Our travelling sketchbooks are on the rounds again at my Embroiderers Guild, we have each book for a month so we can have a think and stitch a little embroidery on the chosen theme. The theme of the book I have for this month is ‘Down the Microscope’…
I pondered for a long time about this one, trust me, there’s not a lot on Pinterest if you try a search on there! Someone at Guild suggested I did something from work, I work part-time in a Cardiac Catheter Lab, so we’re putting stents in peoples hearts when they have heart attacks, pacemakers and defibs, babies with heart problems and electrical studies too. I pointed out that it was actually all done under X-ray, not a microscope, she felt it was near enough!!
The next day I was working in the electro-physiology lab, looking after people with problems with the electrics of their heart, usually resulting in it going too fast or in the wrong rhythm. One nifty piece of kit we use is called Carto, it maps how the impulse travels across the heart making in the process some very colourful images. It’s quite amazing to watch, this is a photo of what we’re looking at.
Ooh, I thought, that could make an embroidery! After the case I asked the consultant if he happened to have any pictures of Carto I could have, he asked what for…an embroidery, I replied with a smile! His face was a picture!! He sort of glazed over when I started talking about sequins and french knots! The next day he sorted out a picture for me, it was quite amusing as he was flicking through images trying to find a perfect image, despite me explaining that it wasn’t going to be an anatomically correct embroidery, just a general impression.
As usual I’ve left it til pretty much the eleventh hour. Initially I tried silk painting the main colours, but they actually looked too drab. I started looking through my scrap box, silks first but they were the wrong shades. I then spotted scraps left over from my Kaffe Fassett quilt, red and blue, I found another scrap of green and purple and a square of dappled black and I was sorted.
I used bondaweb to fix the shapes, on the whole I cut out the individual shapes rather than layering them so the piece didn’t get too thick to stitch. I started the embroidery with the yellow line, using buttonhole and then chain stitch. The bright blue line is a length of woven tape in a mixed embroidery thread bag, I stitched it on with herringbone stitch. Some shiny purple thread joined the blue and the purple using feather stitch and fly stitch.
The pink sequins represent the areas we have ablated (treated with a small burn) and the french knots are the measuring points used to construct the 3D image.
It’s not my usual style at all, but it was fun to stitch, let’s hope next month’s sketchbook is an easier topic 🙂