Don’t you love how hand embroidery defines shapes and adds detail? Take the house above for example. Without the hand stitching, you’d never know that the residents love a blue door and a tile roof. The roof, by the way, is stitched with Fly Stitches joined together to make the tile shapes.
And then there is the stitching that turns the surrounding felt shapes into a tree and shrubbery. A few stabs of the needle and a plant is born! The tree shape is embellished with Back Stitches for the trunk and Couching for the branches. The jovial shrubs are made with Stem Stitches and lots of Lazy Daisy Stitches for leaves. Finer threads like size 12 pearl cotton work best for this detailed work.
I’m not sure what the next steps will be for this improvisational piece. But it gives me something to think about as I mix dye and hand dye even more thread this week. A stitcher’s work is never done!
My small composition (6″ x 6″) made from odd felt shapes is stitch-tacked into place. The running and cross stitches secure elements to the large background felt so I don’t have to use hazardous straight pins. Later, I’ll remove the stitch-tacking as I add the decorative embroidery stitches.
I’m also thinking of trimming the 2 round green shapes. They look peculiar to me.
The first embroidery stitches ideas come quickly. The sky and sides of the house are stitched with Blanket Stitches using a size 12 thread. And the top of the bridge is done using a size 8 thread. For the other shapes, I’ll need time to think up more interesting stitchery. Rome was not stitched in a day!
While I daydream about how to embellish the design, I fill in the bridge shape. Horizontal curving rows of Blanket Stitches are placed right next to each other to make boxes. When combined they resemble the brickwork on a bridge and create a wonderful texture at the same time. At long last, my desire to be a bricklayer is fulfilled!
Many years ago I purchased stacks of colorful wool felt from Commonwealth Felt. The rich colors and ease of stitching the felt by hand lured me in. But when you work small you end up with a lot of odds and ends that are too wonderful to throw away. So during the month of September, I’m giving away a bag of felt scraps with each order placed in the Artfabrik Store.
As I assemble the gift bags of fabrics I keep thinking, “I wonder how people will use them?” So I gave myself a challenge and set aside one of the bags to improvise a design. (I must admit I chose a bag with colors I liked.)
So far my little bag of scraps has yielded a yellow house on top of a bridge. I used some of the fabric shapes like the 2 green dots and the pointy tree as they were without trimming. Other shapes like the roof and bridge were trimmed from the waste fabrics or remnant fabrics from cutting with a die cutter.
I kind of like this simple design and am excited to move on to my favorite part, hand embroidery!
If you’ve received your little bag of scraps from ordering from Artfabrik, I hope you enjoy improvising a design too. Let me know what you come up with.
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