Excess dye from Shibori (Indigo) prints was used to create a background surface pattern for many of my print and stitch samples.

Utilising my new found technical skills learned within my Stitch workshops, I began by embellishing the surface of these detailed accidental designs. However, before the embellishment process began, I made sure the stitch would securely decorate the material I was using; an iron-on stabiliser was used to back and strengthen the material.


Free-machine stitch was now used upon the strengthened material, but an embroidery hoop was not necessary on this occasion. My Bernini 330 was slowly, but surely becoming my new best friend.

Inspiration came from a range of different lichens that I had found on rocks, trees and by means of the internet. The patterns found within this amazing living organism could surmount to a lifetimes worth of inspiration.

Embellishing the surface with Straight machine stitch, and using a fantastic Blue Guterman thread to create a harmonising colour palette with the original Indigo dye print.



I thoroughly loved the initial design incorporating the blue thread, but wanted to dedicate the pattern further to that found within my lichen source material. Straight machine was used to create the blue pattern and a narrow zig zag stitch was used to embellish the contrasting gold thread.

Magic tape was placed upon the back of the sample, measured out and finished with pinking shears. I wanted to sample to look as professional as possible. However, I realised that I had not purchased any sample mount headers or professional black card. What could I do? I remembered I still had a flyer, given to me by Helen, from a company called Morplan, a company selling every craft product you could imagine!! An order was placed for next day delivery….phewww.


Using Indigo dye, from a Shibori session with Cath Davies, as background surface pattern. Textures and patterns found within the excess dye print reminded me of the intricate detail found within the bark of a tree. I was instantly reminded of the stitch tutorial my Mother, Carolyn Thomas, had given me not a week prior; cloud filling stitch would be embellished across the whole surface. The pattern and use of colour would serve as the major focal point of this chosen surface pattern design.


Again, due to the fragile nature of the Hospital paper, I backed the paper with an iron-on stabiliser. Next came the mathematical part!! I had to measure out individual dots, which would later serve as the stitch hole to create the structure needed for the cloud filling stitch. Each individual line had to be offset to the previous, which would enable the wonderful pattern to grow. I used an 100% Organic Hemp yarn.

Once the structural/securing stitch was laid down, the embellishment aspect of the stitch was commenced.

I had no idea how time consuming the technique/process would take; 4 hours in total!!! Sore fingers. Colours used were specifically chosen to both harmonise and contrast. The stabiliser was a god send, the paper would have ripped apart without it. The one problem I now had? The design kept curling up at the corners. How would I rectify this? Placing it under my A2 folder, topped off with a rather heavy box. It stayed under there for 3 days. If the problem arose again, I would attach the sample to card using double sided tape.

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