Autumn Pond Piece Finished!

Autumn Pond stumpwork embroidery

I got through a lot of tv and audiobooks working on this project, but it’s finally finished! It’s definitely a style departure from my last piece but I’m really happy with the outcome.

Silk ribbon and organza background made with layers of Mistyfuse

I experimented with some new techniques on this one, including using Mistyfuse to make a pretty abstract background that would reflect the murky fall pond layers – but in a pretty way. I started with one layer of silk ribbons, then added another layer of Mistyfuse and organza on top of it. It still wasn’t dark enough for my taste at that point, so I added yet another layer of Mistyfuse/organza to get to the colors that I wanted. At this point I had basically obscured my pattern transfer and ended up tacking and tracing on top to add it back in. I am happy with how it came out though!

Close up of stumpwork waterlilies

I used a huge range of threads for this, with most coming from stash. My Oliver Twist variegated collection got a good workout, but I also used some historic replica threads and some thicker ones that were almost like yarn to mix up the textures. In the end I made 17 pieces of needlelace and 22 flower petals for this project that only measures 5 by 5 inches.

A test mockup before framing

I ended up going with a different mat color than this entirely when framing, but it was useful to try out some different options before I actually went to the framer. In the end I went for a dark gold frame and a brown fabric mat with a pinkish tint to it, with a wider area than this highlighted so the background is more of a feature. I think it lets everything breathe a bit more and shows off the background I spent so much time on.

This is going to an exhibit at a local museum in a few weeks, so I’ll be happy to see it framed and finished! Sadly it will have to live somewhere else until December when I get it back from the show. In the meantime I started brainstorming my next project, and might have even gotten braved and purchased some sewable electrical circuits…

Christmas samplers teaching Upcoming classes

Upcoming Raised Embroidery Classes for Fall 2022

I’ve been really busy with work this week, but I wanted to leave a quick update about some upcoming classes that I am really excited about teaching this upcoming autumn. It’s hard to think about cooler weather projects (much less Christmas) with this heat wave, but it’ll be here before we all know it.

First up is this Fall Forest sampler that I’ll be teaching! This is going to be a slightly unconventional (but seriously fun) class format where I teach you three basic raised stitches and then you get to play with a pile of funky and high-end threads and fibers to make your own forest. It’s an easy and fun way to maybe try out some new threads that you’ve never explored before and make a pretty project for your wall just in time for cooler weather. It also makes a nice little framed project, but you could just as easily frame it in a hoop.

I know that absolutely no one wants to think about Christmas yet (including me) but I suspect this one will sell out fast so I’m putting it up here anyway. I don’t have final dates yet, but it will run in two sessions sometime around Halloween. You’ll learn how to make basic wired petals and leaves as well as lots of fun ways to decorate them! The second class will focus on simple ornament finishing, including learning to make your own twisted cord. This is a fun introduction to stumpwork Christmas ornaments and can be used to pretty much make any flower you want in the future.

Both of these classes will be run at Denise’s Needlework in St. Michaels, Maryland. Her shop has an amazing selection of threads and is a great shopping destination, and the adorable town of St. Michaels is worth a trip on it’s own. For more information about dates and pricing, check out the classes page.

I am considering running a Zoom version of some of these in the future as well if there’s enough interest, so if you’d like to take it but aren’t local make sure to let me know! If there’s a small group interested I will come up with some options.

samplers teaching

Raised Line Forest Sample

Raised Line Sampler

I’m usually someone who maps everything out in detail ahead of time, so this simple sampler was a successful experiment in being spontaneous. I headed down to my local needlework shop and grabbed a bunch of autumnal threads that appealed to me and assumed I would make something work. The final mix was a blend of Silk Road Straw Silk, Planet Earth silk, and Vineyard silks in different thicknesses and tones. Extra texture was added with Frosty Rays ribbons, which I couched down using their own metallic thread core.

This piece is a great exercise in simplicity since it uses three basic stitches: couching, raised chain band and raised stem band. The base was made with overtwisting, which is easy but requires a really twisty silk like Soie Ovale. It’s in Alison Cole’s Stumpwork Masterclass book for those of you who want to look it up! I may use this as a fall class sampler this upcoming year, as it’s a great introduction to basic stitches and how they can transform themselves into real art.

As a bonus, Inspirations Studios liked it too! They featured it in their newsletter earlier this year.