Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Teaching Tuesday: Grand Designs and Endless Vistas

If you recall, last week we were stitching imaginary landscapes with lots of lovely textured stitching. This week, I can reveal what we've been working towards!

We started off by playing a quick game of landscape consequences. I trialed the idea at home, with Mr Gonecycling and the Girl, and to be honest while it was helpful in establishing that it could work as a fun exercise to generate ideas for landscapes, the ideas that came out of it from the pair of them were VERY disturbing. Girl drew a giant standing on top of a hill shouting "World domination!" and Mr G drew some bleak blank-windowed concrete bunkers and observation towers surrounded by razor wire...

The ladies in class created altogether more pleasing and bucolic landscapes and vistas:

although where the penguins came from we're not sure (look closely...)

The grand plan for all of this was to attempt a series of "endless landscapes". There was an article about this in Stitches magazine (no 78 Aug/Sept 2012) and I even managed to hunt down a set of cards. There are 24 cards altogether, and they say that they can be arranged in 1,686,553,615,927,922,354,187,720 combinations "including the permutations that only use 23 cards, 22 cards and so on". I haven't tried this nor counted them.

So we took our trusty template (much simplified from the Stitches article), had a "discussion" about whether I'd drawn the lines in the right place (!) and set about blocking out the colours and shapes of our landscapes. We started to stitch from the sky then coming forwards ie the furthest hills were stitched first, as the details in the foreground need to be appliqued and stitched over the background.

Here is how we started off:

These are my fabrics, roughly positioned - I love this arrangement but stupidly didn't take the backing paper off my Bondaweb rectangle before I started to play, so I had to move them all in order to fuse them in place...doh!

As you can see, the template is very simple. We decided that as long as the horizons matched up at either edge, all would be well. We added a few extra lines between the horizon and the first landscape line, as it was pointed out that features of a landscape are further together when further away...We also decided against an urban landscape, as the softer contours of a natural landscape are "easier" to stitch :) Oh yes, one final decision - the time of day to be roughly midday, so we wouldn't end up with random sunsets or sunrises or three suns!

And here is where we have got to by the end of term:


Morag, again...






I think you'll agree, they look stunning! More than anything, we are all amazed that my Grand Designs have worked and they all match up (there were doubts that we would pull it off...) and I think we can conclude that we have achieved! Hooray.

Some of the above are not quite finished, and there are others still to be completed. However, we had a bit of a "do" for our last Wednesday class ie we didn't have one - when I went to collect the key for the village hall, the "key lady" had gone out for the evening! So no class, and no stitching, but a nice cup of tea at Christine's house. Needless to say we are in a new venue from January!*

* details of all classes are on my website. If you are local to Uckfield and would like to join us - we'd love to have you!


  1. Those are fab, really impressive, well done to all of the class and to you, it sets ideas going in my head!

  2. That could be some sort of Global Challenge Iz.

  3. What a fabulous idea and great results!

  4. These are fabulous, I've never seen a continuous landscape before & your works brilliantly. I loved learning all about whip & feather stitch in your last post, too, one day I'll have the guts to try it....

  5. I love this idea - I think I'm going to 'borrow' it and have a play over Christmas :-)


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