Here’s what to love about hand embroidery- you can take it with you. You only need these basic items: fabric, needle, thread, thimble, and a pair of scissors. Hand embroidery is a great vacation pass time!
Which is what I’ve been doing the last few weeks. Relaxing with family, getting sun burned, and stitching. Well, maybe not stitching a lot. As you can see my garden didn’t grow very much while I was on vacation. Vacationing is great but it is also very exhausting so it’s good to be back in my shady studio again.
Flower Vase Stitch Along by Laura Wasilowski
Do you need a vacation project? Then please check out my free project on wool on the C&T Blog the Flower Vase Stitch Along. Or if you need a few months to think about your next stitch project, check out my IQF classes this fall in Houston. I’ll be teaching several classes including Felt Like Gardening in the morning on October 30. See you there!
The blue flowers are very sweet on this improvisational stitchery. But something big and bold is needed for the focal point. Enter the Chain Stitch. Stitched in a size 8 pearl cotton, it curves down the center of the piece. Add a few straight stitches spiking from the chain and we’re in business. Could this be a future big and bold flower stem?
While thinking this through, I’ve added lots of Ermine Stitches in size 8 thread across the base of the garden. Don’t you love how the yellow pops on that rich red background?
Sometimes its a challenge to choose thread colors for an unexpected background color like this. But if you think in terms of contrast in value or hue, it opens up your thread color choices a great deal. Can’t wait to see what the fabric tells me to do next!
The red wool I’m using for my improvised embroidery is a boiled wool. It is fairly thick, a little fuzzy, and ever so easy to stitch. In it’s previous life it was a jacket. Also, in a previous life, I demonstrated how to make these blue Fishbone Stitches on the wool to a student. I think I did it right.
To me the Fishbone Stitches look like something growing which triggers my theme for this improvised piece- a garden. And what does a garden need? Soil of course! The horizon line made with a Couched size 3 pearl cotton indicates the rich loamy soil of Illinois. Add Stem Stitches with a few Lazy Daisy Stitches and the plants are anchored into place. Now its time to improvise even more plants in my imaginary garden.
Today I unearthed this swatch of red wool fabric. The few stitches you see represent my attempt to teach a student how to make the Fern and Stem Stitches. The blue thread shows my attempts at the Fishbone Stitch.
My first thought upon seeing this red wool was “Ouch!, I left a needle in the fabric.” The second was, “Can I make something from this?”
Improvisational or free-form embroidery challenges your brain and tests your ability to surrender to needle and thread. So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to give my brain a work out and try to improvise a design beginning with these few random acts of stitching. I’ll show you the results as I progress and we can lament my lack of brain power together.
Now, where did I put that needle?
For those of you touring Germany this Fall, please stop in to your local quilt store for a copy of Quilt & Textilkunst Patchwork Professional.
You’ll know which magazine to pick up by the sight of my blue chair, Arm Chair Gardener, featured on the cover.
There is also a gift inside for you.
A free tutorial shows you how to make this free-form Yellow Chair embroidery on wool. Step-by-step directions and images lead you through the process.
Not in Germany? Unable to read the German directions? Ah, then I have a solution for you. Check out the Yellow Chair Tutorial on my website. And here is a Yellow Chair Stitch Kit to get you started.
Today my students in Sisters, OR begin their embroidered gardens. They will design their own work beginning with a sketch. Then they’ll add free-form hand embroidery to hand dyed silk fabric fused to batting. Stitchers are so inventive. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!
Want to join them? The Embroidered Garden Tutorial shows you the steps my students will take to prepare their silk fabrics for stitching. Plus you’ll find directions on how to make this blue tree in a woodland garden. Have fun!