Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Norma's band - revisited

Norma's band has now been completed and has arrived back safely with Norma herself. It has always been nervewracking to have a piece of work travelling through the post. However, since we live so very far apart there was no choice in the matter. The relief was enormous when I heard it had arrived.

The threads above were the collection I made to find suitable colours to work with the sampler as it was when I received it. I had thought of autumnal (Fall) colours and designs of leaves. I soon discarded this idea since another design was of acorns.

I came up with this design. I had toyed with the idea of using the lovely wing shapes used in the birds stitched by Sarah.

The stitching I used was basically Blackwork. The wing shapes have miniature figure twos inverted and in mirror image since the overall shape reminded me of the number. I trawled through my Blackwork books to find inspiration for the other shapes. I eventually discarded the idea in the lighter blue shape, finding something more appropriate in scale.

So now Norma's sampler looks like this.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Norma's band

This is Norma's band. It arrived in my hands yesterday morning.

The colours are richer than my photos can show. The base fabric is a lovely rich honey colour which shows the colours used to perfection. Norma describes this cloth as 28count Quaker Cloth pumpkin colour.

The top stitching above is Norma's own work, whilst the beaded work was added by Denise.

The enchanting birds, with their silk ribbon flowers were added by Sarah.

Beneath this comes Jenny's contribution. She added Wessex Stitching with a border of interlaced herringbone.

Then there is the gorgeous blue of Christine's blackwork.

The last section is Hungarian Cross Stitch stitched by Margaret.
I have not even started to put my own ideas together yet. However, I am going through a phase of looking at the developing autumnal colours. Picking these leaves up from the path in town before coming home to find the band sampler waiting for me.
I just loved the colours and the shapes of these leaves. Perhaps something will develop from here, but I shall have to keep you waiting and wondering for a little while as my brain begins to mull things over.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Jenny's Band for Margaret

Margaret's sampler now has another band. This one continues the pink & green theme that seems to be growing with this sampler. It took a while to think of a design to add, because I really wanted to open the fabric up. The fabric itself was an open weave & would pull beautifully. I had thought of pulled work, but could not quite settle for anything that made me happy. I then thought of drawn work, in particular the beautiful needleweaved patterns from northern Europe & Russia that we sometimes see in Schwalm work. I then thought that these might be a little too heavy for this sampler at this stage.

The end result is a combination of drawn & needleweaved channels edged with 4 sided stitch, combined with outlined large eyelets & radiating straight stitches.

This is the last sampler that I have to work on and I am a little sad that this is so. The RR has been such fun & the venturing out into colour combinations & new stitch combinations has certainly been an adventure that I hope to continue.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Margaret's Sampler

Margaret's sampler has just arrived in Australia. This is the sampler as it is today. The top row of tulips is by Margaret, the blackwork is by Mandy, & the final row by Norma.

Norma has used a combination of cross stitches & straight stitches in various DMC stranded, DMC perle 8 & over dyed straded threads.

The sampler is comming together beautifully, lots of pink shades with a touch of green & yellow/orange.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Mandy's Sampler

This is the latest work that has been done on Mandy's sampler. It is a mix of drawn thread work, pulled thread work, and blackwork. I have also used a mix of threads including DMC stranded ( 1 strand), DMC stranded (2 strands), and one of my own hand dyed DMC Perle 12's.

I have tried to be a little creative in using three colours in the drawn sections, and playing with what I could do with eyelets. The final blackwork row worked in a deep pink hopefully offers a stating point for the next person to work on this sampler. Full detais of how I worked this sampler can be read here. Mandy, I hope you like what I have done.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Jenny's Sampler.

Well, I have recently completed my piece on Jenny's sampler and here it is.

The picture below shows the whole sampler as it stands at this moment.

The beautiful Hardanger work is by Jenny herself. I really wish I could do justice to her work in a photograph. The orange band is by Margaret. It's a delightful design of sea horses and shells. My design simply had to follow on......... Not an easy task.

I was going through a phase of being fascinated by Chinese and Japanese art. So I trawled the books, including this rather good one.

The piece sat on my project board for what seemed like ages. Then I happened to find a website for Tattoo artists. I found it when I searched for Koi online. I had decided that it just had to be a pair of Koi, but I needed a starting point.
I had planned a trip to the local gardens and look at the Koi and draw them. I completed the search first. You can see the image I found at the bottom left. This was twisted, colour added and copied to produce two Koi.

I found the design work to be the easier part. What really got me in a mess was sorting out which stitches to use. I knew I wanted to use blackwork - or a modern variant. But which stitches. This took me literally months of trial and error.

What I found really interesting about the whole process was the recognition that Tattoo artists and embroiderers are looking for the same things when judging images. The images I saw on the Tattoo website were beautifully clear portrayals of an object - I shall look again for a similar website next time. I only wish I had had the foresight to keep the website in my favourites file!

Now the sampler is ready and waiting to be sent on the next stage of the journey.
I do hope you like it.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Affirmations for Artists -- Always a Good Thing!!

Here's a cool video, "Affirmations for Artists in Today's Economy", which I got from Alyson at

If for some reason you can't connect on it, click here for the original. I always like Alyson's column -- she has a lot of good tips and tricks. Enjoy!