I want to embroider a face. I’ve never done it before. I want to learn how. But every time I face the task of preparing to do so, I falter! Why? I’m not sure… but, still, I want to embroider a face. Let me show you what I have in mind.
I’m working on (or getting ready to work on) an ecclesiastical piece of fairly largish proportions. It’s riddled with faces. In fact, yesterday I sat for about half an hour, chin in hand, staring at the thing, and contemplating which faces to erase. There are just too many, and I’ve never embroidered a face.
But I want to embroider a face!
I mean, really! How hard can it be???! And why does it intimidate me?
Take a look at this picture below. It’s a close-up on an embroidered face on an ecclesiastical piece. The face itself, in the context of the piece, is probably 2.5 to 3 inches long. I’ve left it large, so you can click on it to see a much bigger image.
Up close, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Check out the stitch direction, the color changes, the outlines around the eyes, the chin, the lips, etc.
But if you’re looking at it the large size, it may not really strike you as “quite right,” as it doesn’t look smooth or even beautiful, really. The eyes look kind of bulby, the bottom lip looks kind of square, the face (especially on the left) looks flat ..
But look at it from farther away:
And from even farther away:
The shading around the eyes is nice, isn’t it? And the lips look right, now, don’t they? And the left side of the face, which looks so flat and linear in the close-up, looks fine. The chin line and the neck shading blend to look dimensional.
I want to embroider a face like this!
This is my problem: I sit down to work out the picture, and it ends up looking like a cartoon. Somehow, I can’t bring myself to transfer the drawning – I don’t want to embroider a cartoon!
I wasted a lot of time yesterday trying to figure out how to approach this. Finally, I gave up and went back to my goldwork, which couldn’t keep my interest because I was still engrossed in the face thing. So I pitched the goldwork (well, not literally), and didn’t do anything needlework related the rest of the day.
Do you ever have a needlework idea or plan that eats away at you? This one eats away at me – I’ve been toying with it for years, thinking seriously about it for months, and obsessing over it for weeks. Yesterday was to be the day. But I quit! What does that say about me????
I finally came to this conclusion:
So what if it looks cartoonish? So what if the colors aren’t “just right”? So what if it actually flops and looks like… garbage? So what?! What’s the big deal? Wasted time? No – I’d be learning. Learning is never a waste of time. Waste of materials? Have you seen my stash cabinets? That’s not even remotely an excuse!
Oh, dear! Could it be…. fear of failure? Heh heh. Wellllll…
You don’t know, until you try! And that holds true not just for any embroidery technique or needlework project – that holds true for anything. You don’t know, until you try.
So with renewed determination, I will begin this afternoon.
I am going to embroider a face.
if it turns out great, you’ll be the first to know!
If it flops,
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