Liliane Lear

I use one type of stitch only, my version of the ‘stem’ stitch. My work is about the image rather than about the stitching. Rows of stem stitches follow the contours of the subject matter much like paint on a canvas

My method requires tons of thread and it soon became obvious that ‘embroidery floss’ was not the best choice. I use ‘real’ thread, sewing or serging thread. It comes in a great variety of colours and is available on large cones which last a remarkably long time in spite of the way I heap it on. The thread is always 100% polyester. The colours are bright and resist fading. For backing I use polyester lining fabric. It is thin, very strong and allows the needle to slide through easily. An eleven by fourteen embroidery takes me about one month to complete.


I use eight strands of thread for most images, six for the tiny ones. It is often necessary to use two or more different colours on the same needle to obtain a certain shade. All works are signed in thread with my initials LL done in cursive.

I design my pictures using Photoshop. I draw the result on paper and when it looks exactly the way I want it to, it is transferred onto cloth. The finished work is then wrapped around a board, Masonite, foam-core or posterboard, depending on the size and sewn up at the back. The back is then covered with fabric which is also sewn on.
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