Saturday, April 16, 2016

Some More Affirmations for "You Are So Very Beautiful"

I stitched two more affirmations for Betsy at for her You Are So Very Beautiful project.  This time she is preparing to share her project at Fuller Craft Museum as part of their show CounterCraft: Voices of the Indie Craft Community running from May 7- July 10, 2016.

For this piece, I used DMC Diamant in stem stitch for the top text and gilt bright check chipping for the "incandescent".   It is backed with a printed fabric from Liberty with DMC Diamant whip-stitched edges. 
For this piece, I used gilt smooth passing and couched the "you are" and couched gilt super pearl purl down for the "radiant" with gilt bright check chipping for a little embellishment.  It is also backed in a printed fabric from Liberty with DMC Diamant whip-stitched edges.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Prepping to Stitch and a Note on Kits

The past couple days, I have been prepping to finish up my RSN Canvaswork piece and the canvaswork gradient sampler for my FRPD grant.  I've been organizing baggies of the different thread mixtures so that I can sit down and just stitch and make progress a wee bit quicker.  It also allows me to continue making progress when I need something a bit mindless to do (unlike the stitching) and allows me to know what I need to order to make sure that I'm not missing any threads to finish the pieces up-- that really stinks when you run out of a thread and are super close to finishing!  I thought I would just share a couple photos of how I organize my threads.    

Baggies for my color samples.  These baggies are then put in a larger bag that is labeled with the primary purple color number.

Through my courses with Tracy and the RSN, I have not only learned a lot about embroidery and stitching technique.  I have also learned a lot about best practices for stitching efficiently.  When you are participating in an intensive course, you have 8 days of class over 2 weeks, which means you want to try to figure out as many ways as possible to make the most of that classroom time.   Last summer, I found that I could prep my threads at night, allowing me to focus on the actual stitch technique and execution during class hours.  Mixing your threads is usually way more time consuming than the actual stitching with canvaswork.  It is also a lot less time consuming to prep multiple sets of threads at one time than to do it one at a time while stitching.  I find the start/stop of mixing as I go breaks up the rhythm of stitching too.  Finally, it also helps you feel like you're making progress a bit quicker as you can say, "Ok, all my blouse threads are ready" and then "My blouse is stitched". 

I have kept extensive notes on each color recipe for my RSN Canvaswork piece because it helps me to see how complex the design and colors are and how much work it is.  I've learned that there are a lot of steps and details that shortly after completion, my brain edits out.  For example, that white and black blouse is not just "white" and "black" embroidery floss, especially since I wanted to maintain the painterly quality of the original Vogue cover.  In general, I try to maintain a very detailed approach to my process so that if I ever wanted to look back and reference something for either myself or a student, I could.  It also keeps me open to seeing everything as a learning opportunity instead of a frustration or failure as my notes allow me to reflect on what I am doing. 
Above is my baggie of threads for the blouse on my RSN Canvaswork piece.  An example of the thread color recipes:  the "white" stripes in the blouse is actually composed of 7 strands of DMC Blanc + 1 strand of DMC 648 + 3 strands of DMC 762.

Now I know all this organizing may seem a bit overkill.  I know it is not for everyone.   But honestly I promise it helps--or at least it helps me!

Finally, a note on kits:
I've received a number of wonderful emails asking me if I will be selling my kits so I thought I would put the answer here.  Yes, I will be selling some of them but not until mid-summer, early Fall (depending on the specific kit).  When I have everything up and running to sell them, I will definitely be posting a link on here to my online shop!