Well, this week we’ve been fighting illness in the household. I seem to have caught a milder version of whatever it was the EO had last week. Other than sleeping, and doing a little writing for business, I’ve been distracted and feverish. This is the result.
This week’s challenge is, I think an example of some ideas look better on paper than they work in real life. Once you get a detatched chain stitch big enough for a bird-body, you have to couch down the sides as well to make it stay remotely chain-shaped. And that’s easier said than done, especially without a drawn outline to follow! So, other than the bird, this is a pretty standard use of the lazy daisy stitch – flowers. The colors are brighter than those I usually choose – the background is a grey-green, and they do more than pop off of it, despite the appearance in the photo! As usual, click for more detail.
Sometimes the doodle works better than the embroidery!
One thing this TAST challenge is doing for me, is making me take an idea and run with it quickly, without over-thinking it. If I want to get it posted by Thursday or Friday, I really need to be finished by Wednesday or Thursday evening. Since I’m the consummate over-thinker, this is a good thing, I think. It’s making me try things with stitches I have in the past overlooked as too geometric to do my organic work with, and making me work quickly. Seven weeks in, and I’ve already learned a lot about myself and how I design!
Well, I finished another one. I find that since defining exactly what I want to accomplish with this project I’m finding it easier to excavate the time in my schedule to actually DO it! Some stitches are more difficult than others for this, however. Trying to use them in new ways in figural embroidery rather than just as the geometric lines that I’ve put on my band sampler in the past is a bit more tricky for some stitches than others.
Take Chevron stitch, for example. It’s inherently a line stitch, although I could work it in other geometric patterns, it’s always going to have that very triangular look.
I used it in layers for this piece – for some reason I couldn’t get America the Beautiful out of my head this week, so I used it as inspiration! I’m pretty happy with how it came out, though using this stitch for landscapes probably isn’t something I’ll do on a regular basis. I didn’t use a pattern, per se, just started at the top with the mountains and worked down. I thought about using the yellow in an arc at one of the corners for sun, but decided it would just be too much for the design to handle.
Purple mountains are in 2 strands of DMC cotton floss, with the snow in one strand. The “amber waves” are in 3 strands, and the grass/whatever in the front is in 4. AND on the green layers I not only added another strand, but when I crossed the top bar of the chevron stitch I used Stamen stitch for the cross-piece instead of the straight stitch that’s usual. (Stamen stitch: French knot with long tail.) You can click on the photo to see more detail.
Catching up. I had a couple of amazingly busy weeks in there.
I realized, looking at these stitches that my issue is not so much “how do I learn this?” or “what weird things can I do with these stitches in a straight line?” but rather, “How the heck could i use these in a finished piece of embroidery?” My samplers are full of variations. The transition to stitching in a finished piece is sorely lacking. Hence the bouquet in buttonhole stitch, and my use of these three stitches to finish my little complimentary Elmow of my parrot-squid-cthulu! I think he turned out cute.
And because I’ve become fascinated by the look of photos of embroidery from odd angles, here’s my beauty shot of this one! Click any of these to see them in more detail!
These are all stitched on fabric samples I received from an interior designer that was going out of business. They’re the perfect size for trying out designs and stitches, and have a built-in margin at the top to bind into a book when I’m done with the year.
I’m going to shift my TAST posts to Fridays/Saturdays, I think, so I can get them up faster so people who are perusing them can. I think I can manage that.
Last week’s TAST was Fly stitch. I did a small sample, but I’m afraid this is a stitch that I’m just not very creative with. It’s not one of my favorites, and it really felt like an extension just to get this little bit done. I’m happy with the results, though, and have ideas for dandelions done in fly stitch now… so I did get quite a bit out of it!
And yes, all the lettering was done in fly stitch. THAT I may work out a whole alphabet in! With more care than I gave it, it could be really cool.
I think what I really liked here was the opportunity to work with Vikki Clayton’s silk threads again. The red is her 6 strand floss. The purple is from a skein I picked up at the needlepoint shop – it’s called “High Cotton,” and is a six strand matte floss that is thicker than normal strands. It doesn’t shine, but it didn’t knot up either. I can see quite a few things this thread would be really good for, and I look forward to trying it out on them. It’s a bit spendy, though.
This coming week is buttonhole stitch. Yay! options. LOTS of options for creativity with that one!