Asagao & Couching – Alison Glass Stitch Club

Asagao & Couching – Alison Glass Stitch Club

The focus this month in the Alison Glass Stitch Club was couching, which is all about laying thread on top of the fabric. Originally developed so all of a precious thread would be seen, rather than stitched partly under the fabric, couching is now used for all sorts of thread and yarn.

I have to say, I am not a fan! It just doesn’t appeal, but the beauty of this Club is that Alison finds so many different versions of a stitch, there is bound to be one for everyone. And I found two – Asagao, which is a Japanese weaving stitch, and embroidered daisies.

Asagao is made by first stitching a grid of cross stitches. I used the plastic templates from The Geometry of Hand Sewing by Natalie Chanin to mark out the grid. Then thread is woven between these stitches. I used a varigated Aurifil 12 weight and think the finished result is so pretty.

I sewed the embroidered panel into a pouch, as a gift for my eldest nephew’s fiance.

For the daisies, I had a pack of Paint Box Threads in Vintage, from Beyond Measure. It’s a gorgeous mix, with my favourite chartreuse giving a pop of colour. I’m not sure what the plan is for this one – I’ll just keep stitching it!

Kantha – Alison Glass Stitch Club

Kantha – Alison Glass Stitch Club

I was looking for some slow stitching inspiration earlier in the year, and heard about the Alison Glass Stitch Club on Instagram.

For 6 months, members are sent a pdf magazine. A different stitch style is featured each month, with articles, beautiful photography, project tutorials and plenty of links for further reading.

We looked at Kantha first. I’ve enjoyed hand quilting in this style before, but never made it the main feature of a project, and I absolutely loved stitching this.

Alison’s project suggestion involved stitching different coloured strips together, so it was great for using up some scraps. Some of the strips are pieced from several fabrics. Then the stitching is done in complementary colours over each strip.

My first project was to make a bed cover for Hetty – which she seems very happy with!

I didn’t want to stop there, so I made a cushion for my Mum in her favourite colours. It was a very enjoyable month, and exactly the inspiration I was looking for.

Emily Notman workshop

Emily Notman workshop

I’ve admired Emily Notman’s work for ages, so when I saw she was teaching at the gorgeous Make at Monteray I booked myself a place.  Emily uses mixed media and embroidery to build up her beautiful landscapes.  It’s a different style to anything I’ve done before, so I was excited (and a bit nervous) to give it a go.

We spent the first part of the morning printing on white cotton fabric with ink, paint and bleach, using household and found objects.  I was surprised to find I loved doing this!

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Then we made mini landscapes, to practice the techniques.  Which are secret – shh!

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In the afternoon we assembled our main pieces using our printed fabric, combined with lace and other fabrics.  And we began to embroider the landscapes – I’ve got a long way to go with this one.

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Those little green chips are sequin trimmings!  Joy!

It was a lovely day.  Karen provides such a great experience – with delicious biscuits and cake too.  I always come away feeling like I’ve had such a relaxing day, as well as learning new techniques. 

Make at Monteray is near Exeter in Devon.  Workshops always get booked up very quickly and a long time ahead, so if you see something you like, go for it!