AnneLawsonArt My art work Texture

SAL ~ starting on the next cliff

Welcome to this Stitch-A-Long, hosted by Avis. At the end of this post there are links to wonderful stitchers, who all do such amazing work. Do have a look.

You may remember that I had almost finished my work on the cliff at Portsea. I say almost, because the trunk was annoying me ~ it wasn’t quite right. I got lots of good advice, which would solve the problem. Unfortunately, I haven’t done anything about it, except think “I must finish that off”! Once something is finished it is hard to go back to. I think it is the process I love rather than the finished product. Do you find that?

So, in case you missed it, here is the cliff, almost finished.

Contemporary textile

Now, let’s move onto the next one.

But first, some background for newcomers. In June I was lucky enough to have a month as an artist-in-residence at Portsea, a small holiday town right down on the tip of Port Phillip Bay. You can read about my first week, and see some of the art ideas I played with. 

I came across the most wonderful cliffs that glowed in the afternoon light. They inspired me down there, and now, through the tapestry and embroidery work, are my way back into a creative practice. These are some of the little studies I did while I was at Portsea.

I have always been fascinated, if not slightly obsessed with rocks and cliffs, and it is good to be finally creating works based on them. This time I am using material, poplin, as background, rather than tapestry canvas.

The first step was to mark out the 20 x 20 cm square, and roughly stitch where the main crevices are going to go.


Then the fun begins! I have couched along the yarns, following the direction of the marks, but also adding in random waves to create the look of the crevices. The colour of this material is awfully difficult to photograph correctly. The first photo shows the true colour.


A close up. The colours of the threads are rather washed out too. They are more vivid in real life.


I hope you can tell that the effect I am after is to show the dark and light striations with the different coloured yarns.


I must give a shout out to Margaret. She has so many delightful stitching projects on the go that she blogged about how she organises her materials for each creation. She inspired me to put all my threads and bibs and bobs for this piece in a box! How sensible! You can also see that I have added quite a few more layers, and the colours are more accurate.


Thanks for dropping by. I hope to see you in a couple of weeks with the next instalment.

Lots of lovely work to see at these blogs. Be inspired!

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharonDaisyAnneConnie


41 replies on “SAL ~ starting on the next cliff”

I think I can relate to: “yep that’s done…no wait, what about that bit you couldn’t decide on…oh another time…I’ll come back to thee” – says her who is still dithering with the “pink book” – oh what “pink book” me “now not sure, did I actually have more than one “pink book” (besides the one I did finish…)

Now, today I had move some thing to so something else, and realised that something I purchased from an op-shop I hadn’t really looked at…some pile of paper (nice paper) had been used, possibly by a child, so I decided to cut around the printed design…and then somewhere I thought, “rather than find a box for new bits, I would collage all of the bits onto another page”. Actually ended up at the coffee dye-shed and the pieces look interesting…but the print out was a complete change of colourway – have no idea how that happened…was it me trying to make the 8×8 collage into A4 size or something to do with printer…anyway all good!

love your new idea on the cliff…the actual photo of the cliff reminds me of hokey pokey sweet…


Thanks for the shout-out, glad to be of help 🙂 It’s interesting watching how an embroidery develops, how different people work, you have some gorgeous threads for couching, love all the colours you’ve introduced.


After what you said about the trunk of the tree, I kept going back and looking at it again and again until it suddenly hit me – it’s ‘just’ white. Would it be possible to put in some shading stiches over the top? Apologies, I have no idea what the craft is like so no idea what’s possible and what isn’t.
Re the rocks/striations…gorgeous! And I really love your water colour sketches too.


Stitching over the top may be a good solution. I was going to dye some thread, and maybe my mind was thinking “too much hassle”. I will turn you into a crafty person yet!
Thanks for you feedback on the work. I liked the watercolour, but couldn’t get the look I was after. This textile piece is working much better.


I know what you mean about going back to something that is ‘finished’ but needs a tweak. For me it is like mending – and I want to go on to the new project. The sketches for the next cliff are brilliant and the stitching really catches the sense of the strata. I will look forward to seeing it develop.


The bright and shiny and new is always more attractive! I hope your mending pile will diminish soon ☺️ Thank you for your kind words about my work. I am pleased with how the current one is coming along.


They were fun to do, but frustrating too. I couldn’t quite get the effect I was after as I was having trouble abstracting it. This current piece is much more abstract, and I think it works better.


There aren’t a lot of guide lines, are there? I had to look up ‘cinder toffee’ and found out we call it honeycomb. (Covered in chocolate is one of my favourites!) It is a great description for these cliffs; even the colour matches.

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They are amazing rocks. However, I have to confess to finding most rock formations fascinating! Thanks for the word ‘strata’. I had forgotten that one, and it is a good descriptive one.


That is so nice of you to say, Deborah. Yet a lot of it is just instinct too. I go with what seems right for the next yarn, stitch etc. Maybe I am benefiting from a lot of subconscious thought!


I had the same thought as another commenter: the tree trunk is too white. It stands out too much. I would go over it with a variety of thin threads (maybe a single strand of floss) in a range of browns. Just random stitches, the way you’ve done the rest of the piece. Or weave them over and under the existing yarn. That may do the trick and it will be truly finished. 😉 Meanwhile, it looks like you’ve got a good start on the cliffs. I can see where that would be meditative stitching…


Always so interesting to visit here and watch your work unfolding. Your pieces remind me of the work I view on the Facebook Meditative Stitching group. It looks to be quite freeing while still remaining true to a certain construct. When I worked in watercolours for awhile, I never knew when to stop…had a little issue with that actually. Thanks so much for sharing!


I do love your interpretations and the way you embroider and use a variety of mixed media in your art.
I too struggle with the ‘finishing’. Though I regularly don’t get close to the ‘finish’. I get to the ‘well I’ve learnt something, I can move on’ stage!


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