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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Snow berries WIP

It is a good sign when you look at something with fresh eyes in the morning and feel happy about the progress (read 'changes') of a piece of work. After a rather frustrating start, I am now (finally) feeling happy with the progress of this piece.

Before...

The first step was to change just one of the tones in the large top petals from the aqua-teal to a blue. It never stops to amaze me just what a big difference a subtle change of shade can make.

Before
 

The idea of a dainty sprig of buds was replaced by some more solid shapes and now look more like berries - Snow Berries


The stem is double blanket stitch in dark teal and a light golden hazelnut. I love double blanket stitch for stems like this - the purl edge of the stitches form such a neat, defined line along each side. The first time I really took note of the stitch used like this was in a project by Hazel Blomkamp - she uses so many different stitches in really clever ways so if you are ever looking for inspiration I can highly recommend her kits and books.


This new project is not just about looking 'right' - it is intended as a class project for Bath Textile Summer School next year. I am over the moon to have been offered the opportunity to visit the UK and teach and of course wanted to do something special for the girls in Bath. One of the reasons I am constantly drawn to crewel embroidery is that it offers so much scope for exploring stitches to create texture and subtle variation of colour. Snow Berries certainly has been a bit of a challenge but I am confident that it will allow students to have good fun and play with all of those things.

I just need to finish those last little bits now...

Have great week.
Anna x

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Changing colours

I hope you all had a relaxing break over Easter. We did.


I spend most of my time gazing at the view from the balcony - I mean, how can you not with a view like that? It is lovely calm bay and the colours of the sea, and the sky changes constantly. I love it most in the evening when the sun hits the rocks on the islands just out from us.


I did pack this project into my bag when we left for the beach house, but I must confess that it stayed there most of the weekend. Talking about colours, I was looking forward to stitching this one when picking out my favourite shades of teal and turquoise. With little splashes of raspberry pink, I was quite certain that it would be an easy one...


... but it seems that every time I think a project will be 'easy' and just flow, it does anything but. Parts are turning out nicely - like this little leaf. Though I am still not sure if I might change the curly tip to a different stitch.


The flower - (or is it a pomegranate perhaps?) is also on its way after a bit of 'reverse stitching' I am happy (I think) with how it looks... though the more I look at it the pale China blue may have to give way for a different shade.


... but overall - it is just not there! It will get there I am sure, but there is a little way yet. It is so frustrating to look at something and know it is not quite right, yet I cannot put my finger on what it is... I will let you know when I work it out.

Have a great week,
Anna

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Side tracking...


 ...again.
The little silk piece from the other week has been calling out to me. I am just loving the feel of the smooth silk at the moment and all I want to do is create smooth, shiny little stitches. Colour in with thread. There is something about 'blank fabric' that does not always appeal, so I decided to fill the entire back ground as well. Tiny little running stitches, in neat little rows and using the grain of the fabric as a guide. Getting into a rhythm it was rather meditative. 


Plump satin stitch seed completed the fruit. Almost good enough to eat.

Pomegranate Roundel
Done.
At only 6cm (2 1/4") in diameter it would make a lovely brooch, pot lid or paperweight. I have another use in store and just need to get out the glue...

Happy Wednesday,
Anna