Sunday, February 18, 2018

new stitching + watercolor obsession!

ok, so everyone knows that i love to watercolor with colorburst pigment powders, and i've done quite a few pieces where i used machine stitching on top, either as an accent or an outline, usually with black thread. but last week on instagram my friend tammy started posting some amazing abstract creations on which she stitched first... with white thread... and then added ink or paint on top and let it color the stitches as well as the background. so of course i had to try it. a few times, actually! ;)

my first creation involved freestyle leaves, painted with pthalo, chartreuse and turquoise colorburst with a cornflower blue background. i feel like i overworked/overmixed the color a bit, but experiments are for learning, afterall!

here's what that piece looked liked before i added the color, just so you can see, i really did use plain white watercolor paper and thread.

 (a quick note about paper: you definitely need to be on a nice heavy watercolor paper for this! i like strathmore's yellow tablets, from the big box crafting store. they're good quality without being extravagant, i feel like i can play around and "ruin" a few pieces while i'm figuring out how to do something.)

my second creation went a bit manic-botanic! this time one of the things i learned is that the thread doesn't necessarily wick up the color in any predictable way. so if you have ANY combination of colors that might make brown --or a really dark brownish purple-- such as alizarin crimson and turquoise-- even if they aren't next to each other, they might mix unevenly. which i kind of like, actually, now that i know it's going to happen.

my third creation was made specifically to be able to use the BACK of the paper, because i noticed in the course of the first two that the colorburst would saturate the stitching on the reverse, without showing through on the paper. 

like this:

cool, right? i'm not sure what i'm going to do with this piece of knowledge, but i'm excited about it. i also like the fact that if my piece gets a little too wet i can blot off the excess with a piece of book paper, and that the stitching with act sort of stamp-like. 

as it did here:

again, i have no idea what significance these facts will have in future --if any-- but i'm enjoying the exploration of this process, so i'm pretty sure you'll see this again.

i hope your weekend did not hold too much snowfall,
and that you will find time to do some creative experimenting today!


  1. Stunning! Great work, Lauren, Jo x

  2. Manic-Bontanic ... sounds like an 80's alternative band (which happens to be our Pandora station for this morning) ... love them all and your amazing stitching details.

  3. Freaking amazing! Love these...especially the patience and skill it took to sew the designs.

  4. Oooh - EXCELLENT. These are amazing. What a very clever idea :-D xx


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