Sunday, 8 October 2017

Gentle Giants

It's coming along, this night sky stitchscape of mine. Progress is a little slow at the moment as I am double timing with a commission needed for early November that I really need to concentrate on, but in my spare moments, the texture is creeping in here, layer by layer.

The idea behind this one came from a bus ride home in the dark where the moon was shining full and bright (we've had some beautiful moons sightings this week- especially Thursday, it was huge! Did you see it?) Now that the trees are losing their leaves, there are patches where the moon can be seen through the trees, with the stars twinkling around it like an excitable fan club. I really love the idea of standing at the base of a cluster of trees (Silver Birches that glow in the dim lighting), gazing up at the night sky, so that is what I am trying to represent here.

I'm still not entirely sure on how best to work the trees, as they will need extra branches added to them. I'm thinking of stitching thicker branches towards the bottom of the 'scape, narrowing to thin, spindly branches at the top to help with the perspective of the piece. This can be done using less strands of floss at the top and more at the bottom but I will have to see what it looks like. I'm also going to try using my DMC silky threads as they have such a lovely lustre and will add to the general 'glow'.

For now though, I'm still on the blues, and I love how the trees are represented on the back of the embroidery, with an opposite relief. It looks really snazzy!

You can see where I'm halfway through a line of French knots at the top of this satin stitch splodge layer. Trying to find lots of different dark blue threads is quite interesting, luckily I have a *ahem* stash that I can rummage in...

The lower layers have my usual textures applied, although in this stitchscape I have repeated a few of the fabrics as (unbelievably) I didn't have enough variety in my fabric stash to be able to have a different fabric on each layer in the right tone of blue. This, of course, will have to be rectified, and happily I am off with The Mother to Ally Pally next weekend so will have plenty of opportunity to go completely crazy and buy thousands of fabrics in dark blue! Or maybe a restrained variety of colours so that I don't go completely bankrupt- these things can get out of hand.
To disguise the fact I have repeated the background fabrics, I will try to treat them slightly differently. For example, I have used my dark blue and white polka dot fabric at the top and the bottom. At the bottom I have turned the dots into cross hatched lines, so perhaps at the top I will keep it a polka dot, but enhanced with knots of some description, or maybe use the dots and make a brickwork back stitch (horizontal lines) instead.

I have used quite a lot of polka dot, or spotty fabrics here as I really wanted the idea of stars to come out, but it doesn't mean that all of the dots have to be white, and I have two layers with different types of spots that have been covered in blue satin stitches.

The bottom fabric hasn't had a lot of treatment, which is slightly unusual for me, but I'm thinking ahead to these thick branches that will have to be put in. Plus, I discovered that whilst putting in the colonial knots with a single strand of embroidery thread, you can't really see them! You can feel them, so if you were to run your fingers over the piece you would know there is something there (this doesn't help when the embroidery is framed behind glass) but really I have continued putting the knots in to help attach the fabric to the backing.
So, just a few more background layers to go and then my gentle giants of trees can be stitched in and hopefully it will look as lovely and serene as in my minds eye!

As I have mentioned my commissioned piece, I thought I would show you a sneak preview of the completely bottom half. Can you hazard a guess as to the theme? I am debating whether or not to add some tiny beads for a dash of sparkle, but I might double check with the client first to see what they think. Fingers crossed that I am moving in the right direction here!

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