Stitch and More – a hand stitch workshop.

We were asked to bring:

½ Metre of hessian

Basic sewing kit:’

Needles, pins, sharp embroidery scissors, wools, threads, thimble.


Found items such as:

Buttons, feathers, fabrics snips, lace, glitz, pipe cleaner, beads, acrylic paint, small jar of white emulsion, cords, labels, string, wire & any other exciting stuff you might use.

Firstly we cut 4 pieces of hessian roughly into 25cms by 35cms rectangles.

Piece 1



  1. Deconstruct fabric
  2. Enrich.


Piece 2


  1. Invade
  2. Impoverish.

Piece 3


  1. Menace
  2. Adorn

Piece 4



2. Reconstruct

Evaluation Piece 1

I thought the ½ hour time slot quite daunting to start with and thought I wouldn’t need all that time. Having to keep with it challenged me to come up with more and more which I might not have managed without the time structure.

The second instruction to enrich felt so contradictory that it took me by surprise. Again I found it challenging to the extent that now looking at the result I feel I held back finding the two instructions hard to resolve.

I had the usual difficulty organizing and deciding what to take. We are going into the unknown and do not know what we will need! The stitch element of the course is the one that is newest to me. I probably imagined a decorative approach and chose my items accordingly. I was later to regret this when I came to realise that my preconceived ideas were constraining me. We were encouraged to be far more than merely decorative. We were to express all sorts of feelings and actions. I found this gratifyingly challenging but also dispirited that I had not brought things that would have been more contemporary to play with.

However I still enjoyed the doing of it and working with different materials.

Piece 2

I felt my confidence growing and could respond instinctively to this task. I felt I moved away from the rectangle immediately and changed the shape at the onset: invading the shape with the cloth itself. I also liked developing this further by creating a 3D element.

I was less happy with impoverishing and held back feeling I was weakening the impact of the “message”.

Piece 3

I liked my first interpretation of menace but again found adorning completely obliterated the menace. I think two elements in complete opposition given the same input gave a dynamic I found unsatisfying. I might explore a different ratio of input to see if one would enhance the other rather than contradict and negate one another. For example: lots of menace but just a soupcon of adornment.

Piece 4


This was the most satisfactory piece for me though I did not finish it during the class.  I intend to further this as I now have access to more materials and time to bring it to a resolution.


Donna’s Menace and Adorn

Examples of hand stitch embroidery artists.

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