Saturday, 9 February 2019

Boro Beginnings - more serendipity

I have been wanting to try 'boro style' stitching - hoping to create textured backgrounds from fragments of cloth, on which to create stitched designs. I hoped to produce bags, notebook covers, needlebooks etc - all entirely hand-stitched. I have experienced a temporary change in stitching direction since my last post! I have fractured my right wrist - a slip in the snow whilst out for my daily walk and photo session. I think I have some lovely snowy images but an unwelcome legacy!

I am very grateful to the team on duty at my local A&E who managed a successful manipulation of the fracture and enabled me to avoid surgery. The fracture clinic staff have also been brilliant. A young nurse, who completed the 'half plaster' for me, earned a sideways 'pointed stare' from a senior colleague for commenting on how beautiful the colours and patterns of the bruising round my elbow are. I wasn't offended in the least - I would be very happy to create a paint effect or marbling pattern resembling the bit I can see of the 'natural art work'.

So single-handed, left-handed stitching for a right-handed sewer! I have at least 6 weeks to perfect the technique! I managed to secure a panel of fabric to the webbing on a tapestry frame - my tacking good enough to achieve a reasonable tension. I found I can iron fabric one handed, struggled to pin scraps in place - coaxing my injured hand to help me, and so began stitching. A needle held upright in a ball of thread - light from the window behind the eye of the needle, was threaded - after several attempts. I need to work from both sides of the frame. I can place the entry of the stitch (with increasing accuracy), I then need to draw the thread through and stab the return of the stitch back from the wrong side. A slow process but one in which I am increasingly able to achieve a pleasant and very triumphal rhythm. I am using fairly long lengths of thread in an attempt to reduce the very frustrating re-threading of the needle!

I tend to be very 'finnicky' with my normal right-handed work. I hoped for something a little more 'rustic' from this form of darning. It turns out that 'rustic' is an affect which my left hand manages brilliantly!! I am gradually becoming more precise in my stitching but hope not to become too accomplished! The background produced will then be embellished to form a bag for my own use. I have no intention of allowing the embellishment to hide much of the irregular stitching of which I am so ridiculously proud!