Monday, 2 April 2018

Autumn Meadow

I know I'm working in the wrong season here, but I seem to have lots of Autumn themed fabrics that work so well together. I love these colours too, the burnt golds and oranges and shades of chocolate brown, mingling with purple and yellow. I thought initially that the focus in this piece would be the larger expanse of floral fabric in the foreground, but actually, it is the richer, more heavily worked middle fabrics that draw the eye and suck you in. The very middle piece of fabric is a Kaffe Fassett print, not that you would be able to tell this by looking at it now. The original fabric print design was big Dahlia flowers with long petals, but when cut into strips it just becomes stripes of wonderful colour, which I have tried to copy quite closely with rough satin stitched threads, jumbling together and going in different directions. It's not harmonious exactly, but it works really well and I really enjoy the pops of purple.

Most of the colours used are brought together in the flower print, there is a paler shade of purple in the little flowers, a sandy gold for the daisies, the orange has been recycled from further up, as have the browns. The only colours not used anywhere else are the green and peach.

It sure packs a punch doesn't it? I really quite like the use of French knots in this piece. I have used two strand, three twist knots in the trees, which change colour along with the fabric print (as do the bullion knots edging this layer), and a combination of two strand, one twist gold knots with two strand, six twist cream knots for the kind of grassy layer. These knots follow those already in the pattern, which did come in two sizes, but I have made them different colours which I think is nice. It helps to blend the light and dark layers together.

At the very top is one of my favourite fabrics, the clock fabric. I have used this before to create padded clock rocks in the Moorland Stitchscape, and there is just a hint of it here. It is worked very finely with single strand threads working cross hatches in the background, following the lines and outer edges of the clocks, and creating one strand, one twist french knots for the minutes. Nothing fancy but very effective.

I was recently asked how complicated my embroidery pieces are, especially those that I make into kits for you to try. It was a difficult question to answer really as the vast majority of the stitches I use are so simple and basic; back stitch, straight stitch, seed stitch... you can't say that any of those are hard to accomplish. The effectiveness of these comes from repetition and colour, how they are used to compliment the fabric, changing the colour or tone and the thickness of the threads used. The more complicated stitches would be the bullion knots and french knots, but after some practise you can master these, and there are many fabulous videos on the internet showing you exactly how to execute these.

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