Embroidery is my hobby BUT it often falls by the wayside, as the demands of everything shout for attention! I know at the moment, many people are ‘at home’, as we try to collectively slow the spread of corona virus covid-19. And the amount of time we have for stitching may have increased or may have diminished depending upon our specific family and work circumstances.
No covid-19 bonus time for me!
I work from home, so I am used to working from home. I was already going through a period of re-organisation and transition within my business, so there has been no ‘unexpected’ drops in income. My income has dropped, as I transition my business, but I knew that was going to happen. And my 15 year old son, although he is not in school, he is used to me working from home. He is one of those age groups who has had his GCSE public exams cancelled. School have been brilliant and given him tons of revision and online support, but we are at the revision stage, so no specific home-schooling duties and pressures. ‘Just’ trying to keep him motivated to at least do something, although it’s hard when there are no more exams. … Of course his capacity to stare at his phone or tablet (or both simultaneously!) and work out strategies for his favourite games is apparently endless LOL
So all this to say that I have been making a concerted effort to get back into spending some regular and enjoyable ‘me time’. And that includes spending enjoyable time doing my embroidery. It was my birthday over the Easter weekend, and since it was a ‘lockdown birthday’ I was determined to say ‘stuff it’ to the housework, and get on with a piece of my simple hand embroidery I started Spring 2019. It demanded my attention, it demanded to be finished whilst the spring flowers were still beautiful outside!
Simple hand embroidery inspired by hand-dyed fabric
This was a simple hand embroidery piece that was inspired by some small oddments of hand dyed cotton fabric I bought in an ‘inspiration pack’ from a craft fair or something. And at the time, flowers and blossom, yellow and pink, were everywhere, and the newly unfurling leaves, a vibrant green. There were some pink and yellow pieces in the pack and due to the random effect of hand dying, some pieces suggested the shape and features of flowers.
I rooted about through my stash of threads and found several shades of yellow, pink, and green stranded cotton.
All I needed now was some background fabric, and something for leaves. Yippee,! I found some more oddments of green shaded fabric perfect for leaves, and rooted about a bit more and found… the perfect lime and white gingham that actually used to be my kitchen curtains when I lived in France!
I layered it up with some natural wadding, cos I like the softer, plumper texture that provides, and then I just started. Freehand cutting out of leaf-inspired shapes, and equally freehand cutting out of flowery shapes from the dyed fabric, letting the creases and patterns suggesting the different types of spring flowers. And then onto laying them on the fabric pinning into place and stitching lines and textures on the leaves and adding couched ‘grass’ I didn’t use any ‘bondaweb’ or anything like that to fix the flowers. I just stitched them in place and left some edges free so they added some texture and movement. I enjoy creating simple hand embroidery pieces like this.
Great progress was quickly made. Until I got distracted with something else and I forgot about this one 🙁
Easter birthday weekend stitching project
Anyway, back to my conscious decision to spend more time away from my desk and on my embroidery. I decided to dig this piece out again, and spend several very enjoyable hours over the Easter weekend sitting in my conservatory enjoying the sunshine out of the chilly sea breeze, actually doing some embroidery. The flowers came on a treat and before I knew it, IT WAS DONE YAY!
Simple straight hand embroidery stitches
I really enjoyed doing this, it was very mindful, creating peace and relaxation. I kept to a simple range of straight stitches, going with the flow, letting the shapes and lines suggest where to place my stitches.
- back stitch
- buttonhole stitch
- detached chain lazy daisy stitch
- running stitch
- french knots
- fly stitch
During my rummage for fabric and threads I re-discovered some organza flowers that I had bought for a couple of pounds from a ‘rummage box’ at the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching show back in 2017. I took them apart and found a use for them here.
The finished piece will be mounted onto a simple stretched artist canvas. It is one of a planned pair. The second one will be in a similar style, using the same gingham for the background, but using shades of blue, inspired by bluebells which are still out at the moment.