Stitching a Labyrinth

This is some stitching I did a few weeks ago.  For a while now, I’ve been thinking of making something in a labyrinth design, and I pulled some hand dyed fabrics out of my shelves which seemed to work well together.  They are loosely pinks and greens.  I enjoy layering fabrics, stitching a pattern into them and cutting back random layers to make the design emerge serendipitously.  I did this with quite a few of my favourite pieces of work – Dreaming Spirals, the namesake for this blog, is one of them.  My Landscape Series is another.

My design is loosely based on that of the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France.  I drew the design and altered it so that it would work when cut back, and, using my light box, transferred the design on to tissue paper.  I then layered the fabrics, pinned the design on top and stitched along the lines using free motion stitching.

fabrics layered with tissue paper labyrinth design stitched on top

The next job was to remove all the tissue paper.  Here it is half done:

removing tissue paper from labyrinth stitching

Next I started cutting away to reveal the labyrinth design.  I chose to keep the green as the labyrinth and have the other fabrics poking through in the spaces between but I could have done it the other way round.

This was laborious, but meditative at the same time.  I listened to Brenda Dayne’s knitting podcast, Cast On to while away the minutes.

labyrinth design half cut away

Here it is three-quarters done.  Some of this got cut away a bit more to reveal an extra layer beneath, until I was happy with the finished piece.


And this is how it stands at the moment.  Not sure if I’ll cut away any more or if I’m happy with it as it is now.  Nor what I’m going to do with it next.  I think it reminds me a bit of the formal gardens with box hedges and roses planted between.  We shall see.

13 Responses to Stitching a Labyrinth

  1. Judy Nolan 23rd July 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    This is amazing work, Liz! Makes my fingers itch to try something like it.

  2. Carol 23rd July 2008 at 11:03 pm #

    Wow fabulous Liz, I love it,

  3. Terri 23rd July 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    Wow! this is tremendous looking. Loved looking at the step-by-step photos.

  4. Jennifer Rose 24th July 2008 at 12:14 am #

    This is very cool! Great colours and a wonderful design. Thanks for the step by step pictures of this technique, has given me lots of ideas for future fabric projects 🙂

  5. jackie 24th July 2008 at 11:28 am #

    Thats so lovely. The different shades of the fabrics give it depth and subtlety.

  6. Sheila 25th July 2008 at 12:41 am #

    I walked my first labyrinth earlier this year and was totally won over to its powers. Our church also has a “finger” labyrinth of wood which of course made me think I could make something similar in cloth. I’d planned to do a wholecloth version, with closely spaced quilting making the path. I really like what you’ve done here – visually very appealing.

  7. AltheaP / Janine 25th July 2008 at 5:11 am #

    I’ll bet you had lots of time to meditate on your labyrinth while removing all that tissue paper! Beautiful work, Liz.

  8. pippa 26th July 2008 at 11:13 pm #

    A lovely piece and such fantastic colours,you feel inspired to rush off and `have a go`

  9. Candy Schultz 27th July 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    Ooooh I like this quite a lot – especially the colors you chose.

  10. Busby SEO Challenge 28th July 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    Nice art so artistic
    Busby SEO Challenge

  11. Tiggy Rawling 2nd August 2008 at 7:32 pm #

    Hi Liz,

    Love the serendipity of the colours on Labyrinth.

    Your prints are ever fascinating. Perhaps I need one of those amazing machines?!!!

    Have a brilliant holiday – may the sun shine where ever you are!

  12. Jean Levert Hood 7th August 2008 at 5:19 am #

    I love labyrinths, Liz, and this so amazingly beautiful. It is wonderful to see the progressions to the final piece! Bravo!

  13. Ben 8th August 2008 at 12:19 am #

    Hi Liz!

    I was trying to email you but I can’t get it to work. I wanted to know if any of your Gocco presses or accessories were still for sale. Please email me and let me know! Thank you!

    By the way, wicked cool blog!