Monday, March 9, 2020

stitches managed

I am so very proud of this embroidery hoop. I think an apt name would be "Portrait of the Artist in her 20s" because this reminds me of all the time I spent hiking in the woods and wilderness in California and Utah during the time shortly after I moved out to California. I was an adventurer and a daydreamer, just like this picture suggests. 

The DMC National Embroidery Month celebratory blog/video series was so fun to do. It proved, as I suspected, that a little bit each day on an unfamiliar project with totally new skills would lead to something manageable. I'm feeling accomplished with the amount I learned in a short time and also that I managed to translate it all into this project with no practice. For having taken the plunge, this looks like a skilled stitcher made it! That's really a tribute to the bite sized videos and instruction; there was no way I would have taken the blank pattern and done anything like this without the visual lessons. Thanks, DMC!

Straight stitch, stem stitch, whipped backstitch, satin stitch, French knot, pistil stitch for the poppies; 
encroaching satin stitch for the meadows

I did not end up purchasing the stitchable cork that was suggested for the ground, opting instead for this pretty gray-brown-green felt already in my stash. I am however intrigued by the cork, so maybe that will come in a later adventure. I also didn't buy all of the suggested threads, using what I could find in my stash to augment some actual purchases I made. The sparkly etoile thread was definitely worth getting, and I like the pearl cotton for the mountains. 

Basketweave stitch, star stitch for the hat; smyrna cross for the sweater; 
cable stitch for the jeans; braided turkey work hair

I am very pleased with the smyrna cross sweater in particular. These two colors were yarns I've had wound up in my embroidery box for a very long time. I'm sure they are leftovers from an old project in my tweens. It turns out that they gave me a sweater that matches a blanket we bought in San Antonio when the 'Cats went to the Alamo Bowl. Northwestern wildcat pride! That, combined with the deep dark brown braids, really makes this person seem like me.

Raised satin stitch for the sun; long and short stitch for the mountains

The fringe stitch trees were the most difficult part. I had challenges getting coverage to the extent that I was happy with and also trimming everything evenly. I think maybe sharper scissors may have helped, but I'm not entirely sure. Regardless, the trees definitely make the most impact on the whole piece because they are visually dimensional and texturally interesting. It is hard to resist petting the trees, I'll be honest. 

Fringe stitch (turkey work) and fly stitch for the trees

Second to the sweater, I am very tickled with how the clouds turned out. I just picked a few random scraps from my stash to play with and the colors are perfect. In fact, driving home the other night I saw clouds of nearly identical color to these as the sun set. It was a lovely confirmation that sometimes our imaginations are really grounded in the real. 

Colonial knot clouds

I was not very happy with how the magic paper came off of the fabric. It seemed like the ink stuck to some of my colors and dulled them, especially the sun, and you can see the 'coffee stain' from drying around the edges of the project. That's a bummer, but the paper was so handy that I'm not certain it would keep me from doing it again. Luckily the hoop hides the stain so you can't even tell. Maybe next time I should use warmer water and agitate more?

I just did a quick trim of the edges and a running stitch around the back to finish up. The stitching on the back looks quite neat, so I may not put a back on it. I do have to remember to put a label though because this is something I'm going to want to remember making long after I'll recall the year I did it! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for chiming in and leaving a comment!