I’ve been planning an embroidery project. It’s a different sort of project than the ones you’ve seen here on Needle ‘n Thread before – but in some respects, it is similar. The project will be a figure embroidery project, and I thought I’d take you through the decision and planning process as the whole project comes together.
The first challenge I normally face after coming up with a design is deciding on a ground fabric. That’s where I am right now – ground fabric. Doesn’t sound too thrilling, does it?
Why ground fabric first? Why not colors or types of thread?
Well, the way I see it, and I don’t know if I’m necessarily “right” or if other people go about the planning of projects this way, is that the colors of thread that you choose for a project will look decidedly different, depending on the color of your ground fabric. I suppose if you always stitch on white, then it doesn’t matter as much. But for this project, I’m not so sure I want to stitch on stark white.
I’m leaning towards naturals and creams, and when it comes to naturals and creams, there’s a whole range of shades, really.
I also admit, I’m quite taken with the Puritan Grey in the center above, but I don’t think the weave of the fabric is exactly what I want.
The fabrics here are a combination of Legacy linens and Strathaven linens – both excellent linens for surface embroidery. In the photo above, the natural Strathaven on the right is nice, and I find myself going back to that one. Two photos up, the finer weave linen on the left is also in the running. You can see the difference in colors and weave between those two. So I need to take that into consideration in the decision-making process.
While looking over fabrics, I’m also doing a bit of reading and exploring. The design I’m working on is a spin-off of a drawing by an artist from the Arts & Crafts Movement (Selwyn Image), and so I’m reading up a bit on the movement. This particular book is The Arts and Crafts Movement by Rosalind Blakesley, and it’s the one I’ve been stuck into for the last week. I’ve got several more books on my shelf that focus on this era, and I’ll be delving into them as well.
And besides reading, of course, I like to look at the pictures!
So that’s the first phase of planning for me, after the design has been drawn. What about you? How do you go about planning your projects? What are your first steps, once you have a design down? Do you just dive right in with what you have? Do you test various options in threads and fabrics? Do tell, do tell!
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