Thursday, February 4, 2016

Snow berries

I picked up my Snow Berries piece the other day to begin writing the instructions. Instead of sitting down at the computer, I pulled out the sewing machine and sat about turning it into a cushion. Often I simply frame my things, mostly to protect them from getting dirty, while getting packed in and out of bags and dragged around for classes ... (if you look around my house you may be surprised to see there are very few embroideries on display in the house)

I originally designed Snow Berries for Bath Textile Summer School and before that I will be teaching it in Bangkok. Since it will be doing a fair bit of travelling, I figured it would be more practical to finish it in a way not requiring glass and heavy frames...
Luckily I had worked the piece on a decent size piece of linen, so I could easily make a pillow without having to add extra pieces around the sides.

The original plan was just to have a narrow flange around the edge instead of adding piping or any other trim. It looked neat, but a little dull so I grabbed a couple of the blues yarns that were used for the embroidery - the same two shades I had used for the circle around the motif. The idea was to work a double blanket stitch around the entire edge, wide enough to cover the flange. 

It looked fine on the small sample I did, but once worked on the cushion it turned out too 'clunky', so I made away with the second shade. A simple edge of blanket stitches now borders the pillow. If you have followed my stitching for a little while, you will likely have noticed that I do have a bit of a 'love-affair' with blanket stitch. It is such a simple stitch and, I think, often not valued enough for its versatility. 

I used a few variations of blanket stitch in the embroidery, evenly spaced around the edge of one leaf, super close together along the outer edge of the petals and double for the stem.

I will be getting on with the notes this week - or trying to. Classes may seem a long way off, but I know all too well how quickly time passes.
While talking about classes; We have added two other projects to that workshop at Bath Textile Summer School (there are still places) so that there now are three crewel embroidery designs to choose from. It should be fun and I cannot tell you, how much I am looking forward to being part of it!

We are having my 'baby' boys' 21st birthday on the weekend, so any stitching work will need to be fitted in around balloon blowing and birthday cake baking...

Best stitch
Anna x

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lone Tree WIP

I have been quietly chipping away at the orange and ochre dunes...

... just a narrow strip remain and they will meet the sky.

I was a little concerned at one point that it would get too boring and bland with such a restricted colour palette. I am not worried any more.

I am oh so close, one side almost touches...

... the other nearly there too. I am in the middle of covering one of the last dunes with needle weaving - a single strand of cotton onto silk. The subtle but structured blending of shade sits nicely against the more 'random' shading of the variegated threads and I like the super smooth surface it creates.. but it is oh so fiddly to do, especially when I need to avoid catching the already stitched parts. Slowly does it...

Now the end is in sight, I am keen to get it finished. Not so much because I want to finish it but I am looking forward to seeing it finished - if that makes any sense. Besides, the 'doodles' and ideas for other things are mounting fast both in my note books and in my head.

Only a few more dunes and then.. the large blue sky.

Happy sunday
Anna X

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

At long last

I know the saying goes that 'all good things take time' but the time it has taken me to prepare my MEADOW BLOOM design as a kit is almost border lining on embarrassing.

But the KIT is finally in the SHOP and it feels good to have it completed and those who have waited to patiently on this one, at long last have the opportunity to stitch their own version of this design. It was such fun to do, with loads of different stitches.

The colour scheme for the MEADOW BLOOM design was inspired by a piece of beautiful fabric that a sweet friend once gave to me with a 'I am sure you can do something with that..' Isn't is stunning? 

I used it to make the finished embroidery into a rectangular cushion which was featured in issue 87 of INSPIRATIONS magazine. There is just enough left to cut JUST 5 PIECES, big enough to make more cushions like this one.
If you want to make a cushion and don't have a copy of INSPIRATIONS you can find the instructions on how the make the cushion on my website under FREE patterns & Projects. The instructions are perfect for making any square piece of embroidery into a decent size bolster style pillow.

Have a lovely week,
Anna X