Thursday, January 21, 2010

Introduction to The Glossy Project

I am starting 2010 with an art project
called The Glossy Project.
The Glossy Project is a monthly challenge I have started 
as a way to merge my love of design and fashion with
textile and mixed media art.
January US Vogue
For this year, the theme will be the cover of Boho, 
Vogue (US edition), Oprah and Bust magazine and the 
design is always embroidered.

The embroidery technique is one I have been using 
and teaching for years now.
I call this stitch,The Glossy Back Stitch.
It is similar to the traditional back stitch,
but the stitch length varies.


Trace your image using tracing paper.
I am starting this project with the January issue of Vogue (US edition).
(You can also use your original drawing or a photograph)
Trace image
Place the tracing on your fabric.
Then use a bone folder or a spoon 
to burnish the pencil marks
onto the back of your fabric.
When you are done, it will look something like this.
Then iron an iron-on interfacing or 
stabilizer over the design. 
This will prevent the pencil markings from rubbing off as 
you work and it will also make the 
fabric a little heavier and stronger.  

Now start to embroider it.
What distinguishes a Glossy from other types of embroidery 
is the use of The Glossy Back Stitch.
Unlike traditional embroidery, this stitch is worked on 
the back-side of the fabric.
The Glossy Back Stitch is similar to the traditional back stitch.
The difference is that you can change the length of each 
stitch as you embroider your image.
Doing so results in a jagged and impressionistic design on 
the right-side of the fabric. 
That's exactly the goal of this technique.

Continue to embroider your image.
When the entire piece is embroidered, 
it will look something like this.
All the knots and loose threads will be visible
on the side you've stitched on.
Turn it to the right-side and it looks like this.
Finished glossy

At this point, you can leave it as is, or 
if you want to lightly gesso your Glossy.
Now you are ready to paint, applique, sew, bead, cut in to, quilt, 
collage, watercolor, gold leaf or embellish it any way you want.
This is how to create a Glossy.
visit the site at

Alma Stoller


Catherine van der Hoeff said...

Hi Alma,This is just what I was looking for to make this day a perfect one!I crave to try this asap.Thanks for this fabulous idea and your generosity.

Carol@Swallowcliffs said...

I so love this idea! I will be using it for something. You are so creative and generous with your ideas!

Gena said...

Wohoo! Delightful, another "Alma" original. Thanks for the inspiration and the tips. I too love your work!

Anita Strong said...

Alma - That a thinker and outright marvelous artist your are!! This is a fabulous project. I'm a little behind, but I can hardly wait to start tomorrow. By the way, thank you for my little birdie that you sent with my Etsy order. It was very kind of you and very much appreciated. Keep that fabulous mind of yours working!!

Robin said...

Oh I am SOOOO going to try this...but I think I'll use one of my nature mags, maybe a mountain or ocean.
You are a creative genius.

Carol said...

OMG, I am so excited to find your blog!!

LorraineS said...

My youngest son just got married and I am going to do this with one their wedding photos for a Christmas present..I just love it and thank for the are so cool..hugs, Lorraine