Saturday, February 10, 2018

Mountain Oak - The last leaf

It has been another very hot week here, so I have spend endless hours armed with a hose to keep the garden alive. 

Although I didn't have much left to do on the last leaf, I have only just got around to it today. Compared to the others, the stitching on this one is simple but I am happy with the way it turned out.

                 The other elements on the same branch are more delicate - a nice contrast the solid stitching of the leaf. 

The Mountain Oak is now finished. 
Considering how limited the colour palette for this piece is, it is turning out to be rather colourful
Although I have been looking at for so long, it always surprises me how it looks when I get the pictures up on the screen, which is a really odd feeling. .
Now for those hillocks (or mountains)... 

As you may remember, I started this project as a class piece for the Alpine Experience (14th - 21st August). It is so rare and amazing to have opportunity to teach for whole week, making it ideal for a slightly large and more complex project. 
I knew the workshop was filling but it turns out there is now only ONE space left which is amazing!! If you were thinking of joining us you may have To Book pretty soon if you don't want to miss out.

Have a lovely weekend,
Anna X

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mountain Oak progress

I have made a bit of progress on the Mountain Oak...
I stitched the last two boughs, each of them different to the others so there is now lots of textures and stitch patterns within the tree.

My plan was to stitch the large leaf on the right next but I had not quite worked out the stitches and colours I wanted to use. While pondering how to stitch it, I embroidered the berries / acorns / persimmons in the same way and colours as the ones on the lower bough.
I still wasn't sure about the large leaf, so instead moved on to smaller leaf pair instead.

The two leaves are stitched with the same combination of stitches (fly, blanket, stem and French knots) but with a slight variation of shades. Then I added a tendril of chain stitch with back stitch worked into each chain over the top.
I had hoped to have worked out that leaf by now, but no - I was still not sure about the large leaf! On the up side, while I was stitching the smaller leaves I had an idea for the scalloped edge of the top leaf...

So, while still pondering, I moved on to the leaf at the top of the tree instead. I stitched the edge with close rows of stem stitch in four shades of green and then filled in the scallops with blanket stitch. I haven't used this combination of stitches for a scalloped edge before, but I a like the lacy effect.What do you think?
The middle has a sprig of blue and green - Not so sure about the blue! The more I looked at it the less I liked it...

... so I ripped it out and changed the colour. I think this is much better.

While all of this stitching was happening, I finally worked out what to do with that leaf that I had been pondering for so long...

The inner sections are a soft grey/yellow/green with a trellis of grass green and yellow couching over the top and the outer sections in long and short stitch in shades of soft blues similar to those used in the leaf on the opposite side of the tree.
All I need to do now if finish it.

Happy Stitching,
Anna X

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Back Stitching

It has been a very, very long while and I hope everybody has had a good start to this shiny new year.

I haven't deliberate ignored the blog (or other social media for that matter) but for us the end of 2017 didn't quite go to plan.
Life threw us one of those unpleasant 'curved balls' that happen from time to time and it has really thrown me. Farmer John is quite sick and will be for a little while yet. Although I have always been doing my bit around the vineyard it was mostly on an 'extra hand needed' basis. With his health being what it is, this little farm hand has had to step up. That's the thing about farming, you can't just put it on hold. Grapes don't stop growing, they keep going at their normal pace no matter what. So between keeping on top of the vines, my other work and looking after farmer John the best I can, there is not a lot of time (or energy) left for much fact I didn't stitch or do anything stitchy for weeks (shock horror!!!).

... but I am back stitching - more than one project (as always) - and have made a bit of progress on a few. One of the projects I have been working on the last few days is this Crewel Embroidery panel.

I gave myself a mild shock when I looked back through my posts and realised I haven't touched it since July!!  
I have decided I need to get at least one element finished each week, or I will be struggling to have the kits ready for August when we will be stitching it as part of the Alpine Experience

So, I got stuck into another branch and large leaf. I have mostly been stitching at the night, so I haven't taken many progress shots... the light, nor my camera are good enough. 
This is the result of the past two days...

It took a bit of trial and error to get the colour and stitch combinations how I wanted it for this leaf. I am not sure if it is because I haven't worked on the project for so long and had to get back into the groove of it, but I finally got there. Well, except I will restitch the top two leaves... Because this project in my large slate frame, I have stitched this element up-side-down and because of the angle of working fly stitch up-side-down, I didn't see the 'holes' between the stitches where the two shades of blue blend near the tops of the two leaves. 

Never mind - overall it is going in the right direction. Two more branches with large leaves, some hills and a goat still to go. Next up is this leaf...

I have not quite decided how to stitch it yet - I think it will include some long and short stitch and laid filling...
Enjoy what is left of your weekend and
Happy Stitching,
Anna X