I have finished my modern band sampler and I am really pleased with it. I just need to find a nice frame now and voilà it will be completed.
My stitching is straighter than the above photo implies. The wobbliness is because I haven’t reshaped and pressed the fabric yet. I really enjoyed the effect of the tonal threads although the pale pink/white on the zig zag does make it look from a distance as though some of the stitches are miss. But the most important thing is that working my way through this sampler has given me back the confidence I used to have when I did embroidery many years ago.
So on the back of this new found confidence I have decided to take a leap of faith and jump in at the deep end with a project I have wanted to do for some time. The instructions are included in Hazel Blomkamp’s Crewel Twists and the design includes a lot of bead work which is relatively new to me as well as some new crewel work stitches. For me the attraction of Hazel’s designs is that they take the traditional Jacobean Crewelwork motifs and stitches but bring them into the 21st century with bead work and additional stitches from other areas of embroidery. In my normal way when I am pushing out of my comfort zone I have been dithering around finding the right supplies. As the book is written by someone based in the Southern Hemisphere I have had to research what equivalent materials will be and search for suppliers. It is no bad thing as I have learnt that linen twill is the best fabric for this kind of work albeit hard to source and that there are a vast range of beads available out there in all sorts of sizes and colours but generally not the ones I want. Luckily thanks to the power of the internet and a lot of patience I have tracked down suppliers for everything and the small, but expensive, parcels are starting to arrive. Next up is to learn how to use the light box I received as a Christmas present to transfer the design to the fabric.
I have been whizzing through the sampler which I started about a month ago. It has been really enjoyable so far and I only have 3 more bands to do to finish it. I should have smoothed the fabric out better before I took a photograph as it looks a little wobbly and it isn’t.
Now I am thinking about the next project and I might just pluck up courage and go for a project in Crewel Twists which will be a bit of a leap for me but as my eldest points out if I want to improve I need to take a risk rather than sticking with what I know well! The first challenge is tracking down all the materials including beads. I am already stuck with the material as it is an Australian book and so I am now hoping that someone on the Stitchin forum will be able to translate the fabric into something I can buy in the UK.
I haven’t posted about my crafty exploits for a while so I thought an update was due. Having completed the Sheep Pincushion I had started on a beaded scissor case from the same supplier but it was all rather fiddly and for some reason I had fallen out of love with it. I was in that horrid place where you think I really ought to get on with that and then go off finding other things to do.
Anyway, a few weeks back the latest edition of The Stitch magazine plopped through the letter box and I was instantly drawn to the sampler pattern featured in it. It was exactly what I needed – simple and straight forward. Lots of repetition and not on so small a scale (like the scissor case) that I was thinking I needed to get a magnify glass to supplement my glasses.
I ordered the material choosing to go for the colours shown in the magazine as they appealed to me and I wanted to try out the tonal threads. I am sure I have enough embroidery silks stashed away to use up left overs but I was really after a no-think project. This might sound strange but work is so demanding at the moment that I come home with my head spinning and in need of peace and quiet in the evenings with no more information or thinking coming my way. I am even too tired to really engage in social media aside from keeping the blog going. Sitting watching a drama on television while I stitch a repetitive row is just my level at the moment and it is surprisingly relaxing and rewarding.
The perfectionist in me twitches at the photo above as the stitches aren’t spot on but I then remind myself that this is its charm. An added bonus was that I have already learnt two new stitches – fern and chevron. There’s a way to go yet and maybe when I have finished it I might feel inclined to finish the scissor holder (or maybe I will just put that away for the foreseeable future!).