Friday, November 17, 2017

Bits & Pieces

If there is one thing I really, really, really don't like it is doing paperwork! I keep putting it off until 'tomorrow' or 'the next day' or 'next week' until the pile is massive and it takes me ages to plough through it all - each time promising myself never ever to let it happen again.. Sigh, but I did it again!
I have spend almost all day steadily working my way through it and now it is done... happy dance!

After that, I just have to do something nice and enjoyable, like having a chat...

I have been doing bits & pieces since my last post, including an teeny, weeny bit of stitching and just wanted to show you some of what I have been up to...

I have been writing the instructions and drawing diagrams for my latest goldwork project. It is almost ready to go to the printers so I can begin to put the kits together. I am thinking of calling it 'Twilight Sonnet'.. what do you think? I would love to hear your suggestions, as you know I am absolutely hopeless at naming anything...

... well not everything. This one is 'Rose Hips' I started this new crewel project and am really enjoying stitching something a little bigger and easier after the gold bird.

I stitched all last night, which was just wonderful.

Only the top flower and the tendril that forms the ground are left to do. I should be able to finish it this week...

... and I have been going around in circles. Literally!
I am having so much fun with trying to stitch each circle differently. I must admit it is not as easy as I thought it might be.
So far I have used: Blanket stitch (surprise, surprise) in various ways, Chain stitch, Detached chain, French knots, Feather stitch, Stem stitch, Satin stitch and Twisted chain stitch... not sure what to try next?

Last week I showed you how some of the other Stitch Trees are coming along. This is how mine is looking. I have no idea what I will do with it when it is finished - for now, I am simply enjoying stitching it.

Best Stitches,
Anna X

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Stitch Tree - workshop pics

We are part way through the Stitch Tree workshop and I am so excited about the variety of trees growing around the room last night, I thought I would share some of them with you. It is incredible just how different the simple brief of 'stitch a tree' can be interpreted in stitch...

... there is an elegant weeping willow.
The fabric is a rich purple silk backed with cotton to help support the stitching. What you see stitched here is only padding, so stay tuned to see what happens when is is covered with crisp white and fine metallic threads...

... a delightful country scene inspired by early American crewel work designs.
This project is really a stitch sampler in disguise - a delightful way to play with colours and learn more stitches. I wonder how many different stitches we can fit into this piece...?

... a beautiful autumn birch forest.
We had a good discussion about copyright before Jan was confident to start working as she was worried about copying. I don't believe interpreting an existing image in stitch for your own enjoyment alone is a breach of copyright but certainly would have concerns if it was done for commercial or show purposes.
Isn't the piece of Japanese cotton print just perfect for this project?

... memories of a recent trip to Japan is recreated in stitches.
Joy brought a gorgeous fabric pack and a couple of post cards from a recent trip to Japan to the first lesson - it was more about colour and emotion rather than stitches. The trick with this project is going to be not to overdo it - the gentle art of 'less is more' so far it is coming along oh so beautifully. 

... traditionally crewel work is stitched on ivory or taupe background, but look what happens when it is replaced by black! Striking, isn't it?
The shading in the trunk and roots is fabulous, achieved almost entirely in stem stitch. Like the first pic, the idea for this project is to use it as a stitch sampler and thee is certainly plenty of scope for play. 

Is anyone else stitching trees at the moment? I haven't done a great deal more on my tree, but I hope to be able to show you some progress soon.

Best stitches
Anna X

Monday, November 6, 2017

Stitch Tree - WIP

It has been a while...
                                      ..... again.

The STITCH TREE workshop is now in its third week and it has been an amazing start! The trees that are growing are even more imaginative, fabulous and exciting than I had hoped for. In fact I have been so absorbed by everyone's ideas that I completely have forgotten to take any photos! .... ups! Promise I will try and get some snaps of what everyone are stitching this coming Wednesday.

I have come home from class each week, itching to join the fun and stitch a tree. I am using the line drawing above for the 'skeleton' of my tree. I have (surprisingly) such a big stash of fabrics and threads, so even though I really, really, really wanted to stitch on navy blue linen (something I equally surprisingly didn't have) I chose this ivory linen/cotton blend that I know will hold stitches well. 

I have stitched the lines forming the trunk and branches in stem stitch in linen threads. I have a small stash of Swedish linen threads (Klippans Lingarn, I am sorry I didn't have much luck in finding links other than in Swedish where to buy them) that I have had for a long time, and I have been wanting to do something with them for some time. 
What I love about these threads, is that they are quite firm so your stitches sit very proud on the surface of the fabric - but more importantly, the linen has a beautiful light lustre that I just adore. The downside is they are a little bit tricky to work with, mostly because they are so stiff and coarse.

Like perle cotton, linen threads come in different thicknesses that cannot be divided. I used a heavier weight (16/2) in dark olive green and a silver grey for the trunk and and main branches before using a finer weight (40/2) in chocolate brown for accents along the main lines and onto some of the curly branches.
If you can't find linen (or don't like stitching with it), you will get a very similar look using perle cotton no. 5 for the heavy lines and 12 for the finer.


I have finished the main tree and now the fun of adding foliage can begin...

Instead of stitching leaves, I have decided to use this pieces as a 'circle sampler' - I like circles and I am looking forward to having a bit of fun, seeing just how many different ways I can find to embroider them.
I hope you too, are enjoying what you are stitching.

Best stitches,
Anna X