Stitching Burlap

In art, all materials are grist for the mill. When I was at SAS Fabric Superstore the other day, I saw some sage burlap and decided it had potential. I’ve seen over-dyed pink and yellow burlap, but the sage color was new, so it came back to the studio.

Tonight, I decided to work with it–no expectations, no project in mind. Just working to see what I can do with it, using what I know how to do.

Digging through my stash, I found some thread and some embroidery floss that worked well with the burlap. I cut a piece about 10 inches by 4 inches. To make the edges even, I pulled some of the woven threads out to create a fringed edge. Eventually, the edge will have to be sewn so it won’t unravel, but that’s not now.

Threading the blue embroidery thread, I followed a thread across the fabric, weaving under and over, adding a thread to the loose weave. It’s quite easy.

Another piece of embroidery thread is run through, this one is joined with a piece of orange thread. The blue thread was put in first. Then I used a double thread and wove it on either side of the blue. Because the space is getting filled, I pull out a burlap thread to make room for the weaving.

I continued doing this, making sure that I don’t try to do very precise patterns, because burlap isn’t a precise materials.

To give the piece more interest and a less stripey look, I pull some pearl cotton mixed with orange thread through in the other direction.  I love this look, because it has a lot of potential. It’s geometric, and fun. Perhaps I’ll back it with a heavier material and turn it into a journal cover. We’ll see.

As always, I’m open to all clever suggestions.

Quinn McDonald is having fun with non-paper materials. She’s astonished at herself.

11 thoughts on “Stitching Burlap

  1. My mother did her first piece of needlepoint on burlap because she couldn’t afford the fancy needlepoint canvas. She used regular knitting wool she’d un-plied instead of the expensive needlepoint wools. It worked amazingly well, and I’ve always been tempted to try this myself, just to see how it would come out.

    • Really? I want to buy a cheap printer so I can work with it without fear. Right now I have one printer and want to treat it respectfully. I’d love to send the burlap through the printer, but it is mighty fuzzy.

  2. Back it with Peltex and make a box? It would be easy to make a floral design, too, with a bunch of long crossed stitches–I’m sure you would know how from your embroidery days.

    Of course, what I really see is an inset into the side panel of a purse. That may be because I’m obsessed lately with the idea of making my own purses, thanks to Threads. Evil geniuses that they are . . .

  3. Somewhere I have a book cover I made using just this technique. Try pulling out a few threads and weaving with narrow ribbon too – satin ribbon contrasts beautifully with the matte finish of the burlap.

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