I used black Aida for this piece of work as I felt that this would produce a better background than a paler cloth in any areas that weren’t covered by stitches. I also tried to colour it to better match my stone using an ochre coloured oil pastel. Whilst this looked ok to start with, it wasn’t very successful once I started stitching as it rubbed off on my hands and made them oily!
7.1 Sketch book samples of pastel colours and thread types.
I used a wide range of threads, all in a grey or neutral palette including wools of various thicknesses, embroidery threads, perle cotton used both singly and threaded double with different colours, very fine lace making cotton, boucle, cotton chord, waxed thread.
To transfer the markings from my rubbing onto the Aida I used tailors chalk, see below.
7.2 Relief marks copied onto Aida
7.3 Sketch book – ideas for stitch types
I started stitching by using a very thick wool on all of the chalk marks to make sure that all of the highest areas of relief were captured first.
After that, I kept looking at my stone to identify the areas where there were rough or smooth textures and then tried to match them with stitches that I found in reference books, that I made up or, in one case, that fellow kind DS students on the Facebook site helped me to identify!
7.4 Stitched sample
I stitched over some of my areas of high relief to add extra height in places using French knots and bullion knots. for the smoothest areas I used embroidery silks and wove areas or used rice stitch or other flat stitches. For the areas of medium height or texture I used more textured stitches such as stars, small knots, double chain and button hole stitch.
I didn’t use a frame whilst I was stitching which has resulted in the tension being uneven and so the piece doesn’t lie completely flat, I would either use a frame next time or be more aware of the tension whilst stitching.