Thursday, November 29, 2012

Back to Hand Stitching

As I mentioned last post, I am planning to do a piece for Quilt Canada's Trend Tex Challenge.  I have been sketching 'Sunshine and Vines' in my sketch book trying to come up with something that will utilize the materials best.   I spent some time on my computer trying to find some photos I took of my friend's garden a couple of years ago but they seem to have disappeared (I have learned over time that setting the correct date on my camera is VERY important if I want to be able to find photos that are not in their own albums).  I also changed computers last year and things got a little scrambled in the changeover.    The long and the short of it is that I didn't find the photos.    The good news is that I came across several other interesting vine photos to choose from.  One was from a garden I visited in Quebec last summer.  It was a metal swing structure completely covered in vines.  I also have some interesting vines on a fence overlooking the Ottawa River.   The third sketch came from my own backyard - grapevines growing on the side of my house with the sun  shining down on them.   I did a small piece inspired by this last photo and using lots of hand embroidered flowers, many stitches, and my own fabrics.  Here is the result.


I used a yellow fabric with small leaf/flower shapes on it for the wall and stitched the lighter, sun drenched grape leaves with shiny threads.  The flowers along the patio are embroidered and so are the grapes and curly tendrils.   The tree, fence, grass (mine has more weeds), cedars are heavily hand stitched with tiny stitches.  The whole piece is only 4 x 6".   It was nice to get back to some hand stitching.

Here are some of the other sketches I may try.

 I think the second one may not work - all those tiny leaves and not a very interesting design.  It would need some work.  I am leaning toward the fence/river piece.  But I may do something completely different - maybe an abstract?  That would be different for me for sure.

I am actually working on a piece with a somewhat abstract theme right now.  It came to me while performing a song (see previous post) and I may call it "Five AM and Counting".   Who hasn't lain awake at 5 am worrying about everything from what to make for dinner to world peace?   I have sketches and a pattern and will probably improvise as I go along.   It can be a disturbing theme and I find myself juxtaposing the serious with the absurd - we'll see how it comes out.

I also found a couple more wool blazers at the thrift shop - in a soft yellow and pale green - which I plan to dissassemble for my next rug hooking project.  I am still looking for some blues.   There was a lovely sky blue blazer there but I couldn't bring myself to take it away from someone who would want to purchase it to wear.  It was just too elegant.  

Still practicing free motion,  here's a little piece I stitched up yesterday (how I love saying that seeing as it takes me weeks/months to do a hand stitched piece).


  1. Great, great, great!!!! Love the ivy on the house. The colors just glow and it has a very warm feel.
    I like the fence sketch the best, too. Very interesting lines to contrast with the vine.
    And last the little landscape is wonderful....don't you love being able to accomplish it so quickly on the machine.


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