It occured to me that I have not put much of my own embroidery onto this blog for a while and I wanted to thank you dear readers for sticking with me whilst I was decorating and broadcasting etc. So I thought I would show you some of the embroidery I enjoy doing. I know some of you probably can't do this type of embroidery yourselves and so maybe mine will be an inspiration to you this year of 2010!
First up is a little piece I made which is a particular favourite of mine because it seemed to work out so well.
I took some artist's weight canvas and painted it with the blue silk paint you see for a background. then I took some silk paper I had made in shades of green with added pieces of white silk and cut a rectangle out of it. This gave me a framework with a shaggy outside and a good size rectangle for the inside. Onto this I appliquéd some pieces of fabric and some sheer pink organza and lastly I added 3 flowers I had made on my Janome embroidery only machine. I then added some pink fluffy Linton Tweed fibres taken from some material I had left over from them. This was only the start. Next I placed all of this under my Bernina and started to embroider and it was stiff enough to not have to use any hoops, (the trick is to use strong artist's canvas for the background). I usually do certain meander type doodles which seem to be my signature if you like and often add a large starburst, which you can see in the top right and bottom left corner in shiny pink. One more in the centre of the 3 flowers seemed to make the piece come together and that was that.
This next piece is much more complex but overall the idea was the same except I made 3 little fish on the Janome machine and cut one of them in two so that I could use the tail and the head to make it look as though more fish were swimming through the weeds.
I simply kept the silk paper loser and tucked the fish inside it here and there to give the illusion of depth. I also made some rather longer weeds down the left hand side by using some appliquéd threads and bits of ribbon.
Here you can see the idea I had about cutting one fish into two, it does mean I could get away with making less fish. I used the same type of machine embroidery techniques I described for the first piece but more densely.
This is the bottom of the piece and you can see I made a starfish and I worked more little scraps of fuzzy Linton Tweed fibres into the silk and teased it open here and there to push pieces inside so it gave the right impression.
Lastly, this is a more contemporary piece but still uses the artist's canvas only painted pale green, and onto it I dribbled some gutta percha in a sort of gold and let this set hard. Then I added sharp looking blocks of embroidered taffeta which I had cut into the shapes I needed after embroidering them. I attached these to the piece using machine embroidery and added a large swathe of gold see through fabric across the front, as I wanted it to be bold. I embroidered it using my favourite glitzy threads from Madeira. This photo is just a detail of the centre area.
Well I do have more of this type of thing but I think you get the idea. I would add that I sometimes pad out the embroidery from the back before I frame it using quilters wadding and I never frame them with glass over the top. I know they are more difficult to keep clean, but they do look better and if you just flick a duster carefully over them they seem to tolerate it very well. I love doing machine embroidery and I hope this has given you the confidence to have a go, it really is easier than it looks. You do not need to be an expert, just relax and play and let the needle do the drawing. Start by using appliquéd shapes or something if you feel your stitching does not stand up to close inspection and just couch them down around the edges with little swirls or lots of little circles joined with lines of stitching. Just keep trying and surprise yourself.
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