This was another project that took a very long time to finish. Mainly because it was well out of my comfort zone. The project was one of the Community Stitch Challenges from TextileArtist.org. This particular one was by Sue Stone and the challenge was to turn a photo into a work of embroidery. Seemed a good idea at the time, and off I went to work, way back on 3rd April. Here is the finished piece.
Before I could begin stitching I had to spend a lot of time working out the composition itself as it involves a fair amount of appliqué. Still I did work out a framework and the fabrics and started stitching them together. As I don’t have a sewing machine, I had to do all this by hand, which explains why it is a bit messy in places. The various pieces were stitched together with a single strand of Sulky thread in blues. The outside with a simple backstitch and the inside with herringbone and buttonhole stitches. The background fabrics were all from pieces lying around.
The fabric for the photo is a Kona cotton in ivory. The photo I chose is one from a holiday we had in Palma de Mallorca way back in 2006. It has always been one of Kathleen’s favourites. I used tracing paper to transfer the image onto the cotton fabric.
For the striped top I used Kona cotton in white. The stripes are stitched with a whipped backstitch with two strands of DMC cotton in medium antique blue. For the shawl I used cut out bits from a shawl I bought in a charity shop. I originally wanted to try and fold the fabric, but found this impossible to do. Way beyond my pay grade! So I made do with some backstitches in a magenta Sulky thread to try and give the impression of folds.
The hair is stitched with various lengths of Ghiordes knot stitch. Single strands in bunches of three or four were used for each stitch. Four shades of DMC browns make up the hair – ultra very light mocha brown, light mocha brown, ultra dark beige brown and black brown. Most of the face is made up of a backstitch in black. The eyelashes are in black brown. For the eyes and the lips I used Sulky threads in light blue and red.
All in all I am quite pleased with this first attempt at this kind of embroidery. The stitching took up 21 hours over 11 days. The finished pieces measures 24cmx18cm. May try something similar in the future.