Bookmarks for Practice

Once upon a time, girls and women practiced needlework by making samplers. Samplers remain popular today, but they are not generally considered practice pieces. Rather, they demonstrate proficiency. In reality, I think few contemporary embroiderers practice. (Oooo, what does it mean to practice–there’s a topic for another day.) However, I think bookmarks are an excellent medium for practice and exploration, and I’d really like to see them used that way.

Times have changed. Stitchers today looking to practice are less likely to choose sampler-sized projects for the purpose. Because bookmarks are small; they do not require a huge investment of time, money, or materials. If the exploration or practice proves unsatisfying–that is, if our end result is, um, shall we say awful–there’s no huge sense of waste in either time, money, or materials. Even better, their small size means we can use scraps from other projects, things that are already garbage. How’s that for permission to create something awful?

My practice supplies and instruction book.

So…during the 2010 Bookmark Challenge, I challenge you to explore or practice a technique or stitch you’ve not yet mastered on a bookmark. I’ve already know what I’m going to practice (nyeh, nyeh)–new fillings used in hemstitching.

All right. Who’s in for this Challenge challenge?

Categories: Personal

5 replies »

  1. Actually, that’s a pretty good idea. I just ordered a set of 3 bookmark patterns by Renoir and another by Klimt. But I think when I go buy the bookmark fabric, I’ll check out the patterns at the store too to see if there’s something like blackwork which I’ve never really tried.

  2. Some of my practice noodles have turned into bookmarks. I am also going to do some “big practice”. Designer Jeannette Douglas has created a series she call “My Stitching Album”. Each “page” is a sampler based around a single stitch. I’ve gotten Scotch Stitch and Milanese Moment. They are really gorgeous. Some of the individual elements would be great on bookmarks. I’m trying to learn more about canvas work, so I will try to make a canvas bookmark.

  3. I think that’s a great idea!! May need to try it when I’ve got some more free time~~who knows when that’ll be. 😛