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!
Pam of Ithaca and her artwork.
I get the best ideas from my creative students. Meet Pam, who attended my class in Ithaca, NY in April. To my delight she walked into the classroom with this gorgeous embroidery of her hand. She says her hand-embroidery on silk was inspired by the Hand of Fortune project from Joyful Stitching.
A tracing of my grandson’s hand, age 3.5.
And then she gave me a gift.
Pam suggested tracing those tiny hands of our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews and stitching them too. What a great way to commemorate the growth of a child!
Thank you Pam for sharing your artwork and your stupendous idea.
Dyed in the Wool #1 by Laura Wasilowski
You may have heard that a chapter in my new book, Joyful Stitching, went missing. For those of us who are fond of mystery novels, I’m pretty sure it was kidnapped. (Still awaiting ransom note.) The missing chapter called Combinations Rock! covered how combining two or more embroidery stitches added texture, pattern, and shapes to fabric.
And talk about texture! The French Knot is famous for its bulky texture. But combine it with the Bullion Knot, and your thread leaps off the fabric. In Dyed in the Wool #1, the stitch combination of French and Bullion Knots give the sheep a curly fleece you just want to pet.
Tasty Bite of Apple by Laura Wasilowski
It’s true what you’ve heard. A chapter in my new book, Joyful Stitching, was mysteriously removed before publication. Sure, I’m making this all up but the chapter called Combinations Rock! was a great idea! It was all about combining embroidery stitches and included the merging of stitches to create texture on fabric.
A good example of this texture building is found in the Tasty Bite of Apple project. Adjacent rows of Blanket Stitches create small squares like the light green threads above. Each green square is filled in with a red French Knot. This is my favorite stitch combination. I love how the bumpy texture created with complementary thread colors really zings. Don’t you just love a bumpy combination?
Did you know that there is a missing chapter from my new book, Joyful Stitching? Yes, it mysteriously disappeared one dark and stormy night.
This “tell all” chapter (with the cheerful title Combinations Rock!) was mysteriously dropped from the book. Some say it was due to lack of space. I say, that they were scandalized by my combinations rocking.
Combinations Rock! explored the combining of different embroidery stitches to create texture, pattern, and shape on fabric. Happily I have saved my notes and have examples of that missing chapter to show you over the next few days. Hope you’re not scandalized!
Embroidered Pear by Laura Wasilowski
It’s common practice in hand embroidery to combine stitches to create pattern. Repeated stitch motifs or patterns are useful for filling in large background areas like the table in Embroidered Pear. This pattern of embroidery begins with rows of linked Cross Stitches in blue thread on the wool background fabric. The blue threads make diamond shapes across the fabric. French Knots (in yellow thread) fill in the diamond shapes to complete the pattern.
This simple stitch combination builds a delightful pattern across the fabric and keeps that pear from falling over. Stay tuned for more combinations rocking in the near future!
You ask, the Pistil Stitch, that’s only for making flower pistils, right? Of course not! In the world of hand embroidery, stitches are free to do what ever you like. Here you see a favorite stitch combination: the Fern Stitch and the Pistil Stitch happily creating lots of thready texture in the Hand of Fortune project from Joyful Stitching.
But wait! Isn’t the Fern Stitch for making climbing vines, veins on leaves, and other plant forms? Again, stitches don’t have to be representative of any specific shape. You can use them to create pattern, line, and texture. Embroidery is a way to mark the fabric, like a pen drawn on paper.
And the lucky winner lucky winner of a pre-printed hand shape used to make the Hand of Fortune project is Nancy N.
Congratulations! I’ll contact you soon.
Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.