I’ve given a few workshops now and had some really interesting conversations with the people who have been along to them. One of this things I try to tackle in the workshops is the usual constraints which cross-stitch presents, and what we could do with cross-stitch if we threw those constraints away. If we know how to do a basic cross-stitch, but then try forget the rules, the opportunities to make something new, experimental and exciting are there for the taking!
Here are a few ideas to inspire you which have been discussed in the workshops are:
Using materials other than thread to sew with, for example hair, fishing wire, of even the strands from the edge of the Aida you’re sewing onto.
Dying the fabric, perhaps with natural materials, such as the clay used on my own large piece of work.
Adding transfers to the background of the fabric, or painting or drawing onto the fabric.
Cutting the fabric, or cutting out the DNA strand itself.
Building up the stitching in various ways to create a low relief/ 3D effect.
Adding embellishments to the work, including some personal items, or pieces relating to a hobby or a trip.
Looking into your own family tree and adding this to the work, for example, the names of family members or a detailed family tree.
Adding personal feelings about the act of making the work, as either text for pictures.
Working on the background only in a colour or pattern of your choice and leaving the DNA strand blank.
Looking at genes or DNA from a medical or scientific point of view.
Looking at the work from a autobiographical or identity/ nationality point of view.
Experimenting with style and technique, and looking more at the stitches than the ideas behind the work, such as using a variety of different stitches.
Rejecting cross-stitch all together in favour of a different way of making the work (you rebels you!)
I hope some of these ideas may inspire you with your work and with ideas of your own. You can download the pattern here: PATTERN