Thinking About a Screen, and Back to Stitch

Today I wanted to start drawing up some ideas for potential screen print designs, which could be on products such as tea towels or canvas tote bags. I just tried a few motifs which I came up with looking through my drawing book.


I started with a couple of designs using the brittle star imagery, and I’m really happy with these, as I feel they capture the movement of the creatures perfectly.

I then tried a design using the mermaid’s purse motif, which I’m really happy with, I think due to the spiralled stem on each corner. This might be a little too busy for its intended purpose, but I’ll definitely keep playing with these.

I also had a play with the idea of mixing the text in with the illustrations here with some barnacles. I don’t love the outcome of this, but its a good start.


I’ve been back into the stitch room to try to create some samples, which are relatively solid ready for Dr Miller’s visit this week. Blue mussels are something which I have done quite a bit of experimentation with and I really enjoy stitching them out. I feel that I have mastered an effect that I am happy with now, so hopefully there shouldn’t be too much more needed here.

I appliqued some barnacles on and around the mussels with some white cotton, and I think this finishes the sample perfectly. I’m really happy with this stylistic approach in representing my first hand inspiration.

Some of these stars are appliqued with a thin white organza. This was so fiddly and difficult, and while I was cutting them out I was thinking that this is definitely something that I wouldn’t do again! However I was happy with what they looked like once I had stitched into them. I also did others without an applique fabric and just as an outline, which I actually really prefer because I feel that there was more freedom of the line, and they look much more natural and organic.
I tried to create some texture with both a ‘zig zag’ pattern on the legs, and then by adding hair like lines on the lengths of the legs. I feel that the latter was the most successful, but I do quite like the combination.

I also had a little play with the lettering on the electronic machine again, and I tried coloured thread as well as the black. I still think the black is the most successful, because the wording is much clearer, and here I also trimmed the thread between each letter, which makes a big difference.
I’m still undecided as to whether this is my preferred technique over the free embroidered letters or not.



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