Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Getting dressed

Did I whip this needle lace creation up overnight? Absolutely not. It is quite a while since I stitched the pieces - in fact I did them twice because the first lot just didn't look right. There is still a few elements to be added but I am so pleased with how it has turned out, I just couldn't wait to share it.

Anna x

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fingers & hands

Every time I read a post from Janet Brandt about the progress on her embroidered casket, I too want to work on embroidered figures.
Casket Panel by Janet Brandt
Isn't it simply delightful? If you are not already familiar with Janet's fabulous embroidered figures you should have a look at the work on her blog - she tells the most fabulous stories with her extraordinary stumpwork pieces.

It's been a very long time since I have had the pleasure to play with my Over the Hills panel - in fact I have not showed you any progress since I finished the feet a few months ago. Figures without heads look so unattractive so the hills and legs were all you saw. She now has a face...


This morning I set out to make the hands. Hands are fun but so very fiddly to make so I confess have been putting it off with excuses of 'more important' things to be done...
Wire fingers are so tiny to wrap and my fingers were rather tired by the time I had the pile of ten strange looking wiry things done. Looking at them makes you wonder how they can ever possible end up looking like anything that even resembles fingers.


More wrapping and there - a pair of hands. Perhaps not the most perfect or elegant hands you have ever seen, but hands they are all the same.

Stitching them to the panel, the hands look enormous and I had to remind myself that (if I remember correctly from a drawing lesson on human proportion many moons ago) a hand is a long as the face...

The stripy, skinny arms are stitched as heavily padded satin stitch - like trailing used for French monogramming. I even managed to (almost) match the stripes.

So here she is - looking so much more like a person than the sad armless stick figure on my canvas this morning. Happy!

Hope you have a lovely week,

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Finished flowers

Just a quick show & share - I finished the new project for the classes in Bangkok.

It turned out ok, I think. Happy, bright and cheerful - that is how this embroidery makes me feel when I look at it finished. I hope those who chose to do the class will feel the same way and fall in love with stitching.

I haven't yet decided what to make it into - it may just end up as a piece of 'hoop' art. Any ideas?

I won't be doing any sewing, stitching or embroidery today though. Today is garden day. We have been having the most glorious autumn weather and the garden is begging me to go outside.

Hope you too are having a nice and relaxing weekend,
Anna x

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Simple stitches

After a couple of really busy weeks writing instructions, drawing and working on patterns (not only my own but also those for the next issue of Inspirations magazine) I am back to doing what I love most - stitching! Remember this one...?


Since then I added a border to the Festival Flower and once Shelly Penko's fabulous fabric arrived from Spoonflower I made the piece into a small lined pouch that buttons on the back - perfect size for a tablet. 


Originally the piece was designed as a teaching project for the classes I have been invited to teach at Pak-ka-paohouse studio in Bangkok and Chang Mai in September (Soooo super, very excited!) - but on second thought, wool is really not the greatest fibre when it comes to humidity. 
Simply restitching the original design in cotton wouldn't work - the dimensions are all wrong and I know it would look terribly - so it was back to the drawing board. After letting the thoughts of change brew at the back of my mind for a week or so this is what emerged one late evening on a piece of scrap paper...

I really enjoyed stitching with these bright and cheerful colours and was determined too keep the selection of stitches similar to those of the crewel work version. 

I haven't worked in stranded cotton for some time but it is coming along well and I think it will look quite sweet when it is finished.

This piece is designed as an introduction to surface embroidery with a twist of Jacobean crewel work. It may look intricate but only uses six different and very basic surface embroidery stitches: Blanket stitch, Chain stitch, Detached chain (lazy daisy), Fly stitch, French knot, Stem stitch plus a basic couched trellis for that distinct Jacobean crewel work look.
I am really enjoying stitching it and hope the students will as well - beats doing a row by row sampler wouldn't you agree?

With only the flowers left to do, I am itching to get back to it.
Happy stitching,

Friday, May 2, 2014

Scalloped edges

I haven't had much time to stitch this week and my fingers were starting to itch. Last night, when I should have been heading for bed I grabbed my needle instead...

...quietly working an old favourite of mine, blanket stitch, closely side by side to create lazy scalloped edges. 
Perfect (deep sigh)

Twisting and turning the work as I stitch the areas of colour, shapes and texture form abstract patterns. - not at all sure about that pale cornflowery blue...

The scalloped edges finishes the top the wing, connecting the larger feathers 
...and the colours work - I think.

From a distance the bird comes together. It is so easy to forget to lean back and look from a distance.
It is amazing what just a quiet hour with needle and thread can do for the soul - I slept like a baby.

Have a lovely weekend,
Anna x