I have recently come across a beautiful book called the Alabama Stitch Book.

I was really attracted to the book for a number of reasons, firstly for its sustainable fashion slant using re-loved t-shirts and materials, and secondly for the use of applique and reverse applique which are two embroidery techniques that I really enjoy. I also love the idea of “Loving” your thread which ‘infuses the work with kind intentions, but … [also provides]… a very practical step that removes excess thread tension and prevents pesky knitting’.

Natalie Chanin also has a great blog (http://www.alabamastudiostyle.blogspot.com/) and website (www.alabamachanin.com/) with more images and examples of their work.

The book has inspired me to have a go at a few projects. The most successful of which was a t-shirt applique inspired by Robert Indiana‘s famous LOVE sculpture:

(image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:LOVE_sculpture_NY.JPG).

I also chopped up an old t-shirt to create a new corset based top with the seams showing on the outside. I have to admit that I did use my sewing machine through rather than keeping with the hand stitching instructions!

I have also done some experiments using reverse applique with some secondhand t-shirts. Firstly a horse image t shirt which I would like to embellish further with some beads and embellishments – some rossettes perhaps?

And a book cover using pear imagery: