Stitchgasm! – The Earth and Its Layers by Jessica Kelly

OK, so I simply can NOT wait to sing the praises of this wonderful piece by Jessica Kelly (a.k.a. PaperStitch).

The Earth and Its Layers: open

Jessica made this piece for the Phat Quarter, Blinded by Science-themed swap. This rocking swap in full swing right now in the Phat Quarter Group on flickr. (In case you don’t already know, the Phat Quarter is the lively home of Mr X Stitch-loving needle workers on flickr. Check it out and share your rad work!)

The Earth and Its Layers: closed

But back to Jessica’s amazing piece. Her inspiration came from the World Book Encyclopedias of her childhood. Like her, I vividly remember the “interactive” graphics in those tomes, with their layers of acetate transparencies piled over richly printed science illustrations. (I remember one of the night sky in particular. It was magical!) Before the clickable immediacy of researching anything you could want to know about on the internet and being able to instantly see objects from every possible angle, this is how we played with learning.

Jessica is hugely talented. She managed to translate those retro transparencies into stitch by replacing the acetate with velum. She rendered the Earth’s core in gorgeous stitching on fabric underneath.

The Earth and Its Layers: layer 1


Be sure to check out more of Jessica’s work on her flickr stream and read about this piece on her blog. She does particularly lovely art with vintage math books and geometric imagery.

The Earth and Its Layers: layer 2

I’ll be collecting together all of the pieces from this swap in a feature for this blog in the coming months. Keep in mind that we have a Phat Quarter Swap every time there are five Fridays in a single month. So, that means the next one will be starting 31 May! So be sure to mark your calendars for that one… theme to be announced that Friday.

For now, keep checking the Phat Quarter for more inventive, inspiring artwork like Jessica’s!

Olisa Corcoran is a stitch artist and blogger living in Durham, NC. She speaks fluent Nuyorican and always keeps her dial turned to 11.


Stitch artist. Writer about contemporary embroidery. Feminist. Nuyorican.
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