Below you will find a workshop that I wrote for the last Workshop on the Web – before we turned it into the WOWbook. It seems appropriate to offer it again at this time when we have more time for some stitching fun. Here it is – take up the challenge – you can use my six ingredients or choose your own.

I thought it would be fun if we all selected six of our favourite ‘ingredients’ from the stash’n’store treasure trove and see how they might be put together in different ways. I’m not suggesting that you use all six in a single piece of work – just have a play and see what happens. I am also just showing techniques, not finished pieces: that’s part of the challenge.

  • A Stencil – plastic is best
  • Lutradur 70
  • Lutradur 50
  • Water-soluble paper – there’s a surprise
  • Vilene – the usual, S80 – obviously
  • Paint – I’ve used a variety

Shadow Work

I have always loved shadow work – the technique where you trap a shape or use a void between two pieces of fabric. This is a variation based on Lutradur. The piece of Lutradur (70) was placed on baking paper and damped with a brush of water.

I didn’t want it too heavily coloured so Koh-I-Noor paint seemed a good candidate for the job and I mixed it with plenty of water. (Lutradur always knocks back the colour in the paint anyway.) This was then left to dry.


The next step was to place the stencil over S80 Vilene and draw in the shapes with a brush pen to give them slightly more definition. These shapes were then cut out with small sharp scissors. Pay attention to where you are cutting so you don’t lose lumps of the stencil.

I cut away the base of the tree to leave the trunk. The plan was to trap this shape between a layer of Lutradur and a backing fabric, yet to be decided.



After trying various painted and printed backgrounds, none of which pleased me greatly, I finally settled on newspaper. I crumpled a piece of newsprint which had a good mix of text and colour (what passes for a fashion page in our local paper) and laid it on felt as a good base for stitch. Crumpling the paper makes it soft and raggy and less likely to tear.

I placed two of the tree cut-outs on top of the paper and fused the Lutradur over the top. Take care with the heat of the iron, you don’t want the Lutradur to crumple.


As you can see below, this gave a good effect and now my task was to add simple hand stitching to highlight some (not all) of the branches. I also tacked the outer area, beyond the stitches, to hold it down so that straight lines of machine stitch could be worked. Without tacking, the stiffness of the Lutradur causes it to buckle.


Further lines of straight stitching were completed and will probably be enhanced with hand stitching between the rows before the edged are burnt. You can see the finished sample at the beginning of this post.

Tomorrow I will post about the next stage in the challenge.


Corona Challenge