Now that I finished the embroidery on “Breath of Spring,” and with the busy school year underway, I want to line-up my next needlework projects so that I don’t have to focus so much on set-up, and so that I always have a “carrot.” You do use needlework as a carrot, don’t you?
For me, needlework is absolutely a carrot – it is my inducement to get myself to perform (whether household tasks, job-related activities, whatever) so that I can embroider with a clear conscience. Basically, I do what I have to do so that I can do what I want to do. That’s not to say that everything besides needlework is drudgery; on the contrary, I like my job and I like doing other necessary things that relate to normal living. I always find, though, that if I have a goal (get this done now so I can do that later), I work with more energy and focus.
Do you want to know what my carrots are right now? Well – here they are:
First, I’m working on a goldwork project – a small project that’s a lot of fun so far. I’m giving it to my niece for her wedding in November. I would like to have it finished by the end of next week, which isn’t impossible. I’ve done all the silk shading, and now it’s just a matter of the goldwork.
This is a picture of part of the project. I can’t blog the whole thing right now, as the project isn’t really “mine.” Once it’s published, I’ll show you my finished work and tell you about it at length. But don’t you love the colors so far?
Here’s a little shot showing you how a vine is narrowed using gold passing thread. The vine is originally two pairs of passing thread (gold passing thread is generally couched in pairs). Then, about halfway around, I plunged one thread (half of a pair), and then a bit later, another thread, to narrow the vine to only one pair of passing threads. I think the designer was ingenious with this little touch.
After this is finished, I’ll move on to beginning my Pelican.
This is the piece that I bought the threads for on my recent shopping venture. It’s painted on 18 ct. canvas and the whole thing will be worked in tent stitch. The canvas was designed and painted by Judy of Possibilities, etc. I’ve had it for a while, and had every intention of starting it last spring, but, amazingly enough, I never had a chance to go shopping for threads until just a few weeks ago.
I don’t plan to stitch the whole piece in one sitting. (Oh, no kidding??) Actually, it’s going to be an on-and-off piece, for something to stitch on now and then, between projects and whenever I’m on a needlepoint roll. I don’t think I would enjoy glutting myself entirely on tent stitch for months until this is finished. I’m looking forward to working it.
My next little project is going to be BABY BOOTIES. I’m excited about this one!!!! I’m going to make a couple sets of little baby booties out of wool felt (I think I’ll try some different lining ideas, though – like lining them with flannel, or, for cold weather, perhaps fleece?). They’ll be embroidered, of course, and I hope they turn out cute. I’ve got a pattern set from McCall’s (pattern #2867).
I’ve also found some cute patterns online. I especially like this Bitty Booties pattern from Heather Bailey Designs (PDF). You’ll find it on her blog Hello My Name is Heather.
I’ve also been in the process of designing a really ambitious project.
It’s ecclesiastical embroidery and will feature mostly silk shading and goldwork. The design is still in the works, and it’s really l-a-r-g-e. I still have some sketching to do on it, like finishing the angels in the arm of the cross:
My plan is to break the design down into workable elements that will be appliqued together onto the main ground fabric. This is a whole new adventure for me – at least on this scale. I’ll definitely be keeping you posted on this project’s development. If I flop or just give up, you’ll be the first to know!
For light work this winter, I’ve got a couple of Tanja Berlin’s kits still – the squirrel and a bird, I think. So it’s likely I’ll set those up for stitching.
And between these projects, for more immediate purposes, I’d kind of like to make a stack of Christmas cards before the end of November rolls around. I’m thinking about getting some kids together – or at least a couple of my nieces – and doing a kind of group card-making session or four on Saturday afternoons.
All this is fun stuff and really exciting to me. But the reality is that, as much as I’d like to have all these projects underway with a certitude that I could finish them this winter, I know it will not be likely that I’ll get them all done. Oh, the ecclesiastical piece will take years, I know. But it’s nice to have stitching goals for the fall and winter months, even though I know that my real job is going to be taking the bulk of time. Still, I do plan to stitch, and stitching always makes a Really Good Carrot for me. If I do my work like a good girl, then I can settle into some serious needlework!
Is embroidery your carrot? Do you make up stitching goals for yourself? If you do, how many projects do you have on the burner? (Or at least stewing in your head?) In short, how do you go about planning and executing your stitching adventures? Maybe if we share ideas on this, we can all become more efficient with our time and our approach to our projects!