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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Restitching leaves

Today I've been stitching the main leaves in the center section of Rose's Pyramid. I started on the unstitched side of each leaf, and quickly saw a big difference between today's stitching and my work of a few years ago.

My old stitching looked forced, unnatural. I think I tried too hard to keep to the ideal of "long and short", and it ended up looking like brick stitch on silk fabric. I recognize now that it was my engineer's logical brain trying to control something I which which I was uncomfortable. I didn't enjoy stitching non-counted work, and long and short stitch was the most intimidating to me. This was the first technique in which I had forgotten my mantra, "It's just string!"

Now I have become more comfortable with non-counted work, after the goldwork GCC's and my work on Fantasy Remembered. I've realized that the natural look of the stitching is much more important than holding a rigid form of the stitch. This non-counted stuff forces me to stuff my logical brain in a drawer and go with the flow. I've ripped out the old stitches. I'm trying to look for the natural direction and color flow of the leaf, and just stitch as that flow dictates, and the results are much better.

Also, I've learned that it's better to have longer stitches in general. Later rows of stitches can always encroach on earlier rows, but if the first rows are too short, ground fabric shows through and the stitching looks unnatural - like rows of stitches, rather than a smooth flow of color.

I hope to finish these leaves tomorrow.

1 comment:

Stitcher S said...

I see a big difference, too! I haven't done long and short stitches since the late seventies, when I was a teenager. Where does time go? I used to do a lot of freestyle type embroidery, and I loved it. I only do a bit of it now.

My son is in an engineering program (he's a senior now) so I truly 'get' the idea of wanting to have it all just right.