Different Trees

Simon Mong
Jul 1, 2018 · 3 min read

Today I ran a free embroidery workshop to ten families with my collaborator Suri Yao who is a Suzhou Embroidery artist. Suzhou embroidery has a history of more than 2000 years which is famous for its beautiful patterns and elegant colours.Suzhou Embroidery focuses mostly on nature and environment themes such as flowers, birds, animals and gardens.

Mrs Yao’s Suzhou Embroidery work

In today’s workshop I introduced a great cloud coding platform turtlestitch.org to the students and their parents.Turtlestitch uses the Berkeley Snap! block coding language to create embroidery works. I have been fascinated by the geometric designes on this platform before I realized they are the quintessence of western art.

A turtlestich design by Andrea Mayr

Those kids tried a project I made on turtlestich.org which could grow diffrent trees and choosed their favorite tree patterns to stitch out.They were so curious about the charm of the coded embroidery.


A tree designed with TurtleStitch

Then Mrs Yao taught some basic and interesting stitching methods of Suzhou Embroider to those families.Some preparing work was done cooperatively by the children and their parents.Every child learnt to fill the tree with needles and silk threads.Though the method is easy their works are pretty good and attractive.

A 5th grade Scratcher is doing stitching work
Sparse stitching method of Suzhou Embroidery
Suzhou Embroidery and TurtleStitch

At last we told the children “Everyone of you is a diffrent tree.No matter how you grow up,keep free.”

It’s so cool to integrate coded embroidery with Suzhou embroidery.It’s about the topic “Creative Learning through Code,Art and Culture across Continents” which would be brought into Scratch Conference 2018 in MIT.

TurtleStitch is now on Kickstarter. We are delighted and excited to tell you about the crowdfunding campaign that we have just launched. We made a beautiful campaign film that shows in 3 minutes the different ways TurtleStitch can be used and the plans we have for the future. Please help to spread the campaign! Whatever you can do, we appreciate your help.


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