Friday, July 10, 2020

Getting started

I have made a good start on my new crewel work design and just quickly wanted to share a snippet of it with you.

I started with the main 'trunk'. Partly because it was the one element that I knew exactly how I wanted to embroidery, but also because it is the most centered element and I like to try and stitch from the center outwards.

The trunk is stitched in very close rows of stem stitch. I know, I have said it before, but I just adore the way stem stitch almost looks woven when used as a filling stitch and you can achieve the most incredible shading.
Next was the large scrolling stems on each side. For those, I first stitched a line of ordinary chain stitch. It looked ok, but I felt it needed a little more texture, so I added back stitch over the top in a slightly lighter shade.

It gives the chain stitch a little more body. I still feel the scrolls need 'something', but I am not sure what, so am leaving them for now.

I then moved on to the sepals. As always when I work the colours and textures start very rough feeling  of what I am aiming for. These shapes are both pointy and some quite curved, I knew, I had to choose stitches and textured that would support and perhaps even accentuate these qualities. 
I wanted the outlines of the shapes to look 'firm' if that makes sense, so again opted for the trusty stem stitch. I have used two shades of grey and a pale blue-grey. As you can  see in the (slightly fuzzy, sorry) picture below, working out the order of colours and how many rows of each, happened progressively. 

I then stitched the center veins in coral stitch with the darkest of grey. Both the colour and texture of the stitches are a nice contrast to the outer edges and I think the knots are quite decorative in their own right.

So this is where I am at, and I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying stitching this piece.

The colour palette is a little different to what I have been working with lately; steel blue-grey is the primary colour (I think) with golden/brass yellow accents and grey-green used to tie it all together.
The inspiration for this colour scheme was borne some time ago during a workshop where I asked participants to stitch one of my designs but using their own colour sheme. A number of the ladies were using grey. It is not a colour I naturally gravitate to, but I loved the contemporary and classy twist it added to the project, so I am looking forward to giving it a go. 

Next up, I think, are the two large leaves...

Have a lovely weekend.
Stay safe and keep stitching,
Anna X


  1. Dear Anna, what a fantastic start of your new work! The drawn design looks beautiful already, the embroidered beginning is too. Although grey is not my color I must say that these warm grey shades are beautiful and perfect for this artwork in the making.
    Have a nice Sunday evening.
    Stay safe, take care, dear Anna.
    Hugs, Ilona

    1. Dear Ilona, I don't think, I would ever have chosen grey either if it was not because I had seen the beautiful result from another embroiderer who was game enough to do so. Isn't it wonderful how we can pick up and constantly be inspired by the creativity of others?
      Anna X