This detail of my Natural Gardening project shows a favorite way of making artwork. It is a combination of using a pre-cut felt shape with free-form hand embroidery. There is a little bit of structure (using pre-cut shapes on a background fabric) and a whole lot of making-it-up-as-you-go-along stitchery. Improvisational stitchery means making all sorts of arty decisions. Yum!
I recently read an article on NPR which included this quote by Girija Kaimal, professor at Drexel University and researcher in art therapy: “Anything that engages your creative mind — the ability to make connections between unrelated things and imagine new ways to communicate — is good for you.”
Thank heavens art making is good for you cause that diet isn’t working for me.
What’s engaging my creative mind as I stitch? First, what basic stitch is needed to fasten the shape to the background felt? Then, what’s the best size and color of thread to use. And finally, what stitches will enhance the fabric shape and create a wonderful design?
Here’s the solution to my creative puzzle and the order of stitching the pink flower above to a dark green background:
- Blanket Stitches around the flower securing it to the background fabric with a yellow size 8 thread in the Butter colorway.
- Chain Stitches around the edge of the flower stitched on the background fabric using the same thread color.
- 7 Bullion Knots radiating from the center of the flower using a blue size 8 thread in the Degas Blue colorway.
- A French Knot stitched in the center of the Bullion Knots in a pure yellow size 8 thread in the Lemons colorway.