So I watched the welcome video last night and following the instructions for the grid system marked out some samples ready for the practical challenge and then started module one which is all about the versatility of running stitch.
Have to say I was a bit perplexed as to how they were going to get 4 different sub modules out of such a basic stitch but judging by the first module 1:1 I’m actually surprised and impressed – clearly there isn’t much to learn in terms of step by step instructions, I think most of us were taught running stitch at school but exploring how visually different it can look simply by varying the length of the stitch, the spacing between stitches, the spacing between lines, the material, the colour and the placing of stitches it is amazing how varied and versatile the stitch is. The videos are a bit slow and drawn out but I loved the creative challenge and the simple workbook and student examples are very useful.
The challenge was to create 4 very different squares in a grid using only running stitches and the stitches all had to be in the same direction – it was a really basic challenge but because of its simplicity it did challenge you to think about how you could achieve very distinctive looking squares and it forced you to play around with only a handful of variables.
If I was learning via a book rather than a course I think I’d probably have skipped this stage thinking I understood enough about the technicalities of running stitch so it definitely helped me slow things down and think and also reflect on my work as part of the challenge was to capture not only details of what you have done but also your thoughts on how each section looked, how you might use it in a finished piece, etc.
Rather than just creating one sample for my challenge I spent a bit more time on this and developed 3, mainly because after my first two I realised that I was sticking to very conventional variations so wanted to push myself a bit more although I struggled with the third as I tried to avoid any pattern or balance. I also avoided looking at the student examples until I’d completed the first two and when I saw how they had used the stitch felt I needed to do another to push myself a bit further.