22 July 2015

It's ok to Change your Mind...

As most of you know, during term time I am learning hand embroidery. One technique on my 'must try this' list was Whitework. Way back in December 2013 Mary Corbett of Needle n Thread reviewed this adult colouring book, I bought a copy soon after
and stitched the scarecrow pattern

Mary decided to embroider the Hummingbirds design, you can read all her project posts here:
She mentioned that she may also stitch a Whitework version, so following her instructions, I traced a simplified version of the design onto some lovely Linen
I was not stupid enough to think I could attempt such a large design as my first whitework piece! so I drew a monogram to practice on.
With help from Sophie my teacher, I planned the stitches and made a start
The above is about 20 hours worth of the most tortuous stitching I have ever done! I really don't like whitework!! Sophie assured me that technically it was fine, but I really, really, really struggled to see white on white, even with a magnifier. This sample piece will go into my stitching journal to remind me of the process, and I will start over on a coloured linen. I think pale blue with white threads? I just need to find the perfect fabric.

Meanwhile, what should I do with my traced hummingbirds? Coincidentally Sharon at Pintangle has just restarted Take a Stitch Tuesday. Each week she posts instructions for a different embroidery stitch. You can find all the info here: http://pintangle.com/tast-faq/

I really want to learn some different stitches, so I will use my hummingbirds as a stitch sampler. I struggled to come up with a fun bright colour scheme, so I turned to one of my favourite books on colour...
You may remember I attended a class with Trish at the RSN a couple of weeks ago, this photo was taken by her daughter, I am in the blue - not sure what I was saying, but I remember a really fun day with lots of chatter and laughter!
Using Trish's book for inspiration, I have pulled some DMC in Turquoise-Teal; Pink-Magenta and Gold. I used to do cross stitch years ago and I have lots of DMC left overs!
Week one of TAST was Fly stitch, I have stitched a closed version for this leaf
Week two is buttonhole, so I have used it for the two smaller leaves
The design is symmetrical and it will bother me if I don't stitch it that way! so I repeated the stitches on the other side, a small beginning to what I hope will be a fun, colourful learning piece.
I have kept notes in my stitching journal so I can remember what I was thinking!
There is a Flickr and Facebook group with lots of really inspiring TAST photos

Project Notes:
Design - Johanna Basford "Secret Garden" Adult Colouring Book
Fabric: 55 count Kingston Linen in "White"
Threads: DMC in Teal: 747; 964; 959; 3814; 991; 500 Turquoise: 3766; 807; 3809; 924
                            Pink: 948; 967; 957; 962; 602; 3805  Magenta: 819; 963; 605; 3608; 3607; 3804
                            Gold: 746; 677; 3822; 3821; 729; 3829 Brown: 3371


  1. Very pretty embroidery but if you don't enjoy the white work, then yes, it's ok to not do it. Would a light grey on the white be easier on your eyes? The leaves on the new project are beautiful. I can do embroidery, but not like that!

  2. I know what you mean about starting something and then not like it - I do that with quilting patterns now and then

  3. Anonymous22/7/15 19:51

    Your embroidery is beautiful. I too have lots of thread left over from my cross-stitch days!

  4. Wow, so lovely! You're so lucky to go to the RSN. I'm so envious. As for whitework -- yes, everyone changes their minds. I think white on white would be so hard to see! Hope the different colored fabric works better for you.

  5. What a wonderful idea - and a real contrast with the whitework!

  6. Oh I love your scarecrow. And thank you for sharing your journal with us....always inspiring to see others creative process.