Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This, that and a new embroidery book

This is a short post to say that I may not post for a while. I am working on my book and have some immediate deadlines coming up that I want to meet.

Its quite early in the whole process so there is not much to tell yet besides to say that it is a book on whitework and that it will be quite a while before it is completed. Rereading that sentence I should say that it is so early in the process that I'm not yet convinced there will actually be a book, but at the moment that is the long term goal.

As the one piece central to the book is leaving the country soon, I have had to have the first batch of photographs taken which left my head whirling yesterday. I can't wait to see those photos. I seem to have got ahead of myself but perhaps its a good incentive now to keep going with the book.

On another note, I did finish (after 20 years!) my drawn thread bag shown in my last post. The lining is in and it is no longer a UFO. That is worth a teeny little celebration. When I get the chance I will take some photos for the blog.

Till next time, happy stitching!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Finishing a Drawn Thread UFO

Following a request at the local embroidery guild to exhibit the drawn thread bags we made in a workshop with Moyra McNeill, I dipped into my box of work in progress, otherwise known as unfinished objects or UFO's. I was momentarily stunned when I realised that Moyra visited South Africa in 1994. That is 20 years ago. Wow! Where did those years go to?

Bag started with Moyra McNeill
I'm always curious about why some things like my bag don't get finished and others do. For me there seem to be three main reasons.

The first is variety. I so admire those people who can work on one project at a time and see it through to completion before beginning another one. I seem to always have a few projects on the go at any one time and move from one to the other as I start losing interest or strike a small challenge. Rotating between projects seems to make them fresh when I get back to them after a little break. Lack of variety however was not an obstacle to completing my little drawn thread bag. I enjoyed stitching it and because it moved along quickly, it remained interesting.

The second reason for my UFO's is that often when I start out on a project I have this mental image of just how perfectly it is going to work out. Well, reality is not quite like that, is it? Things sometimes don't quite match up to expectations and sometimes for me that means they end up in the UFO box. Again, that was not the case with this project. I was quite happy with the way it was turning out.

This brings me to the third reason for my ever expanding UFO collection. Its the finishing off. In this case I just couldn't figure out how I was going to fit the lining into the bag neatly. More importantly, how to do it without too much fiddling to get it right. This was definitely my stumbling block here.

To finish the embroidery on the bag I needed another row of woven bars at the top to complete the holes for the drawstrings. Moyra had suggested weaving every second group of threads into woven bars. This I did down the front where the ribbons are tied on.

But at the top I wanted to weave over all the threads and not leave some loose threads as Moyra had suggested. Now because of this I ran out of the DMC stranded cotton I was using, with the bars across the back still to complete.  Usually quite careful about keeping the little tags with the colour number on it, somehow I lost the little tag.

A quick visit to our local embroidery shop, ThreadNeedle Street and I found the thread. Its an almost exact match after 20 years. Does that say something about DMC threads!

OK, now for the lining ... well, I hope to have more on that next time.