Community Stitch Challenge week seven: Christine Chester
In recent times being part of a community has never felt more vital.
Through the TextileArtist.org Community Stitch Challenge you (along with a stitching family 18,000 others in the Facebook group) have connected with passionate and inventive people from all over the world.
You’ve shared your creative journey in ways you might never have done before.
You’ve been inspired by your fellow stitchers to try new things and experiment with how you approach your embroidery process.
And along the way you’ve inspired others too!
Which is why we want you to know…
We appreciate you!
The Community Stitch Challenge has been a real antidote to the current darkness of the world for our family.
In fact, the last six weeks have been one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had since we started TextileArtist.org way back in 2013. And we’ve really loved receiving so many messages of thanks and encouragement which continue to flood in!
“This whole experience has been an unbelievably positive focus in challenging times and the community of stitchers involved have been generous, supportive and enriching!”
“After a long period of drifting I have my stitching mojo back. The work you all are doing is keeping stitchers from all over the world together and inspired.”
“I just want to express my full appreciation for all you have done for me and thousands of stitchers around the world. It has been an amazing journey expanding my knowledge, skill and appreciation of the many ways to express oneself in textile art! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
The seven week stitch
Isolation is doing funny things to our perception of time. The end of March feels like just days ago and yet a hundred years seem to have passed!
Anyway, March was when we kicked off the first TextileArtist.org Community stitch challenge. And since then you’ve shared in the expertise and passion of seven amazing textile artists.
And the final free stitch challenge comes to you from Christine Chester.
Who is Christine Chester?
Christine is a textile artist and teacher who has had her work shown in an individual gallery space at Festival of Quilts in 2015, and along with other artists in the unFOLD galleries at Knitting & Stitching show in 2016, and Festival of Quilts in 2018. She is an active member of Quilt Art, the international quilt group and a founder member of unFOLD, the textile art group.
Starting out teaching at an art college, she collected a huge portfolio of processes both with print and stitch. Christine says, “I learned early on that I preferred to make the process relevant to the piece rather than make work fit the process.”
And her inspired work often includes paper, acrylic media and paints as well as thread and fabric. Christine made the leap to set up her own textile teaching studio while also taking on a Masters Degree which broadened her outlook, knowledge and contextual understanding of her ‘craft’ and her confidence.
Now, as well as teaching and creating work to exhibit, Christine also develops fabrics and quilts as couture interior design textiles.
What is this week’s challenge?
Your challenge this week is inspired by Christine’s approach to embedding stitch as a layer into the hand dyed and printed fabrics she uses in her work. For Christine, “stitching is mark making and the stitches used should therefore be compatible with the marks that are already on the fabric”.
When working with printed and dyed marks, it is very tempting to use stitch to simply follow the lines and shapes already on the fabric. However, there are often fabrics that we love, that we want to stitch into, where following the edges of shapes would be difficult, or not particularly inspiring.
This week’s challenge will give you the tools to draw or reveal curves in endlessly inventive ways using straight lines and straight stitches only.
Watch the video now to see Christine explain the stitch challenge in more detail and don’t forget to download the accompanying workbook to follow the step-by-step instructions.
What to do next
- Download the workbook for Christine’s challenge here
- Join the Community Stitch Challenge Facebook Group now
- Discover more about Christine’s textile art here
- Got questions for Christine but don’t want to join the Facebook group? No worries! Leave a comment below.