Paper and Thread

What if I could have the fun of creating art with paper without the gluey mess? Last month I took David Owen HastingsStitched Paper Collage online class in the hope of finding an answer. As a result, I now have a method to create paper compositions that’s easy and non-sticky. It allows me to create simple work quickly, yet has the potential for larger, more complex pieces. And, it gives me an outlet to use all the magazine pages and monotype print oopsies I’ve collected.

Supplies are simple: sewing machine, thread, paper to cut up, and backing paper. The last can even be cut up brown paper bags. David adds refinements to help you line up your cut up papers, which can be as small as half an inch wide. Once you do one or two basic pieces to get the method down, you can take the approach wherever you like. One caution is you can’t stitch too much on the paper as it will tear. And you can’t rip out stitches for the same reason.

Here are my first pieces, done on a paper bag.

I made the center one last. Each is 6 by 6 inches.

In the days after the workshop I cranked out several 6 by 6 inch pieces, using some of the monotype discards given to me by a friend.

My parts piles.
I love using the curved bits.
I got surrealistic with magazine ads.
Here I used wallpaper samples.
A combination of papers.

If you’re wondering about the dangling threads, they are a design choice. David likes his to dangle. You can also pull them to the back and tape them down so they don’t show.

I gather you can join several smaller pieces with archival tape to create a larger composition. That’s where I hope to go next with this technique.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Techniques

14 responses to “Paper and Thread

  1. I really like this idea. Definitely worth playing with. My sister, also a quilter, started doing collage a few years ago. I know she’s done a few “quilted” postcards. This is pretty much the same idea but expanded, I think. Thanks.

  2. Norma Schlager

    You really got some great results. I like the dangly threads, too.

  3. Gwyned

    You know it is a successful class when you don’t stop when the class ends. Love where you are taking this new to you technique.

    • This was a class that gave me a tool, rather than a class where I made a finished piece. I think that next I’ll try to combine fabric and paper with this technique, though my guess is I will need to stiffen the fabric a bit or use stiff fabric like crinoline.

  4. This looks like such a good time and perfect for someone with your great eye for composition. I like the curves too and the stitching lines add so much more texture and movement. I think the possibilities would be endless.

    • It’s an easy way to compose, with a very low entrance barrier and fast results. Plus, there’s no chance I’ll knock the water jar over. If you want to do a bit of design each day this method is a good tool.

  5. Oh, this is so tempting! Fun seeing your samples – the curves are so fun!

  6. Jane E Herbst

    Just what I need, Joanna, another technique to try!! This looks like fun! The curved stitching and zig-zags add a good movement. We just might have a use for junk mail besides the recycle bin.

  7. Doreen Kuster

    Now I know what to do with all the papers I bought for scrapbooking and then realized that hobby I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought! I too love the curves. I’ve been going through a lot of paperwork lately and words from credit card statements and numbers would add an interesting look to a piece. Hmmmm, maybe I need to pull some from the shredding pile!

    • It sounds like you’re coming close to doing collage, with all those discarded bits of paperwork. Yes, do cut up those scrapbook papers and play with them. I use old rotary cutter blades in a spare holder to cut my papers. It’s easier than an Xacto knife.

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