I am in stitch mode. Listening to a mega playlist on repeat. And reflecting on what I'm trying to do.
I like the integrity of work where the stitches that hold it together are visible and part of the finished effect, but I also like my stitching to work with (not against) the dye marks on the cloth. However I'm not an embroiderer - in the sense that my stitches aren't meant to dominate or be the design itself. For me I think it's about adding another layer of marks.
Visually, if there is no stitch, then the cloth and the dye marks have to do all the work. They have to tell the whole story on their own. If there is to be stitch, it has to add something to the story told by the cloth and the dye. An additional element of mark, texture, line, that builds upon what is already there. Maybe by emphasising or enhancing existing textures, marks (a harmonious strategy) or maybe by adding a contrast or counterpoint (a complementary strategy). But unless the stitch is to become the dominant feature it has to integrate with what's already there, not take over.
On the other hand, if the stitching is to be the dominant feature, then it pushes the cloth / dye marks into the background. As though they become the background scenery rather than the tale itself. In which case there needs to be enough stitching - or a strong enough contrast - for the story the stitch is telling to be read against the background.
I finished one piece this week. About to start another. It may require a new playlist. Meanwhile here are some close-ups of the stitching from two pieces.