Planner or Improviser? Reimagining Art #1

Are you a planner or an improviser? For a large piece of artwork, I’m a planner. Sketching the design and then creating a pattern gives me a sense of control. These boundaries help define my vision of the piece.

But with smaller artwork, I’m an improviser. A good example is the FrankenStitch Story seen here. The spontaneity of the improvisational process fills me with a sense of freedom and joy!

And if you enjoy the process and challenge of improvisational embroidery, why not make more?

The trigger for my next embroidery is a leftover step-out from the Tasty Apple project in Joyful Stitching. (I was thinking of calling the project Daughter of FrankenStitch! Ummm… maybe not.)

The stages or step-outs for the Tasty Apple project are stitched on a rich purple felted wool. My friendly wool provider, Tracy Trevethan, hand-dyes beautiful colors. I should know I own a lot of it!

I have four swatches with partial hand embroidery to choose from.

And this is the one I picked for the embroidery project. Why? Because the leaf is already filled in with lots of lazy daisy stitches. Don’t you love how the variegated size 8 Lime Frappe changes color across the leaf shape, adding interest and zing?

I hope you’ll join me and follow the process for this next improvisational embroidery. Who knows what will happen? Think of the possibilities!

FrankenStitch: Epilogue

It was a dark and stormy night when the embroiderer walked into her basement studio and the lightbulb in her brain finally lit up. At last! A way to finish her FrankenStitch design!

She centered the embroidery onto a piece of her hand-dyed fabric that was fused to a rectangle of wool batting. As she admired the pickle color of the cloth, she decided that her choice of color was a really big dill.

After attaching the embroidery to the cotton border fabric with hand stitching, she rushed to her sewing machine. (Ok, maybe she didn’t rush.) The embroiderer casually sauntered to her sewing machine.

Dropping the feed dogs on the machine, she casually added free-motion stitching to the green fabric. She chose the famous curlicues and bananas pattern of stitching to surround the embroidery thinking it added a bit of festivity.

As she completed the project, the embroiderer sighed and glanced around the studio. Suddenly she felt at loose ends.

But wait! Was that a small unfinished embroidery peeking out from under a stack of fabric. Was another FrankenStitch project lurking in the wings? Perhaps a Daughter of FrankenStitch? Stay tuned!

Read the entire FrankenStitch Story here.

The FrankenStitch Story #9: It’s Alive!

Wherein the Embroiderer Completes the Creation

The embroiderer nestles into her comfy chair and takes up her FrankenStitch design. The artwork resembles its sibling called Natural Gardening (left) from Playful Free-Form Embroidery but with a flair for the dramatic. Just a few more stitches and it too will be complete.

And none too soon, for she is almost out of cookies

She adds blooms made with French knots to soften the horizon line. A size 12 Prinky Phlox from the now infamous Artfabrik dyers does the job.

Then she contemplates the sky. Can she transform the formidable black fabric with curved lines of stem stitches? Having no better ideas, she renders the lines on the sky with a size 12 Ocean thread. She likens the undulating lines to a crisp spring breeze or perhaps a bizarre cloud formation. Cumulus FrankenStitchius?

All that is left are a few stitches on the sun to perk it up. The embroiderer contemplates her handiwork. The FrankenStitch, a design born from unwanted step-outs, is finished. She sets it aside and grabs one last cookie. It is time to return to her real garden and the weeds that await.

The End