Category: Embroidery

New Embroidery, Female Purple Finch

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If it wasn’t for the texture created by stitching wool on fabric, I’d be happy with a drawing or painting, but there’s something about a certain scene that makes me think “wool!” Embroidery is a little like carving or sculpting, I imagine, where you can see an image emerging that has dimension.

Will that bright lime green background be a good choice? So far, I like it but it’s awful to photograph..

Lately my process is something like this: my husband and I venture out of doors to take photos, I find something interesting—usually a critter or plant— and take many pictures, go through a period of forgetting about it, then open up my photos, find one out of the many that appeals to me, do a few sketches, and start planning a project. I usually add in details, plants, and other important pieces from other photos.

Will it be an embroidery or a drawing or simply stay a photo? Time will tell.

Finished: Great Blue Heron Crewel Embroidery

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It measures 9”x12” and is stitched on gray linen with Appletons wool and a bunch of no-name crewel wool threads.

I finished this embroidery. I stitched for over five weeks, many hours per week. Whew!

I started out with a tidy arrangement of wools. Near the end, I grabbed whatever I needed and have a mess to prove it. I kept track of my stitches on my original sketch.

Working with wool and linen is a treat. They go together perfectly, and I never tire of the combination. I’ve purchased some linen twill, a traditional crewel fabric, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Late afternoon sun often visits my embroidery projects.

I was so involved with this project that I didn’t spend much time planning another one. So now, what should it be? I think I’ll start sketching and see what calls out to me. In the meantime, I need to learn how to frame this project.

Great Blue Heron Crewel Embroidery, cont.

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Getting closer but still needed are leaves, vines, grasses, cattails, and those little, important, final details.

When did I learn how to be patient? For some reason, I’m not rushing this project, planning the next one, or getting a little bit bored like I’ve done with nearly all my art with, perhaps, the exception of some colored pencil projects. I’m content to stitch for an hour, set it aside for a day or two or three, and settle back down and stitch again, all the time considering what should come next.

As the water filled in the bottom half, I had time to reflect on why I wanted to embroider a water scene with wool. I think it’s the textured, layered feeling created by physically stitching layers over layers. I don’t think I would have done it justice with pencil or paint.

I’m sticking with my goal of avoiding freestyle stitching. Stitches I’ve used lately include, the feather stitch, satin, stem, and long-and-short.