Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy Valentine's Miss Hazel!

Zay's Valentine to his cousin and my beautiful niece, Hazel.  I stitched it after he helped me design it.  I stitched Winnie-the-Pooh in crewel long and short, detached flowers with beaded centers, turkey stitch grass, and goldwork "H" on a silk dupioni ground. 

I also used this piece to practice the mounting process that I need to do for my RSN Certificate pieces.  After attempting it I have a few thoughts:
- the amazing ladies I stitch with in the UK make this look way too easy 
(it is not for the faint of heart)
- I do not have finger prints on at least 4 of my fingers
- so glad I practiced on a different piece before attempting to mount my RSN crewelwork piece
- in the mounting process, some of my couched smooth passing shifted.  I think I must have not been able to get it tight enough (any thoughts?).  It was beautifully smooth prior to mounting it and then I realized that it shifted in a couple places.  Or maybe I didn't plung enough of the ends?

I know a few things I need to work with on this piece.  I need to watch my tension at the crewel long and short.  I think they may actually be due to using a silk dupioni ground not twill.  I still have a couple puckers around Winnie that I cannot get out.  I also need to practice my herringbone stitch for the back.  I'm fairly certain my stitching was too wide and more closely represented the "no" sketch than the "yes" sketch that Tracy did for me to follow.  Also, I need to work on my corners.  They weren't terrible, but they could be a lot better.  I think I'm going to practice one more time before mounting my RSN crewel piece.  I have a set of crewel samples already to mount.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Progress on Leslie's Wedding Belt

Getting pretty excited to see my wonderful friend walk down the aisle!  I'm getting close to being finished with the embroidery and then I'm going to mount it on a silk satin belt.  Trying to figure out the closure right now.  I have some really beautiful Swarovski crystal buttons that would match and I think look nice.  Alternatively, I've also thought about (and am leaning towards) having the belt closure hidden under the lace on one side.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Leslie's Wedding Belt

Ah, goldwork how I love you, especially mixed with glass beads and Swarovski crystals!  It's interesting as I switch back and forth from working on my RSN crewel work and this.  I enjoy both techniques and how they grow up from the surface but in completely different ways.  Crewelwork seems like an adventure- which I love!  Goldwork seems like the calm- which I need!  

Crewel Redo #1 (Because yes, there could be a redo #2)

I would first like to thank everyone who took the time to give me some feedback on my crewelwork after my last blog post about it, as I was struggling with figuring out why it just wasn't working.  I think the best thing about grad school was the amazing people I was around and the constant critique of my work.  Now, as the teacher, I am giving feedback to everyone else's work, but rarely getting feedback on my own.  I have to search critique out now instead of having critiques built into my schedule.  So, a huge thank you to all of you!  I greatly appreciated it! 

After stepping away from my piece, I emailed Tracy because I could not figure out what parts I should redo for my RSN assessment.  She knows that I am a perfectionist.  Through the RSN Certificate, I want to challenge myself in learning the technically correct technique with the different types of embroidery, but I also want to challenge myself in how I apply the stitches within the design compositions.  I feel that the application is vitally important as it really can change how the stitch is read or how successful the composition is.  I want my piece to be the best possible for assessment! 

After chatting with Tracy, we decided that I'd redo the straight lines of running stitching that filled the 3 middle parts and the outline of the bottom bit of the left leaf.  We thought the straight lines seemed too static and did not match the movement of the rest of the piece and the outline of the bottom bit was too thin and a bit wonky.  I thought maybe keeping the running stitch technique, but I'd do them in parallel curved lines for the filling.  For the outline, I thought I'd try couching because I had not done any couching on this piece.  

Here is where I'm at:  I tried to do the running stitch in the same scale as I had done with the straight lines.  However, I think with the curved lines they need to be smaller.  So this is where the possible next redo comes in.  Does the larger scale seem rough?-- is what I keep asking myself.  

For the couching, I LOVE couching with goldwork, but I did not anticipate how fluffy it would be between the holding stitches with the wool thread.  Lesson for the day:  even if you know a technique with 1 material, it should be sampled first in the new material!  I say this to my students all the time.  Ah!!!  Anyways, I like the idea of the couching and how it pulls the pink in just a little, but on the big curve I don't know.  I press on!  I like it all much better than I did, it still just begs to be better!

I wanted to compare the scale of the running stitch filling and the overall change in composition by looking at the "before redo" (on left) and "after redo" (on right).  It seems they are the same size stitches, but they just seem so much bigger on a curve!  I don't mind the size on the lower area of the leaf.  On the upper part though it kind of bothers me--mainly because of how it gets a bit wonky when the radius tightens in the innermost 2 rows.    

Note: The one area is still bare, I think I'm going to repeat the seeding in there, but I wanted to step back and evaluate everything first.  I had also thought maybe repeating the lattice filling to make it heavier?  If I repeated the lattice, I thought maybe filling every other hole with a french knot instead of every hole.  This way it would be not too heavy but maybe anchor that leaf.