Still working on this, albeit very very slowly! Obviously the redder piece is going to need a bigger turn under (or trim) than i thought.
The “loosely based on a eucalyptus” leaf didn’t sing to me, until i added the copper mix beads:
Today should enable finishing the few remaining areas in the diamonds.
The rest of the week will see little studio or stitch corner work done: it’s Mother’s Day week at the ffffFlower Mines, and already i’m tired!
Not going to show you the aborted and horrifying first attempt for the euc leaf on the second section 🙂 I decided to keep that part simple instead and embroider on the section itself.
Just as well, because the text would be problematic to do over the edges of an applied piece. I’m not necessarily for taking the easy way out, but i think i made the right choice here. I’m also not sure i need to add the text at all. Or maybe i add it elsewhere on the piece as a whole. Or at the very least, part of it could become the name of the piece!
I did learn two new stitches though!
The walnut thread is the Pekinese stitch, something i’d love to do as a massed line/shape, and with my anchor stitches smaller. The paler colours (osage and sandalwood) are a woven cross stitch. That second one should be done with a heavier thread to show the effect, but i’m also convinced that it’s just easier to do it as a small weaving if you want more “legs” than the basic stitch has, rather than the awkwardness of trying to go through the same holes and lay threads flat enough to give the shape to it! The basic tute is on Sharon B’s Pintangle, though i went from my stitch bible, Jacqueline Enthoven’s “The Stitches of Creative Embroidery”. You can’t see the extra legs i did though because the silk thread is so fine. Nice lustre, but no definition!
The Pekinese stitch is good for the leaf, though in its new incarnation. Textural, and with the walnut thread and judicious use of paler earth tones, a good almost bas-relief translation of the original sketch. I’ll blend in the lighter threads so they are not so “liney” :), and finish filling in the diamonds as well. The whole when attached to the backing, won’t be as pointy either!
While I work on the Crone piece, Samara is quite jealous of being left behind, and is yelling at me to work on her too. Next week I will alternate to keep things interesting. (Photo edit and flip, as the left is the real piece 😆. )
OMg, this is SO juicy, i have to get back to her!!!!!!!!!!!
It might not be set in stone, but there is/was/is a plan for this piece.
I looked through my “stitchionaries” (photo detail files of work previously done), my stitch bibles, online at new stitches, scribbled and sketched and thought, drooled on my thread choices and pondered and pondered. How am i going to treat this section, without it being too dense, but also to “fit” with the first section done?
DUH. What’s the piece that prompted this?
Obviously, it’s not going to be squared off like this quick cut and paste 🙂
I think the leaf needs to be a separate piece applied on top of this section, and the embroidery done over and around it.
Above, the first section completed. You can see the big difference on that worked section that the iron post modification made on the clear red of the original madder. (Post mod was done before stitching with quebracho rojo, cochineal and madder on silk and cotton threads.)
While i want the next section i’m working on to be a truer red, i want some nuance as well to riff the threads off. I tried post mods of soda ash, titanium oxolate and copper.
The soda ash dulled the red, the TO made it slightly orangey, and the copper, while darker and similar to the iron used before, is more what i wanted.
Though the lines are “obvious”, the threads chosen will soften the harder edges. Three shades of madder on cotton, silk and cotton, and a sandalwood on cotton should start me nicely.
I do have yet to decide which stitches i will use. I don’t want it as tightly massed as the finished section, but not really “open” and loose either.
Back to my Stitchionary for perusal and tests.
I’m not sure who snuck into my studio the day i pieced this section and made it a different shape than “the plan”. Doesn’t matter though, a plan is just a piece of paper, the work is what counts.
As i worked this, i also wondered if i had made myself extra work by piecing it first: does it matter that it’s many sections? Could i have done it as one piece which would have necessitated more marking, so maybe the same or more work to begin with anyways? From a distance, the diamonds don’t register as separate chunks. Would i feel as gratified if i had used one larger piece, that might have been closer to the original shape?
Does it make any difference in the end? If i had left the diamond shapes obvious around the edges, as i did this piece, maybe. Something to consider for future work. Should square pegs be forced into round holes? Reminds me of some ecoprint work that is COVERED in embroidery–well, now you can’t see the ecoprint, so wtf was the point of using it? Work with something, not against or despite it.
I could do this again, with smaller pieces and see if the rougher edges work. Mock up first, before i commit.
PS My quebracho rojo threads ran out, so i also used madder post modified with iron, dark cochineal, and a qr overdyed on bad lichen ( 🙂 )
I don’t always plan out this much, or in such detail. I know things will migrate, mute, change, become more subtle or disappear.
It looks more complicated than it is.
It will be simpler when all the threads and fabrics translate the idea to form.