Cutting & Sticking & Drawing with Thread

I’ve been playing around with collage & experimenting with drawing with my sewing machine:

mini collage teacups
mini collage heart
mini collage flower
mini collage empty your cup

If I was a *proper* crafty blogger, I would have step by step photos of what I did! But I’m not, so I’ll just have to tell you. I started off with an A4-ish sized piece of white muslin and, using a diluted PVA glue mixture, stuck down various bits and pieces. There’s velvet, scrim, threads, book pages, a cake wrapper and some of the momigami paper I made the other day. Once this had dried for 24 hours, I took it over to my sewing machine & after separating sections off with lines of straight stitches, I practiced a bit of drawing with thread, using free motion stitching. It was kind of random and uplanned ;-). Once I had finished “drawing” I cut the collage into the four individual pieces. I clearly need a lot more practice at the thread drawing, but it was fun.

If you’re wondering why the bottom one says “empty your cup” – it’s a reference to this Zen story:

A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”

Sometimes, we need to empty our cups before we can learn something new. I like to remind myself sometimes!

Linking up to the Show Me What You Got Art Linkup.

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26 thoughts on “Cutting & Sticking & Drawing with Thread

  1. lynnsweeney says:

    very nice and inspiring! thank you for sharing.

  2. Janet says:

    The cups look great! I can’t even imagine doing that with my sewing machine…I’d make a complete mess of it.

  3. Sherry says:

    Excellent freeform stitching. I haven’t made it beyond a freeform stitched circle. Thanks for sharing info on how you made the pieces. I Love the Zen quote!

  4. Cool! I want to try sewing machine embroidery, too.

  5. gonerustic says:

    Love the process you’ve used here – great results too! =D

    • vivjm says:

      Thanks. It is based on the process Cas Holmes describes in her book “The Found Object in Textile Art” although she uses diluted wallpaper paste – I may try that next time!

  6. franion says:

    Love these and your writing.Many thanks.

  7. Mary Walker says:

    Drawing with thread in that much detail must take a practiced hand. Thanks for sharing the zen story I have a cup on my “lovely artist” painting but didn’t understand why I did it, now I can imagine the butterflies coming out of it. Hope to see you again at next Wednesday’s SMWYG art linkup!

    • vivjm says:

      I love a cup of tea & often find myself doodling cups, so maybe that is why I like the Zen story so much and was compelled to draw cups with my sewing machine!

  8. Jan says:

    I really like the depth and texture machine stitiching adds to a page. This would make a great book cover!

  9. NatashaMay says:

    Lol! I never take in progress photos either. I have to make extra effort for it and I just don’t feel like it. 🙂 Collage looks great! I wish I knew how to free stitch with the machine. 🙂

    • vivjm says:

      Thanks Natasha – it never occurs to me to do in progress shots until afterwards 😉
      Free stitching with the machine isn’t difficult as long as you have a machine where you can drop the feed dogs.

  10. clare says:

    Beautiful mixed media works. Looks like you enjoyed every little moment of this project

  11. Suzy says:

    I’ve just come over from Mary Walkers SMWYG art link up. Just love your collage of paper and fibers and your stitching/thread drawing on top of it all! Fantastic. Love it! I’m a new follower, hope you’ll come over and visit me when you get a chance.

  12. Andria says:

    These are amazing! I really, really love them, Viv! If you are looking for an interested and appreciative recipient, well….just sayin’! 🙂 This is exactly the kind of thing I have been wanting to try.

I will reply to comments here on the blog, so please check back if you are looking for a response! I love hearing from you x

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