Needlework inspiration can come from a lot of places. Not all these places are necessarily needlework-related, either. When I can, I like to squiz around online to see what’s going on in the embroidery and textile world, but I don’t always have lots of time to do so. I figure most of us are in the same boat, time-wise, so after meandering a bit online this week, I thought I’d point out some places that caught my eye and update you on a few goings-on, just in case you haven’t had time for browsing lately. (Actually, I’m just trying to justify the hours spent on the computer!)
So, come along with me, and let’s browse a bit, shall we?
All Things Paper isn’t exactly a needlework website – it’s all paper. But oh, what paper! Lately, Ann Martin has been displaying some beautiful quilled lettering, including quilled monograms. (There’s a great tutorial for quilled monograms on there, by the way). You know I love working monograms for hand embroidery projects. I do, I do! And I love the look of these quilled monograms. And I find myself wondering how this look can be translated into hand embroidery. But then I find myself wanting to get out the quilling supplies and do a monogram in paper. But then I think I really should be concentrating on needlework, because I have a website to write. But then I think (this, by the way, is called Inspirational Glut) it’s always a good idea to break from one craft and work on another to limber things up a bit. But then… and this is the ultimate dilemma … I start pondering how the quilling and the needlework could all be combined in one project. And then I stop thinking.
Whatever the case – I love this look. And I find myself thinking of it a lot lately. Can you see it translated into hand embroidery? If you were given a piece of quilled lettering like the ones Ann Martin is featuring, and you were told “Translate this into hand embroidery,” how would you go about doing it? I’ve got some ideas, and I’ve put them on The List. So maybe in the future, the topic will come up again.
Vincent, at worksofhands, started work on an embroidery kit called Bridge of Sighs (in English, anyway). Vincent’s embroidery work is amazing; if you haven’t seen the goldwork vestments for the Infant Jesus statue that he embroidered, you should take time to look at those!
But back to the Bridge of Sighs kit. I like sketchy art, especially sketches of places. This kit looks like a lot of fun – line stitches over the sketchy lines, and voilá – you’ve got sketchy art and embroidery all in one. The other reason the kit caught my eye was the title. I love Thomas Hood’s poem by the same name!
But I digress…
Next up, for fun, color, and ingenuity, you have got to visit Susan Elliott’s blog, Plays with Needles, where Susan is constructing an Alice in Wonderland crazy quilt block that is whimsical, colorful, and really clever. I’ve enjoyed watching this progress! As each element is added, you’ll find yourself saying, “Wow, what a good idea!” Take a look at the block! It’s a lot of fun.
Over on Stitching with a Shimmy, you’ll find a thorough tutorial on Jacobean stumpwork. DeRomilly takes us step-by-step through the completion of a small Jacobean motif, replete with three-dimensional and padded petals and mounds of French knots. It’s a good tutorial, worth taking a look at if you’re interested in stumpwork.
And, finally, over on Kathy’s blog Shawkl, you’ll find a terrific tutorial on embroidering three-dimensional trees. This tree is fantastic! Kathy’s method of bark decorating can be translated into different types of stitches, too. You could use her tree foundation and then embroider the trunk and limbs with different stitches, like raised chain stitch or raised stem stitch… lots of interpretive possibilities there.
Oh, and there were more! Many more sites that captured my interest and imagination while I was browsing! What about you? What are your favorite spots for inspiration online? Do you look for needlework inspiration solely at needlework websites, or do you have other sites that get the creative juices flowing? Leave a comment and fill us in on what inspires your needlework and where you find your inspiration!