Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June Take It Further Challenge - Shell, Stash and Stories

This was a delight to stitch. The theme and colours that Sharon provided us with this month were made for my project!
"What stories could our stash tell us and what stories will it provide when we use it." is my interpretation of the theme.
The shell, I have based the stitching on, is a beautiful specimen that I inherited from my mother. It sits in the bathroom and the children love to listen to the song it sings. I would love to know the history of this shell but, unfortunately, I can't translate that song. I don't know where or when it was acquired but it was a very long time ago - more than 70 years.
The subject for this month's TIF for me had to have some relationship to my mother who was not an embroiderer but was a knitter and dressmaker, extraordinaire. She shared these skills with me although I never achieved her level. Nothing was wasted or thrown out if it could be used for another purpose. I inherited much of her stash as well as her stash collection propensities. While this particular shell can serve only as an inspiration it is certainly a symbol of that stash.
Time spent stitching just flew. I managed a new pulled thread stitch - Algerian eye - and made some woven spiders for the first time. Both of these I will use again. I tried some cast-on stitches for texture but I am still unhappy with my efforts there.
Now it is onto July with a new theme and colour scheme and a stitch along with Stitchin Fingers - but before then, Sharon's new and exciting Studio Journal begins on Saturday. I will be busy in July.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

May TIF - Version 2

Finished, I think. This time I used the colour challenge as well as the theme for last month's TIF. While my small granddaughters will probably love it, it is a tad pink for me!
I love the butterfly - definitely an improvement on Version 1. There is something about pulled thread work that appeals to me enormously - both the process and the product.
I am not so sure about the total piece and can see some things I would do differently in Version 3 (not sure when I will manage to do that one). It needs to be in portrait mode but I find thinking in landscape easier - can't imagine why. Maybe Version 3 should be in monochrome. Is that the wrong order in which to work?
Interestingly, I used only DMC floss for the buttonhole wheels and missed the texture of the perle from the previous piece. I haven't found much difference in my work previously except for ease of use - perhaps as my techniques improve (ever so slightly) the differences are becoming more marked.

Friday, June 13, 2008

On the Loom once more!

The loom is singing along again this week. Although I had not done any weaving I was thoroughly sick of looking at the black and white warp . It has been on the loom for almost two years.
To finish quickly (and start a new warp sooner) I decided to use one colour only in the weft - three coloured double weave instead of four - and produce a series of samples. After two inches with an Iris weft it was Marine's turn. What a shock! After weaving to free up the loom I was suddenly interested in what was coming off it! There should be just enough warp for fabric for a vest. It is interesting and is a lovely indigo colour.
Embroidery is not at a complete standstill - I am slowly stitching a second version of the May TIF and enjoying the process no end. However the June TIF is still only an idea.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thankyou for the feedback

How wonderful! Thankyou to everyone who generously made comments on the previous two entries. I do learn so much from this helpful criticism. Despite my uneasiness about the piece I find that objectivity is difficult to achieve so I really appreciate the effort made.

I certainly hadn't occurred to me how wrong the black is in the butterfly but once Meg said it I realised, how true- maybe a dark blue or a very deep black brown would have been much more satisfactory.

Megan's suggestion that I shift the butterfly is a good one. Originally I had intended to use long and short stitch but when I thought about the sett of the linen weave I decided on the French Knots. I am fairly limited in my stitch vocabulary - I keep trying to expand it but it seems to take considerable time to improve my proficiency in each new stitch. I do try to include a new one each month. This time I was happier with my Bullion so it stayed in the piece. Hopefully the stitch-along with Stitchin' Fingers will help me improve my techniques.

Deb you have made me understand my feeling regarding the knots in the butterfly and the flower textures - the butterfly is meant to contrast with the flowers but I think it turned out to be a very 'uncomfortable' contrast. I am not sure how else to describe it.

No, I did not weave the linen - it is my favourite fabric for stitching - 26 count I think. Not great for long and short stitch without a backing.

I will certainly try another one - same design, more or less - different colours and some different stitches. Thankyou for all the positive things you have said.