Since I do have time in my 2-month-per-Project scheme, I decided to do a sample with the filling stitches. I really wanted to play around with the stone circles I sketched back in June. These came from a mini roundabout in my town. I really liked how just by putting the ‘stones’ in wherever goes easiest in the circles that get larger and larger your eye naturally starts to see ‘spokes’.

I chose green cotton fabric from curtains that I was making for a salon and decided to use old ripped holdups to dull down the green. The wool I used was variegated in a roughly mossy colour scheme. I like how the pops of brighter, less realistic colour, like pink, actually highlight the colours so it seems more vivid.

The ‘stones’ are in a simple satin stitch and I worked each stone before moving onto the next so that they look uniform rather than stripy. I was ridiculously pleased with the result:

I let it loosen from the frame as I had expected that the stretched hold-up fabric would cause it to pucker, but it laid perfectly smoothly – I guess the satin stitching evened out the tension.

I think what I like most about the sample, other than the colours which are very definitely ‘me’ with their muted vibe, is the juxtaposition between the shine of the background and the rough bulk of the wool stones. I also like how the rips of the nylon make the whole thing look more organic and give extra interest in the background. I really love it. I originally thought I’d fill in the gaps with french knots but thought the sample looked good without them. Then I had a chat to myself and thought I should at least TRY them,  since it might look even better and anyway – this is a sample not a finished piece, and I can’t keep treating samples like they are a finished artwork!
In the meantime I thought I’d see what a bit of french knitting looked like weaved between the stones (though I didn’t stitch it down, its good to see the effect though).

 Heres with some french knots added (in a blended navy/black cotton if you’re interested). I thought I’d be putting them in more densely but as soon as I’d started in the centre I realised it wasn’t doing anything for the textile. The thing I loved (the matt against the shine, and the definition of the stones) was being lost and marred by the knots. I kept going to see what a few different densities did but I know I prefer without the french knots. At least I tried though and I’m glad I did.

Kim Debling is a Hampshire, UK based designer and Director of her own company Kestrel Design Ltd. She is mum to Rose and Harvey and wife to her best friend Steve. ¬†She’s fighting off Stage 4 Lymphoma and sharing her story along the way, mainly via YouTube. Kim is passionate about being happy, mental wellbeing and in particular art and creative pursuits as therapy during tough times. She teaches online at Udemy, has published books and has art and printables available for sale.

Project 2, Stage 5 Sample was last modified: April 30th, 2015 by Kim Debling