Embroidery – Good Enough to Appreciate Real Talent
I love to embroider. The little porcupine there on the left was done from a pattern I ordered from Follow The White Bunny (she has an Etsy shop). I transferred the design to a canvas tote and carefully stitched the little guy rowing downstream in his teacup. Once I finished the tote, I refused to carry it because I didn’t want to get it dirty or risk tearing out any of the stitches. The tote sits on a bookshelf.
Another project I’m particularly proud of is my angel tree-topper. I can’t remember where I got the kit for her, but I bought her because the angel we’d used for years had begun falling apart the Christmas before and I couldn’t find a suitable replacement. So I found this one and worked on it on the weekends as I watched The Bionic Woman on Netflix. (I was doing that in the bedroom as my husband and son watched football games in the living room.) And, together, Jaime Sommers and I got the job done. JThere was a lot of metallic thread used in the pattern, so I sometimes had to use my “bionic” strength to pull it through!
I also enjoyed making this redwork pillowcase. The thing about redwork is that you don’t have to constantly change thread colors. For me, that’s nice because I can concentrate solely on the pattern rather than trying to figure out how many spaces I need to leave for the next color, as I do with cross-stitch. I finally learned—thanks to researching one of the embroidery mystery books—that most cross-stitchers work with several colors of thread at the same time. That’s a really neat idea, and I intend to give it a try the next time I’m working on a more complicated project.
With all that said, I can honestly say I embroider well enough to truly appreciate those who do a fantastic job. I once began the ambitious task of making a cross-stitch picture of a herd of horses racing out of the ocean toward the shore. I planned to give it to my husband as a gift. Not terribly far into the project, I realized I needed to get him something else. The unfinished project is, I believe, in a tote in my closet. L
In studying various forms of embroidery for the Marcy Singer books, I’ve been so impressed with the stunning projects I’ve seen. For instance, Japanese embroidery involves forty-six techniques, and I believe the pattern is the same on the back as it is on the front. I’ve discovered embroidered projects that look like oil paintings. And, I’ve become a student. Through Craftsy, I’m taking ribbon embroidery and crewel classes.
I’ve also seen wonderful projects from readers. One reader from the Netherlands sent me this photo of the Irish Wolfhound her husband cross-stitched using the pattern from my site. Isn’t that terrific? I have to say that after I made that pattern, I looked at it and immediately knew I didn’t have the skill to complete it. I’m glad Louis did!
So when readers ask me if I do embroidery, I guess my best answer is, “I dabble.” And, as I pointed out in the title of this post, I’m good enough to really appreciate the experts.