Friday, November 30, 2012

On the porch

It seems summer is finally here!
My favourite part of the day is early in the evening when, after a hot day, the gully winds roll in. Sitting outside, with a nice glass of wine, watching the sun set is the perfect way to wind down after a busy day.

After a few weeks of not getting an awful lot of 'serious' embroidery done, I suddenly realised I was running extremely behind in getting a class project ready. These things are always needed at least six months in advance (often longer) and as much as I love teaching, keeping on top of it so fare in advance proves a little tricky from time to time. It was a beautiful day today, so before my spot on the front porch became a 'winding down' spot it was a busy stitching spot for most of the day.

I love nothing more than sitting back and just stitching. It doesn't happen all that often, mainly because most of my embroidery is destined for either class projects, kits or publication. Trying to stay organised when I work is something I am trying hard to do, but I am really not very good at it. I often find myself diving head first into a project, without too much planning - only later to pull most of it out, then do the planning I should have done at the very beginning and then - then the piece comes together. I really must stop doing that!

For instance, I rarely work up detailed colour drawings. I usually have a pretty clear picture in my head of how I want the finished piece to look and often will gather fabrics and magazine or book tear-outs of colours and patterns. I guess you could call it a mood-board, but really it is just a pile of pictures and scraps.
When I began this piece, I kind of knew what I wanted to do, so getting the line work for the design drawn was quite easy. I also knew the colour scheme I wanted to use - or thought I did! As we were about to leave for a weekend at the beach, I quickly tossed in a quite a few hand fulls of yarn in the shades I had in mind. The weekend away was much needed and fabulous. Not so the embroidery - the colours just didn't work!

The other day I remembered I had this fabulous piece of fabric in the cupboard - not quite the shades I originally had imagined, but when I brought it out, they were perfect. Back went most of the original colours I had chosen and I slowly worked my way into a new colour scheme. Now it feels right and I better get back to it.......


Monday, November 12, 2012

Little time to stitch

The last few weeks have been rather hectic both at work and at home, so embroidery of any kind has had to take a back seat. The vines are going mad this time of year so the vineyard is busy and this weekend Adrian had a rather significant birthday to celebrate. When I am that busy, I find it hard sometimes to take a deep breath and just sit down and stitch even for a few minutes and I am looking forward to putting needle the fabric a bit again.

Apart from dusting off my sewing machine and getting a few little 'must-do'  jobs out of the way, I did manage to finish the small crewel design I was working on. Of course I couldn't help but changing a few colours and stitches here and there from the original instructions. Now all there is left for me to do is a revision of the instructions to match the changes and also to get them into the form and shape that I like them to be.

The weekend before last, I did find a few hours in the afternoon to sit on the front porch and finish a scissor keep I had been wanting to do for a while. It matches a pincushion I made a little while ago. Both are worked with Cascade House shaded crewel wool, which I love to work with. The colours are beautiful and the yarns are slightly finer than Appleton. I am hoping to have the instructions for all three designs in my Etsy shop in the next couple of weeks and the full kits soon after that.

I am debating how much to include in the the pincushion and scissor keep kits - just fabrics and yarns or everything you need to finish the project. I very rarely buy kits myself so I am not sure what stitcher's prefer. What do you think?