First blog post

This whole thing is a new adventure. I wanted to explore my creative side in a more structured way and to add more design skills to the needlecrafts I have had fun with since I was a child. I look forward to using Distant Stitch in just that way and for the first time in my life to make this passion a priority, rather than something I do when all the things I consider to be ‘work’ are completed. Sew, here we go…

Sian – I hope you can find and see this.

I’ve been reading Gilbert, Elizabeth. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Here are a couple of quotes that are encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone

“ My creative expression must be the most important thing in the world to me ( if I am to live artistically ) , and it also must not matter at all ( if I am to live sanely ) . ”

“Pure creativity is magnificent expressly because it is the opposite of everything else in life that’s essential or inescapable ( food , shelter , medicine , rule of law , social order , community and familial responsibility , sickness , loss , death , taxes , etc . ) . Pure creativity is something better than a necessity ; it’s a gift . It’s the frosting . Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe “.

I hope I can bear these in mind as travel on this new journey.




Chapter 10

Melting Technique

I began by testing a variety of materials to see which would melt, but with only small pieces of each left I did not sew them down in a grid, simply tested a tiny piece of each. Only one of those I thought might be meltable turned out not to be.

The I put the rest into a stack and sewed them together in a grid. There were 6 layers of meltable fabric on top of a piece of calico. The thicker fabrics were various gold pieces, and then I had two different blue chiffons which I put between the gold layers. The chiffon was very difficult to work with. Mostly as I melted the edges it fused with the thicker fabric, though the top gold chiffon worked better because I could pull it away a bit as I melted and let the iron just touch that layer. Probably the blue would work too if it was in a larger area where I could pull each layer apart a little before applying the iron. Interestingly in the scan, the final bright metallic layer looks blue instead of gold, but is not in fact the blue chiffon.


I worked from top right, down the columns, finishing with the bottom left. Even with just the 3 different tones of gold I am quite pleased with what I have managed to do the first time of trying this. The only mistake as such is the one where I have a series of triangles and the final layer went right through to the base calico rather than leaving the bright metallic gold final layer. I am sure I will have more fun with this in future modules.

Final Sketch Book Page.




Chapter 9

Reverse Applique

Page 1 – Traditional Method

Here I will post the back and front of each of the two samples, with the description of the work following each. Then at the end there is the scan of the sketchbook page.

a. Crosses

sample-a-back03032018.jpgSample a front03032018

The only point I struggled with on this one was that for the brown layer I tried using ‘invisible thread’, rather than a self-colour as on all the other layers in this page. I found it very difficult to work with as it has so much spring, and tends to get tangled.

b. Four Point Stars

Sample b back03032018

Sample b front03032018

I struggled with this. I wanted to work in the opposite direction – trying to work from the centre out, but made a couple of failed attempts and gave up. Is it possible? Which edge do you cut? I also discovered that it is almost impossible to use this method where there are very acute angle turns, so the points have not come out well on the small star. Otherwise this exercise was time consuming, but therapeutic in some ways.

Final Sketchbook Page


Page 2 – Contemporary Method

I’ve not scanned the back of these samples. If you want them then let me know. Four Pointed Star

c. Four Pointed Star

Version c.i is sewn from the outside in, with the cutting line on the inside of the sewn line. It’s neat and tidy, but not particularly exciting. With all of these there was some confusion in my head as to which layer of fabric would be the background and so also which pieces could be slightly smaller because they were central motif.

I stuck with the orange thread for the whole of this phase, as it was simpler, and I wanted to concentrate on the process with the fabrics, not be fussing with the thread too – especially now I had got the tension and stitch size working well with this one!

Sample c.i03032018

Version c.ii  is sewn from the inside out with fabrics that could be frayed and I really like this. I thought that they would only fray in the direction of the warp and weft – ie not on the diagonal, but I discovered otherwise. The pale blue fabric has different coloured threads on the warp and weft and so has frayed in an interesting way. As a result, on the left and the right side you cannot see the frayed edge because the dark blue is lost on the colour of the lower layer.

Page 2 updated05032018Sketch book page:

Page 9.2 final03032018

Page 3 – Contemporary Method Cont

d. Four Pointed Star

Version d.i  is sewn from the outside in, similarly to c.i. You will note that I misjudged the fabric size for the top layer. Primarily this was because I expected this layer to be the smallest one. I think I have the hang of it now! Also I decided that the smallest line would not work as the whole repeat, but rather I just sewed and cut the triangles. I’m quite pleased with this, though I notice now I have done several of these that I could have made the gap between the sewing lines slightly smaller and so got three complete motifs in.

Sample d.i03032018

Version d.ii  is sewn from the inside out and frayed. The balance in this one feels good. I noticed in doing these that where my original design was 4 inches where I cut on the outside of the line the results were slightly larger and I had to cut bigger centres to the  frames for most of the samples. The blue fabric with different coloured warp and weft works better here as the colour below contrasts more.

Sample d.ii03032018Page 9.3 final03032018

Page 4 – Contemporary Method Cont

e. Diagonal Cross

Version e.i is sewn from the inside out but came out much more wonky than I thought I had drawn it. Still perhaps there is some charm in this. Otherwise it is somewhat boring, and once more I failed to see how much fabric I needed. The pale background fabric had been in my stash for a long while and I was unable to remove the crease near the bottom of the design.

Sample e.i03032018

Version e.ii is much more fun and I like the colour combination. It’s stitched from the outside in and then frayed. As I stitched  these samples it became apparent that the size of the different layers varies considerably between the two versions and this needs to be borne in mind when designing. The gold background is metallic and the ripples in the material are not noticeable in the fabric piece, but have been picked up by the scanner, but the colour is much less dramatic here than in reality too.

Sample e.ii03032018

Page 9.4 final05032018

Page 5 – Multicoloured Contour Effect

This was slightly different again. Questions raised were about how many layers to use, what size of shape did I need, how wide apart the stitching lines needed to be and whether to start from the inside out or the outside in. I was also unsure how the part layers would work.

f. Diagonal Cross

This shape comes from one of my black and white images. I wanted to cut the centre through to a dark layer, but found it difficult to cut through so many in such a tiny area. The choice of fabric does not work so well in this. When I picked the printed fabric for the top I had forgotten that I had used the same fabric unprinted lower down and I feel there is not a strong enough contrast in either colour or texture in the top 5 layers. The brown would have helped but this was the one that was only a partial piece and does not extend far enough to create much dynamic.


g. Orange Background

This shape is one of the ones that arose from when we were looking at negative shapes. It arose in Chapter 3, design sheet B. I just wanted to play with something different and thought this might work. I think it did, though they were perhaps slightly too big for the 4 inch sample and would have been better taking a couple more lines inside and one less outside. Writing about this now I realise that I could of course have done that by putting another line of stitching inside… I might do it later and send as an addendum!

I used 6 layers of fabric, the dark blue and peach being only partial pieces. The dark blue provided a stripe through the middle and the peach was an odd shape piece left from another project. Cutting choices with these additional layers was complex, but I’m pleased with what has arisen.


Final Sketchbook page



Chapter 8

Under the heading for each sample is the page of my sketchbook. Then after the written description of the process is a scan of both the back and the front of the work before they were framed. If this is not sufficient quality please let me know and I will try photographing them and putting them in an additional blog. Description in blog is identical to description on sketchbook pages.

a. Blue and Orange Crosses

Page 1 sample a02032018

This was fairly straightforward, though I found the control of the machine stitching a challenge to begin with. I have used a variegated machine thread which worked well.

The most interesting thing about this sample was the central cross which was cut from one of my made up fabrics with a calico background. I found that when I applied this cross to the background that the top chiffon layer shrunk back from the calico edge leaving an interesting light border.

I found the padding relatively easy on this design, but it doesn’t seem to add much to it.

Sample 1 back26022018



b. Gold Design

Page 2 sample b02032018

I used the same variegated thread as the first design, but the tension went wrong at one point. I don’t think it liked the slippery surface of the pale fabric. I wanted to find a see through fabric to use in some of these samples, but none that I had gave sufficient definition to the applied layer for the design to be seen. Instead I used the thin metallic gold that I had. It’s interesting that because it is very thin some of the stitching lines can be seen through it in relief. The padding works much better in this sample because the area concerned is not cluttered up with pattern or stitching.



c. Mainly Blue

Page 3 sample c02032018

For this one I wanted to use another of my own made up fabrics, so picked additional colours that enhanced that. So the first applied shape was in my multicolour fabric.

I changed the design of the first shape a little – from a star in the original to a square in this one. This is because I was aware of the potential muddle in the design I put across over the middle of the star and then used additional elements on top as well. So onto this I applied a simple blue cross. My stitched shape is the diagonal cross using a peachy coloured thread which stitched the best so far – partly gaining experience, partly what the machine seems to handle easiest. I embellished this with a little hand stitching in a much thicker orange thread picking up the colour from the initial made up fabric.

Padding was added to the central diagonal cross. It all seems to work well and this is my favourite sample in this chapter.

Sample 3 back26022018sample-3-front26022018.jpg

d. Gold and Brown

This was the sample that caused me most deep thinking and resulted in my redesigning elements as I went along. So there are two pages of my sketchbook for this – one with the original design and a description of what I actually did and why and the second, facing page, with a the new design and the finished sample.

Page 4 drawings02032018

Page 5 sample d02032018

I began with a fabric I had printed myself – pale yellow/cream with irregular brown crosses on it. All went well in adding the central bonded shape in brown. Then when I came to apply the central gold cross I realised that I was going to lose key elements of the printed background fabric that I really liked. So I decided to abandon the instructions and simple cut the four legs of my cross off and apply them diagonally across the corners instead.

Now though I was in the same position with the machine stitched shape. Looking at the fabric sample in front of me I felt that it work better if I machined it diagonally instead of square. I used two different coloured threads to enhance the work.  While I was stitching I built in the second smaller cross, leaving a gap before the external lines.

Now there was an additional problem. I had forgotten about the padded shape! It’s very clear in the original design in the centre of the machined cross – but I had compromised that by adding the extra detail. Well, I had already broken the rules once, so now I decided to pad the external triangles instead.

Final hand stitching was added to the corners, reflecting the colour of the central bonded shape which brings it all together a little more. Not my best piece of work but an interesting process!


Just spotted on this one that there is still a ‘biro’ type line on the left. For some parts of the design, especially where I wanted to use a fancy thread on the top but not change my bobbin,  I transferred the design to the top fabric. By using a ‘Frixion’ pen I could do this easily and then heat removes it very effectively. In this case I forgot to iron before scanning! Apologies. There is no longer any ink on the sample, but I have run out of energy to take it out and rescan without the frame etc.


Evidence of work

Here are some photos of me doing the work!

Painting paper evidence







Painting coloured papers for the second chapter

Then below – beginning to print designs.



Chapter 7

Translating layered designs into embroidery

I have really enjoyed this chapter. It amazed me to see how different the same design appeared in different colour combinations, and the difference that using a variety of stitches introduced.

I stitched 8 samples. How I went about these is described alongside each piece with appropriate numbering on sample and writing. However in case the writing is difficult to read on the sketchbook pages I have repeated it in the blog text.

Page 7.1

a. Blue and Orange Crosses

Using a pale blue background, for the first dark blue layer I stitched both edges of the cross from the design at the end of Chapter 4. It was too complicated to add the third element but the colour change was produced instead by removing the centres from both cut layers. The dark blue fabric was outlined in a small running stitch in fine thread. On the top layer I used a thicker thread and stitched a single line of cross stitch down the centre and cut on either side of it.

b. Solid Blue and Gold Crosses.

The base layer was one of the printed fabrics I had produced using a stamp.  Onto this I put the shiny gold fabric stitched with coral stitch. The fabric was a nightmare to work with as it tended to slide and frayed alarmingly. I chose therefore to deliberately fray it back to the stitching line and not to cut out the central panel. Over the top I laid a pale blue fabric which I buttonholed in place. To keep the balance of the piece I left the centre of this piece in place too.

This is one of the least effective of my samples – I do not feel that the printing adds anything to this piece and the stitching is not as neat as most of the others

Ch7.1 17022018

Page 7.2

c. Brown Star on Irregular Blue Square

This did not technically fit with the brief that was given. But I just wanted to see what would happen with the design from design sheet B in Chapter 3. I wondered what I could do about making the link and intertwining the shape, but having visually played with it in my mind I decided it was not possible to do that, but I still like the design.

Originally I had planned to use the gold layer on the square, but when I realised how difficult it was to handle on the previous sample, I switched and used that as the background. On the blue outline of an extended square I used a running stitch in a stranded silk thread for the first time and loved the feel of it. I used the same thread for the star shape but changed the stitch to herringbone over the edge. However when I came to work the internal edge of the star the edges were not long enough to cope with the herringbone with this thickness of thread. So I reverted to the running stitch I had used on the previous layer.

Ch7.2 17022018

Chapter 7.3

The next five samples, over two pages, are all based on one design from the first coloured design in Chapter 4.

d. Yellow Criss-Cross on Blues

Dark blue background with pale blue straight cross as first layer. All stitched with small running stitch. Second applied layer is yellow, with tan cross stitch over the cut edge.

e. Blue Criss-Cross on Brown and Gold

Dark brown background with gold cross over the top. Stitched with single strand of yellow so that it is almost hidden. Top layer is blue, with blue running stitches, interlaced with gold. I love this sample

f. Blue Criss-Cross on Pale Blue and Yellow.

On this one, the pale blue background gets lost, rather than the stronger colours of the previous two samples. Then the first applied colour was yellow, which I stitched with a feather stitch over the edge. However this was a waste of time and energy. Most of it is covered by the upper layer, and what is not covered just looks messy. The top dark blue layer is the dominant one and in the end the design does not look dissimilar to sample ‘e’.

Ch7.3 17022018

Chapter 7.4

g. Pale blues and yellow.

The pale blue was the background to this. I wanted to work using the negative shape from the straight cross used in the first applied layer of the previous designs. So the yellow triangles were what was left and I attached them using a blue glittery thread using chain stitch to make a statement. The top layer is a blue chiffon stitched with small stitches in a fine thread. However I made some adjustments. Having stitched the outside edge of this shape I decided that I would cut squares rather than diamonds for the internal cutting pieces. Then the final change was to add back in a small yellow central square.

I like this piece. The colours are very subtle and effective.

h. Orange and Blues

This is a complete contrast to the previous piece with bright, bold colours and a different, though related design. For this piece I switched the order of the layers and put the dark blue as the first applied layer on the bright orange background. This was attached using buttonhole stitch over the edges of the fabric. Then for the second applied layer I cut out the corner triangles from the negative section of the vertical cross. However they did not work when placed in the original position, so I have moved them to form a star across the centre of the piece. The small central square is retained to finish it off.


Now I look forward to what comes next!



Chapter 6

Use of bonding in appliqué

This is a method I have used lots of times before and really like, but I have mostly used it as a method of applique for large banners, or for embellishing bags and book covers etc. The finer fabrics here and the use of the folded squares presented some additional challenges.


I chose to replicate three of my designs from chapter 4 and I include the page they are taken from here, above, for reference. I tried to choose similar colours, but was slightly limited by the fabrics available. I also wanted to try some see through layers and that limited my colour choice further, as to what would work.

The individual samples are photographed here with the issues that arose in working, but they are then included in a summary page in my journal.

sample 1

Sample ‘a’. – above

Here I realised that for the sample I had not used exactly the same cross shape as had been in the original folded shape. In the original it had been on the diagonal, and although I could make the same cuts to get the shape, when I turned it straight it was too large to fit in the 10×10 cm square. I had to reduce it. I learnt the hard way to make more notes as I go along. This was to be a slightly recurring problem!

When I came to add the second layer, I wanted it to be transparent, but it was more difficult to apply the bondaweb without it crinkling. It was also much more clumsy folding both the fabric and the paper covered adhesive to cut the shape accurately. It tended to move about and had to be held carefully. I wondered about removing the paper, but thought the layers might stick together. In the end it’s not come out badly, but in applying the iron I used a sliding motion and have slightly messed up one of the edges on the left hand side. Otherwise I am quite pleased with the effect.

Ch 6 sample 2 copySample ‘b’ – above

This one was slightly more straightforward. The first applied layer is pale blue on a dark blue – almost navy background, but the scanner has not reflected the colours well – perhaps because the gold is so bright.

ch 6 sample 3Sample ‘c’- above

This sample again presented me with some problems. In trying to fold the paper backed bondaweb along with the fabric I was then unable to cut such a complex design. In the end, not to be defeated, I removed the paper and simply cut through the folded glue backed fabric. This was fine till I tried to flatten it out. The glue had stuck together due partly to the warmth of my hands. Eventually most of it was straightened, but some at the top I had to give up on and just cut off. Although it changes the two way symmetry, in other aspects it creates an additional interest in the design.

When I came to iron on the cut out design though I found that the delicate lines had moved under the baking paper without my noticing and so it does not line up as well as I would have liked.

The page from my Sketchbook with these three designs framed is below.


Creation of ‘Scrappy Fabrics’ using bondaweb

Having made  up several samples for Chapter 7 already, I had a range of scraps to play with. I decided to make two samples that were based on a single colour and a third that was bright and bold, using a range of colours. I have put photographs of the materials in my sketchbook, since the pieces were not big and I want to be able to use them for designs.

scaps fabric 1 - Bold mixed10022018

Sample ‘d’ above.

This was the bright, bold one.


Sample ‘e’ – above 

This one is based on yellows and golds.

scaps-fabric-3-blue10022018.jpgSample ‘f’ – above 

This one based on blues.

Scrappy Fabrics into Bonded Designs.

These are the designs I created from the bonded fabrics I made.

page 3 scrappy fabric designs10022018

Sample ‘g’.

A simple repeat of an earlier asymmetrical design – though in practise these are very difficult to re-produce exactly!

Sample ‘h’.

This was a simple design using bright on bright. When I experimented with other background colours they felt washed out, so I went with the bright option.


Sample ‘i’. 


This was a repeat of a design in Chapter 2 – Star and Cross shapes from coloured paper. The original is pictured to the left. In transferring the design to the bondaweb I forgot to reverse it. So the resulting design is in reverse, and also the crosses are slightly fatter and more curved. It was mind bending to work out how to apply them in reverse! And the weaving added another complication.

Overall this chapter was not as difficult as I had anticipated and set me up well for Chapter 7 which I have worked at alongside this one.


Chapter 5

Fabric Selection and Decoration

Over the years I have gathered a variety of fabrics and rarely throw anything away. For this first module I have tried to use only what is to hand to keep down costs and to be creative. The only problem is that you list all kinds of fabrics, and for many of my samples I do not have a clue as to what they are called and what they are made of. I do know there are a range of cottons, some with slight patterning, various ‘chiffon’ type fabrics, some glitzy metallic looking pieces and probably no silk at all.

I had a good find when needing to make a padded surface to print on: I realised I had a spare piece of table protector with vinyl one side and soft felt on the reverse. It worked well.

Here are some small samples of my fabrics on the scanned page below:

(My sketch book pages are landscape, but I have chosen to leave them in this portrait form, rather than reduce the scale to help with the resolution issues. I am also now using my own computer and think the resolution may be slightly better anyway – I’d value your comments.)

Page 1 Fabric selection 09022018

Blue is the predominant colour in these fabrics, so I chose to print using yellow/ orange tones. When it came to my selection of paint – somewhat limited in acrylics – I eventually chose cadmium yellow, raw sienna and a metallic bronze. I also tried adding a medium to the first two, but not the last.

The printing presented a several issues…

  • I did not get good prints when I used the quantity of medium that was suggested on the bottle– the paint became too runny the colour was not distinct on the fabric.
  • Although there seemed to be a relatively high level of contrast between fabric and paint the prints were not always clear.
  • Raw sienna and bronze turned out to be pretty indistinguishable on the fabric, except that in certain lights the bronze has more sheen. So the two colours I thought would be close were not so useful in that respect and when printing with two colours I had to use the yellow as one of them; perhaps further apart than I would have liked.
  • I wish I had made smaller stamping images. The size of mine means that the resulting designs are not so useful for use in 10×10 cm samples.
  • Because the designs became relatively large I have photographed a much larger page of samples – probably about A2 and reduced it to use in this blog.

Below is a scan of a page with a picture of some of those printed samples and some of my threads. The quantity of the printed fabric was limited, and so I will use what I need for my samples and then place some real samples in the sketchbook when I see what I have left. The scanned fabrics have picked up a strange background patterning, presumably to do with the light on the scanner. With the threads, which I placed directly on the scanner, and covered them with heavy white paper. However the background still appears a bit grey.

Page 2 Final Thread & printed fabric 09022018

I hope there is enough info here for you to see what I have been doing. Chapters 6 should follow in the next day or two and chapter 7 is well on the way too.


Chapter 4 –

Black and White Shapes and Coloured Layers

Parts of this chapter were fun, other elements my brain did not want to connect with and I found very difficult. I’ll explain some of the issues as we go

ch4pg1.jpgSymmetrical shapes from black squares – above

My brain likes symmetry and this was fun, though I stretched the process by folding some of the squares on the diagonal, resulting in a triangle from which to cut my shapes.

ch4pg2.jpgMore complex symmetrical shapes

Working out more complex ways of folding the paper, diagramming what I did and deciding how to cut it was challenging, but I do like the results on this page. I find them very satisfying. The solid lines on the diagrams are the cut lines, and the dotted ones are folded edges.


Asymmetrical shapes cut from black squares

I found the top line very difficult to produce. I knew what I wanted it to look like, but I had real problems getting my brain to transfer that to paper and then knowing how to cut it out. It seems ridiculous, but there were many mistakes that had to be thrown away before i worked it out. I think part of the issue was still trying to fold the paper in some way and then use very simple cuts, but in the end I drew on the full square and cut out from that.

The other images on that page were simpler to produce, because I could fold and cut . I quite like the one on the bottom right that looks a bit like a mask.

ch4pg4.jpgAsymmetrical shapes cut from squares with more complex folds.

The top row uses shapes that are folded almost straight, but with increasingly complex numbers of folds and then in the third one there is also double the number of cut out triangles too.

In the bottom row the black square was folded roughly on the diagonal, resulting in a triangle from which to cut sections. The first is fairly symmetrical, the second done with crooked folds and the third again has many more folds and cuts – mirroring what I had done on the top row.

ch4pg5.jpgSymmetrical coloured layers

I found myself slightly limited again as a result of my choice of paints and patterns. As a result I needed to use some of my tissue paper sheets, which gave some challenges in sticking but also in not being overpowered by the stronger colours. With hindsight I would have done well to have produced some pastel colours, not just the purer deep ones that form much of my palate. I did consider painting more pages but the facilities available made that a complex option and I wanted to keep up the momentum of work having finally got to grips with it.

This page worked well in the end once I had got to grips with which colours and densities  worked best together.

ch4pg6.jpgLayering asymmetrical shapes, including negative space patterns.

Like the first page of the black and white asymmetrical shapes, my brain struggled to see how to achieve anything very interesting here. Partly because once more I had great difficulty actually cutting and drawing the shapes. This was particularly true for those that were symmetrical shapes that I was trying to arrange asymmetrically. I am not very happy with the top row, but the bottom row with three layers is more interesting.

ch4pg7.jpgFurther experiments with asymmetrical layering

The first of these images is perhaps the most unsatisfactory of what I have used for this chapter. The shapes themselves do not complement one another well and there is also insufficient contrast in the colours used. Perhaps one of the layers would have been better in paper rather than tissue, but I failed to find a combination that worked.

The rest are trials with more complex asymmetrical shapes which I quite like. Top right was not cut quite right – so finished up with an extra piece needing to be added to make the balance work. I also like the effects of the bottom row. The shapes are taken from the black and white asymmetrical images that gave me so much trouble earlier in the chapter. But now they are coloured and combined together in 3 layers on top of a coloured foundation piece. There are the same 3 shapes, but in different colours and arranged slightly differently. I am quite pleased with these, especially as the colour choice was even more limited by this point.

This chapter has surprised me. I had not expected it to be as difficult as some sections proved to be. The other side to that is that many pieces that I did not feel at all satisfied with when I first developed them grew on me when I reopened them. I think that has taught me a lesson about not being too quick to judge my own work.

Now I look forward to beginning to work with fabrics!


Chapter 3

Playing with shapes

As a teenager I loved accurate drawing in maths, and playing around with these shapes has taken me back. However I have been reminded just how difficult it is to keep the accuracy on all the lines and angles and in multiplying up the shapes some have become slightly warped. Perhaps in this more artistic setting I can persuade myself that can sometimes enhance the effects, rather than have my perfectionist streak beat my up.

I was away on holiday when I did the first part of this, with limited space in luggage and so just worked with black and white. Coloured pages follow for some of the other exercises.

Design Sheet A – comprises a combination of the next two images.

Symmetry, Asymmetry and Distortion

The white side of the page below shows counterchange and positive and negative images. I like the way a new shape appears in the centre of the 4 stars.

Then I worked with a different shape for the rest of this design segment, with the initial image and a variety of asymmetrical and distorted images on the second image and then a more complex repeat pattern on the black side of the page immediately below.

The shape on the extreme right on the second page, is part of the negative shape produced by the arrangement of the 4 ‘daggers’. I quite like that.

With the intersection of the 7 daggers, which arose from distorting the original image into a triangle I was disappointed that it did not tesselate further. I thought that by re-sizing it, so that 6 shapes would complete the circle the tessellations would work better. However this was not so. So either my mathematical assumptions were wrong, or I did not draw it accurately enough.



Design Sheet B

For the original shape I was bored with using the two stars inside one another, so adjusted the central element. Then for the scale and pattern I used large and small versions of the core negative space shape.

The border was not interesting enough when done with the stars, so I chose the central element in the original shape instead.

The linking shapes presented me with a real challenge and I played around for ages without being very satisfied with what I produced. In the end I gave up and simply presented what had arisen in the process.

The new shape from old was much more satisfying. I extended this further by using both a straight and a diagonal cross as the second shape, and then playing further with the direction of the cut out elements.



Design Sheet C

My hands are now so sore that I have reverted to use some commercially produced coloured paper, rather than the painted ones for this part of the exercise. I will explore getting some cotton gloves if we are going to continue to use painted papers in future.

This exercise I found to be the most satisfying of all that we have done thus far. Note that in the 3rd pattern on the top line the external and internal corner pieces have been reversed to give a slightly different pattern. in the simplified diamond pattern the corners are a mixture of the two styles – an experiment in using up the left over elements from the previous patterns.

The ‘kite’ pattern, taken from the negative space on the second shape was interesting to work with too. Then within the rows of kites you can find the negative space that gives rise to the shape used on the second page. I am intrigued at the way this concept grows: using negative space to produce a positive shape which then produces another interesting negative space. I guess this could go on and on!


ch3pg6.jpgI guess I could have done a lot more work here and it would be fun. But having got so far behind on my original time targets I will press on to the next chapter instead and come back and develop these if I need extra ideas for future aspects of this or other modules.


Chapter 2

Experiments with painted papers!

I’d never done anything like this before and it was a bit daunting. I got really confused about what colours to use. I’d have liked to try something different from the selection used in the examples, but couldn’t decide what would work. So in the end gave up in favour of at least beginning the process!

Brusho was easy to work with, though I was surprised just how much paint I needed, and in the end a small sponge seemed the easiest way to apply it. As a medium I really liked working with the Brusho. However as I am now handling lots of the papers (as I progress through chapter 3) I seem to be allergic to it and the skin is pealing off my fingers in big chunks. Still nearly there and then the work with the paper will be less intense.

Painting patterns

Most of the variegated patterns I produced were quite large which were fun, but something more subtle and less defined would have been more useful for some of the ongoing exercises.



Shapes from coloured papers

I had fun with this sheet, and was keen to develop some of the ideas further, but then realised that would follow in later chapters. The options for interlinking non symmetrical and different formats of similar shapes was particularly fascinating

ch2pg2.jpgCH2Pg3ch2pg4.jpgPrinted papers

These patterns too I could have developed much further, but wanted to balance some experimentation with progressing through the overall programme. Again I like the different effects produced by symmetrical and non symmetrical blocks.