Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goodness, Lesson 3 arrived this morning and I have had to work very hard to get this much done to move on to the next part.
I changed my mind a little from the stitch plan of last week - I used Portuguese stem Stitch for the large circle but then chose two rows of Stem stitch for the smaller circles. I also reduced the number of larger arcs - they seemed too close to the circle group.

I am enjoying the process enormously and have spent a considerable time working on it. Now comes more fun! The heavier elements.

Monday, July 23, 2007

As well as working on Sumptuous Surfaces I tied the fringe on the last of a series of woollen twill scarves that I wove last year. This was the last one to find a home and was a gift for a good friend. The colour scheme goes very nicely with the exercise above!

Since the arrival of Lesson 2

I have spent some time in the last few days trying out stitches- it may not be very obvious but I feel I did improve as time went on. Portuguese stem stitch certainly looked better when I followed the instructions properly (in the small circle) and hopefully this will show in the actual piece. I did hesitate about adding this scan but feel it is important for me to document this exercise as accurately as possible.

I have come up with a tentative stitch plan for the outlines and background. I really like the effect of using Moonshine with the linen for the background - unfortunately it did not show up in the sample scan.

I omitted a border which it probably needs. It could be brown whipped stem stitch. My colour scheme so far is very pale - however I am hopeful that the addition of darker beads in the next part will add sufficient contrast .

Friday, July 20, 2007

Well Lesson 2 arrived yesterday. Now to turn that Concept into a Form!

I spent quite some time playing with Portuguese Stem Stitch. I discovered a number of things - probably the most important one was that most of my stitching (and certainly any with an ecru thread that matches the fabric) will need to be done in good natural light - the penalty of aging eyes! I like it (PSS) and will probably use it to outline my large circle. I have been trying other stitches recommended by Sharon - lots of fun. This morning I calculated it is at least 51 years since I spent any time on any embroidery except cross stitch. No wonder I feel very rusty. Hopefully my fingers will become more agile as time goes on.

At the moment it is only sampling - I made a part tracing of the design on a small piece of linen. I tried the PSS, outline stitch and stem stitch for outlining the circles -after that some pulled cretan stitch for the background - first in a fine white singles weaving linen and then in an even finer weaving acrylic yarn, Moonshine. Moonshine is possibly too subtle to be used on its own. It is not much thicker than some human hair but I do like the irridescent effect it can give. I like the effect of pulled cretan. I think I would like to stitch the larger arcs in either running or back stitch . There is lots more experimentation to be done.

I am not sure how long I have to play before I get stuck into the actual piece. However I must try a few more stitches before I can submit my ideas for feedback. I also think I might need some slightly darker threads - the ones I have collected are mainly very pale tones.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Well Sumptuous Surfaces has sent me off in new directions. Not only am I having to learn to design an embroidery it seemed a good time to begin a blog.

The course is wonderful - week 1 has been a steep learning curve for me and no doubt the curve will remain in that direction.

My Concept has narrowed down to "Our Family Tree". I started with the thought of circles emanating from peace in one's heart. After research on the Web and considering various symbolisms of circles and rings I was taken by the imagery of "Flower of Life". My design has been based on this.

The centre of the "Flower of Life" has 6 circles of equal diameter - I used this in my large circle to represent our family. The smaller circles represent our children's families including their spouses and our 7 grandchildren. The concentric circles enclose the entire group.