Upon opening the box from her editor, the embroiderer glowered at the step-outs from her book, Playful Free-Form Embroidery. Eager to return to her garden, she tossed the step-outs in the Elfa baskets carefully purchased for her new studio. The Elfa shelving system groaned under the weight of the step-outs. She slammed the cupboard door shut and switched off the studio light.
But the step-outs called
to her. They haunted her waking moments as she weeded her garden and killed
mosquitoes. It was as if the heartless Elfa baskets begged her to return to the
One day the embroiderer cleaned the damp soil from her Sloggers chicken gardening shoes and paused at her studio door. Perhaps one peek a the step-outs would end the haunting. Maybe one glance at the step-outs would reaffirm her wish to put the book’s stitching behind her.
Or would it?
The embroiderer slowly drew an Elfa basket from the cabinet. What was it that compelled her to sort through the step-outs? Her fingers itched to touch the texture of each one, to caress the threads she had stitched so long ago.
As she forced herself to return the step-outs to their Elfa basket her eyes fell on swatch of black wool with bright red flowers and the small house that lay like a companion next to it. It was as if the moonlit garden longed for the promise of daylight as if the tiny house wished for a home.
Six cheerful hand embroidery projects featured in the book; designs made with colorful felt and wool. The intrepid author labored over the embroidery to create the projects for over a year.
Two projects, Natural Gardening and Painting the Town, required hours of stitching to show the stages or step-outs to make the artwork. And so the author of the book made step-out after step-out to illustrate the book and please her editor.
After months of work, the editor accepted the multitude of embroidery step-outs and requested they be photographed in the distant state of California. The exhausted author shipped the step-outs via FedEx with the editor’s promise to publish the book the following spring.
After returning from Fedex, the embroiderer felt the kink in her neck ease. Her work was done. It was up to the slew of editors at the C&T publishing house to complete the book and bring it to the public. She returned to her hobbies of gardening and cursing mosquitoes. Her cuticles grew even more ragged and neglected.
Months later, a box arrived on her doorstep. The embroiderer swatted at the mosquitoes surrounding the box and squinted at the return address label. The editor had returned the forgotten step-outs. With a familiar kink returning to her neck, the author dragged the box to her studio and dropped it on the floor.
A single Stella lamp
casts a bright light on a pair of unmanicured hands in a shadowy room. As the
embroiderer hunches over her bizarre creation, she hums a tune only she can
Removing her earbuds,
she grins and pops another cookie in her mouth. Like an alchemist, the stitcher
gathers her discarded textiles to admire the glow of fabric and thread. It is
taking shape this peculiar stitchery made from disparate parts.
Another Frankenstein embroidery is born!
What drives our embroiderer to create such an unnatural embroidery? This FrankenStitch? What exactly is a FrankenStitch embroidery anyway?
Like The Frankenstein, FrankenStitch embroidery is created by combining partially finished embroidery parts like these and stitching them together.
As a result, you make artwork with a pleasant personality rather than an unruly neighbor with big boots.
So gather, if you will, to read the tale of this FrankenStitch.
For the next few days, I’ll tell you the story of this strange embroidery and how the embroiderer with the ragged cuticles laboriously wends the needle in and out and in and out cookie after cookie.
You’ll learn how a few innocent parts stitched together create this new embroidery design.
To be continued….
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