Our sketchbooks at Skipton Embroiderers Guild are about to go travelling again! This will be the third round of travelling sketchbooks I’ve been involved with. For those not familiar with the concept, we all start with an A5 artists sketchbook, cover it to make it pretty, choose a theme, write the first few pages and then send it off on a circuit of members. Each month we swop books and stitch a little embroidery on the theme of whichever book we have, so in about six months time I’ll get my book back with half a dozen flower embroideries, all stitched by my friends. From a personal perspective I found it really helped my confidence with embroidery as I suddenly had to do something on a given subject, it pushed me out of my comfort zone and I discovered I actually could do ‘proper’ embroidery!
We’re starting a new sketchbook this time (our last one did two rounds and was pretty full!) I’ve chosen the theme of flowers. I like to keep a very open theme, rather than limiting it to garden flowers, or wild flowers…and I like flowers!
It’s our meeting on Monday, so I thought I’d better get cracking with it! I remembered I already had a sketchbook cover with flowers on. It’s a little embroidery from the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate. Rowandean have a stitching table as part of their stand, you can sit and stitch a little embroidery amongst all the hustle and bustle of the show, it’s a little oasis of tranquility! This is the one I did a couple of years ago.
I searched through one of my embroidery boxes and found a few finished embroideries I haven’t done anything with including a couple of silk ribbon embroideries from workshops I’d been on. I hesitated slightly on the delphiniums as they will probably get a bit squashed,but realistically it’s not good enough to frame and it;’s been sat in the box for two years, so it may as well go in a flower book!
I also found a piece of unfinished wool embroidery. We had a workshop at Skipton which involved needle felting and wool embroidery on a piece of old blanketing.. Mine never got finished, so last night I decided to change that! This is what it looked like to start with, a few blobs of colour and a bit of wool embroidery.
The wool I have in my stash was too thick to embroider with, it was more tapestry wool. I decided to use embroidery threads instead. I started with the blue blobs, just using lazy daisy stitch around to make a flower.
I was very restrained and just used embroidery floss I knew I had over-stocked on! The brown blobs are meant to be seed heads, I used pistil stitch which is a bit like french knot on a stalk. They weren’t overly successful, mainly I think because they are just a bit too heavy for the rest of the design.
I kept embroidering flowers and leaves, using fly-stitch, feather stitch, chain stitch, all pretty basic stitches. Every time I thought I’d finished, I would spot another area that needed stitching! I decided it look more balanced trimmed to leave out the left hand edge which included one of the heavy seed heads! One advantage of needle-felting , I found, is that it is very easy to undo!
This was my finished piece when I finally went to bed last night, I’m pretty pleased with it! I’ll add a couple of flower photographs from my albums and a bit of blurb and then my sketchbook will be ready to start circulating.
I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, a celebration of hand- quilting and stitching. Why not follow the link and see what everyone else has been stitching.
A pretty little thought to finish with…