Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jacobean Leaves

I can't believe that it has been nearly a year since I wrote my first blog post. Amongst other things, I talked about turning some of the projects that I have been teaching over the years into kits and patterns, boldly showing a larger crewel piece, Jacobean Leaves as one such design.

This brings me to why I haven't been stitching (or blogging) very much for the past couple of weeks. I have been working on getting this very pattern ready. I originally thought it was going to be a quick and easy job to do - after all, I just had to tweak my teaching notes, right?

Wrong. I taught this project ten years ago and the way I like to present my work has - shall we say 'evolved' quite a bit over the years. Hopefully for the better. So getting this pattern to a point where I am happy with it has required a lot more work than I had anticipated.

The biggest part was developing new diagrams and there is quite a few of them! I don't usually photograph as I stitch, and if I do, I find the images don't often show what I am trying to convey clearly enough. Besides, wool is fluffy and hairy that really close-up pictures look terrible. I used to draw the diagrams by hand, but really - I am not very good at drawing so I have turned to the computer. It has taken a little bit of practise, but I am beginning to get the hang of it. My issue with digital diagrams is that the colours are flat and boring - well, I am sure clever graphic designers can do some really beautiful stuff, but I am not a graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination. I could leave the diagrams as just line drawing I guess, but I do find that colour is so helpful to relate the diagram to what you are actually stitching, don't you think?  So I print my line drawings out, colour them in by hand, then scan them and pop them into the text. It is a lot of work but I like it that way and hopefully if you ever work from one of my patterns, you will too.

I am just doing the final check this week and then they should be ready - fingers crossed.

Of course, working on this pattern has given my ideas for new designs... oh if only there were more hours in the day. For now - it has stopped raining, so I might venture out for a bit of fresh air, then I have a week ahead full of other work part of which s preparing a 1 hour beginner class. What would you suggest you were to introduce embroidery to someone and only had an hour to do so?

Hope you are enjoying a lovely Sunday.
Happy stitching,
Anna X


  1. Beaustiful!!!!!


    Maria Filomena

  2. I'm looking forward to this kit, it's a beautiful design.

  3. Congratulations on your one-year blogging anniversary! So glad you started it as I enjoy reading.

    This is a lovely design, and can't wait until it's available. I'm already visualizing it as a beautiful cushion in my living room! So enjoyed reading of the painstaking work and the process involved in bring a pattern to concrete realization. So much technical detail - it gives me a much greater appreciation of the work necessary to create a quality pattern/kit.

    Beginner's Class Suggestions: Intro to materials (fabric, accessories), show how to mount the fabric in a hoop, and 5-7 basic embroidery stitches (stem, outline, chain, split back stitch, french knots+) and a little motif - maybe a sunflower on a stem?
    -Sharon in France

  4. Good morning Anna:

    A suggestion for your beginner class would be to have a mini trunk show at the beginning - pass around some of your amazing work for everyone to see... That's how I got hooked. I attended an embroidery class in my favourite quilt shop with a friend, to humour her and have a GNO. The teacher passed around some of her work that illustrated the broad range of possibilities and I was hooked - despite myself. Your work is out-of-this-world-amazingness so I'm sure seeing it up close and being able to pass it around would be hugely inspirational - not just for beginners as in this case, but to any needle artists.

    Sending love and hugs from Canada.


  5. Thank you for the lovely feedback. The ideas for the little beginner class are great, thank you. It is more of a 'teaser' class I am doing with Country Bumpkin at a coming craft fair. I will show you later in the week what we will be doing. Hugs, Anna

  6. Hi Anna,

    I agree with Pam's suggestion of taking along examples to show work beyond the introductory level. I also find that kind of thing inspiring, and I pay closer attention to the class I'm in!

  7. Hi Anna,
    Congratulations on a year in the blog world! It's a joy to get your updates and see what you've been up to. This crewel piece it's gorgeous!
    Liebe Grusse,

  8. Hi Anna,
    Having begun one of your kits I would like to say that your instructions are really clear and easy to follow! As the recipient of your hard labour I Thank you ! I am loving my return to stitching after decades of neglect! I also agree with all the comments above.

    1. Hi Robyn, I am really glad to hear you are enjoying the crewel project. Playing some little part in getting someone stitching makes me really happy.