Stitch, Stitch, Stitch
A Doodle Cloth Is …
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an expert embroider, a doodle cloth or trial cloth, is an essential tool to have at hand. It has several purposes: to try out stitches to see if you like them or not; to practise stitches to get familiar with them before using in a project; to compare the effects that different weights and types of threads have on a stitch; to show others how to do a particular stitch; to have a record of the various stitches tried for reference.
My Doodle Cloth
My doodle cloth is muslin which is easy to stitch on. It can be hooped easily or can be stitched on freely as is.
The Magnet Tip
One of the tips I learned many years ago, is to attach a magnet to the cloth to hold needles. There are lots of fancy needle holders on the market, but I rely on the sturdy earth magnets that are cheaper and just as good. Sandwich the fabric between two of them and you are good to go.
Doodle Cloth On Silk Noil
In 2005 – 2008, I took a three year, five level hand embroidery course. It was very comprehensive and I learned a lot. One of the projects was to take 30 different stitches and work them using different weights of threads and yarns. I used three different colour combinations for mine. The ground fabric is Raw Silk, also known as Silk Noil. This is a slightly nubby fabric with random flecks in a natural off-white colour, has a slightly rough feel and drapes gently. It’s perfect for clothing and for stitch doodling, as you can see below.
A drop of water got spilled on some of the red threads and the dye ran into the fabric. Lesson learned: test the colour fastness of red threads!
Doodle Cloth On Linen
Here’s more thread doodling on linen, using an original design based on Elizabethan embroidery. The object was to use many different stitches and to have the back as neatly done as possible.
Doodle Cloth On Felt
Here’s my felt doodle piece.
Royal School of Needlework Stitch Bank
One of the stitch sites I frequent is the Royal School of Needlework Stitch Bank, in Great Britain. In fact, I have a short cut on my desktop. The following excerpt is directly there:
‘The Royal School of Needlework has created the RSN Stitch Bank to mark its 150th anniversary and continue its founding mission to preserve the art of hand embroidery. The RSN Stitch Bank aims to digitally conserve and showcase the wide variety of the world’s embroidery stitches and the ways in which they have been used in different cultures and times.
There are currently 200 hand embroidery stitches in the RSN Stitch Bank. ‘Each stitch entry contains information about its history, use and structure as well as a step-by-step method with photographs, illustrations and video’
The RSN Stitch Bank is an ongoing project. More stitches will be added regularly and the RSN will be working with partners around the world to include stitches from different traditions.’