Collaborating on an S4L Book Thong

Stitching for Literacy book thong sample

The theme for these squares was “circles and squares.” I’ve always loved creating circles in counted thread techniques because it’s fitting a round object in a square hole.

You know how I love to marry two seemingly unrelated ideas? And how I enjoy making connections between seemingly unrelated ideas? It happens all the time in my writing. I might need to make an idea fit a theme, or I might get suggestions from a critique partner or editor or client that I want to incorporate. Collaboration fosters the melding of ideas.

Every time we alter an embroidery pattern—changing colors, pulling out and combining elements from different patterns, finishing a piece in a manner different from what is demonstrated—we are essentially collaborating with the designer. Unexpected and wonderful things can come from this.

I remember seeing one of our Let There Be Night Stitchlings stitched in brown thread on a white opalescent background. My first thought was “That’s not at all what I had in mind,” maybe even “that’s weird; who would think of such a choice?” But the reality was that it was not only beautiful, but interesting and even appropriate. The opalescent white fabric looked and felt like snow shimmering in the moonlight. The brown needlework felt and looked like an old-time sepia photo. I wish I had taken a picture of it.

Pattern starts for book thongs.

Collaborate with me to create 10×10 squares for Stitching for Literacy book thongs.

A few months ago, while visiting Karen (Arctic Needle) and preparing for a guild meeting the following day, we collaborated on some 10 x 10 squares for the Stitching for Literacy Book Thong project. We each started a pencil doodle (or three) on a piece of graph paper, then traded and completed each others doodle for a 10 x 10 pattern for the bookmarks. Karen pushed me toward asymmetry, and I liked the result.

We had so much fun with the project, we had all members do it at the guild meeting the following day. I wouldn’t call all the results slam dunks, but several were—I’ve stitched a few. Best of all, it was interesting and surprising, and I again felt pushed to create something I would never have come up with on my own. I like that feeling!

I’d like to do the same here. I’m going to offer some starts to possible 10 x 10 designs for the four squares on the base book thong, as well as some starting themes and stitch ideas. I’d like you to finish them. Download the Stitching for Literacy 10×10 Collaboration pdf, print, and complete.

Take a picture of your finishes (sketched or stitched) and tell me what you think of them. Was it fun? Do you like any of the results?


Book Thong Base

Need to download the book thong base? Do it!

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