Under the Sea

I decided to tackle another embroidery for the Travelling Sketchbook project from my Embroiderers Guild. These are A5 sketchbooks which are passed round and you stitch something on the chosen theme. The theme this time was ‘Under the Sea’, which I found much easier to be inspired by than the last one ( Rex quondam, Rexque futurus)

Initially I was thinking of a general deep sea scene, with fronds waving up and little fishes swimming along. I had a perusal on Pinterest for ideas and saw an embroidery of a jellyfish…

Jelly fish for me bring back memories of childhood holidays at my grandparents at Prestatyn in North Wales, I remember jelly fish the size of dinnerplates stranded on the beach, terrifying me in case I accidentally stood on one, even worse they would shimmy past when I was swimming in the (very cold!!) sea. However, if you look at photos of jellyfish on the computer, they are a thing of beauty with their central manubrium (that long stalk like frothy bit – it took me a while to discover that on google!!) and their tentacles floating round.

My starting point was a square of ‘stripy’ batik fabric in sea colours and a square of silvery organza. I cut a circle of the organza and made a running stitch round the edge to gather it in a little. I stitched the bottom half of it to the background fabric and added a couple of lengths of organza, twisted around gently and inserted into the circle to make the manubrium.

Jelly fish in the making

I was looking through my thread stash when I found one of those mixed packed of threads I get tempted by at shows. It was silvery blue/grey, perfect. My initial idea was to individually stitch threads into the main body, however and realised it would be just as effective (and a lot quicker) to cut a length off through the whole wadge of threads, fold it in half, and stitch the whole lot into the body at once! I wrapped the folded bit with a length of the organza to add a bit more body to the jellyfish.

It worked brilliantly! Well I’m pleased with it anyway! I stitched the top half of the body down gently with some silver thread. I tried adding a few twinkly beads to the tentacles but they were just lost, I stitched a couple of rows of feather stitch in silver lame thread, just as a way of anchoring the tentacles a bit, I didn’t do much as I felt it was flattening the 3D effect.

Tentacles in place

In the end I decided it was finished, I trimmed the edge, allowing some of the tentacles to drift off the fabric, trying not to catch them in when I was blanket-stitching round the edge. With hindsight I should have interfaced the batik before I started, particularly as it’s a lighter weight one, instead I used 505 spray adhesive to lightly attach a square of calico before stitching the two layers together round the edge.

A jelly fish!

I think it just shows how a fairly simple idea can actually be quite effective. The next (and last in this series) travelling sketchbook is on leaves, another theme that I’m looking forward to creating.

I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, please follow the link for lots of hand-stitched inspiration.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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17 Responses to Under the Sea

  1. Laura says:

    Very creative; very cool! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. endrickwater says:

    Wonderful! (Your stash must be the envy of every creative stitching person!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Faye Harris says:

    This is brilliant! So creative

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a perfect idea for this theme!! The jellyfish turned out fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Brilliant, Margaret! Just love all the different colours and materials you’ve used!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Karrin Hurd says:

    Lovely jelly fish. I will have to remember that idea for my under the sea crazy quilting. Brilliant idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How fun! It looks exactly like a jellyfish… great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Angela says:

    Looks good. Seems like a fun project!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sharon says:

    Just darling…totally reminds me of childhood beach walks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kathyreeves says:

    That is an outstanding jellyfish, lucky sketch book owner!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amanda says:

    Oh yes, those threads! Great use of them. I too have succumbed many times and they just don’t have the same appeal once undone. You’ve kept their attraction very much in tact!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember swimming away from jelly fish as a child on Newgale beach, Pembrokeshire. You really brought your stitched one to life. I like the idea of a Travelling Sketchbook. Do you add a page and send it on to the next person? What will happen to the finished books?

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Each person starts a book, chooses a theme and does the first entry, it’s then passed round the group each month and the next person adds a piece of embroidery to the book and writes a bit about their inspiration and techniques. Eventually everyone gets their own book back with lots of embroideries from their friends inside. I keep thinking it would be nice to organise an on line one, but postage costs and issues could get difficult, unless it was organised a bit like Kate’s F2FS quilt block swop, then it’s not really a Travelling Sketchbook…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Catherine says:

    This looks like something you really enjoyed making! Very creative as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. nanacathy2 says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, and the reason why we go to shows!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. mandycurrie says:

    Margaret this is brilliant. Regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

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