from the piece, I found it very awkward to get into a "natural" position for stitching, and had to work out all over again how to make those cute little points at the edges and how to manipulate the folded strips so that the interesting side was up when it went round to the other side. Not to mention the way the strips didn't stay quite straight, and then the even more difficult job of attaching a new inky piece of background.

Here's the kit - storage box with six-stranded threads (mostly from friends' mothers' stashes); cut and folded newspaper (renewable ad infinitum); scissors (not sewing scissors?); and the quilting ruler for getting the lines back to the straight and narrow -
The awkwardness of the sewing is in large part due to not yet being able to sit comfortably. There needs to be space for the elbows - a clear table. There needs to be something pleasant, relaxing, or interesting to listen to. The pre-breakfast cup of coffee is a useful stitching aid, too. But for this piece, it's mostly about having the space to move it around and turn it over.

I usually sit with elbows on the table and hold the work up while stitching (four stitches on the needle leaves enough of the needle free for pulling through), but am also trying laying it flat and bouncing the needle off the tabletop as an alternative technique -

1 comment:

patty a. said...

I recently made another of my arty t-shirt quilts - 6 feet by 6 feet. I made one last year so making another this year was a bit of a learning curve to get comfortable with the hand stitching again. I spent 300+ hours doing the hand work over the last 3 months. I agree you need room for your elbows, some kind of entertainment, and a table to support your work. Good lighting is also important. You will be back in the zone soon on this!