Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dabbling in Embroidery...

Long time, no see! I certainly haven't intentionally been neglecting this blog, but I have just come off a busy month at the family blog celebrating Elliott's 1 year birthday. Can you believe it? I'm still in shock that he's a year (well, over 13 months, at this point) already! Anyway, all my limited blogging energy and time was focused over there, but now I need to play some catch up over here. And frankly, I miss you guys!

busy boy!

I've been splitting my crafting time primarily between sewing (Wednesday night is sewing night at my house) and knitting (mostly one focused project at a time. Right now: Liesl). But I recently dabbled a bit in some embroidery. In working with my grandma's embroidery quilt pieces, I got a bit of the embroidery bug. And given that I recently lost my grandma, I suppose it was fitting that I've been experimenting with something she loved so much. So, I worked up some kitchen towels for a few Christmas gifts this year.

First up was a Bambi airstream trailer from the Camp Out set of patterns by Sublime Stitching for my Aunt who just so happens to live in a Bambi! I was originally inspired by the ribbon How About Orange designed a while back, then a friend pointed out the perfect embroidery pattern to go with it!

Embroidery - Air Stream

The Bambi was the only project where I followed a traditional pattern. After that, I started playing around with inspiration, drawing my versions and stitching up those ideas. For example, I knew I wanted to make cherry blossoms for my friends that live in Japan, so I looked around on the Internet and Ravelry until I found something that looked like what was in my head. In this case, I got some inspiration from a purse (sorry only a Rav link). And here's my towel version:

Embroidery: Cherry Blossoms

I also got this idea for Nonnahs, which makes sense to those of you who know her name before and after she got married. Anyway, I found a cute picture from the plethora of Google image options, then changed him up to make him hold flowers.

Casper the Friendly Ghost

I also used the flowers as a chance to practice some different techniques, including satin stitch, back stitch, french knots and stem stitch. By the way, I found a great online resource for how-to embroidery videos at Needle 'n Thread because I have to admit, my embroidery books left a little to be desired.

Casper the Friendly Ghost - flower close up

I also stitched up a towel with Japanese characters for Nasus and her husband's last names. For this I had them give me the hand written characters, then had a Japanese friend at my office put them into the computer and print out a nice block font that would be easier for me to embroider. Here's a taste:

This was a little more challenging in practice than in concept because I don't read Japanese! I was often questioning if the little dip or flange here or there was just a font variation or if I was making a fundamental change to the meaning of the character. Luckily, I think I made it through the experience without mistakenly calling either one of them a bad name ;)

I had a lot of fun playing around with embroidery and it was so amazing to see the designs come to life as I stitched them in floss. Embroidery definitely won't become my primary crafting activity, but I like that I feel a bit more comfortable with the basics and have plans for a couple more projects in the future.


Kara said...

What all fun projects! I love embroidery. So great.

Ruinwen said...

You always make the most meaningful and beautiful things! Your stitches are so nice and even...you really are talented at embroidery! :)

marisa said...

Beautiful work! They are lovely.

mle said...

Yes, the 1 year birthday comes too fast! what a big boy!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the camper! and all the embroidery for that matter!

Erin said...

Wow, great job. I particularly love the Japanese characters. Beautiful.

Virginia said...

Gorgeous work. The trailer/camper thingy is cracking me up. Absolutely fabulous.

Can't wait to see the pix of the Liesl. :)

Anonymous said...

Well you already know how much I love ours! It makes me smile every time I see it. :) Love them all though- especially S&K's! It's beautiful!

Lori said...

Your work is gorgeous. It's great you are trying so many different projects. Your natural and creative talent shows through them all.
Always admiring you, Mom