Late Harvest, an embroidery kit from Hazel Blomkamp that I reviewed here, was meant to be my carrot.
I like to have an embroidery carrot hanging about – an enticing project that I reward myself with when I meet a goal.
Lately, though, it’s been my Pondering Project. And it works well for that!
There are times throughout the work day when I find myself at a loss as to what step to take next. What approach should I take on this project? How should I tackle that project?
When I’m stumped like that, I find I can ponder The Next Thing and work out ideas while I’m stitching on Late Harvest.
I can’t always do that with every embroidery project, especially projects that I’ve designed and I’m working through for the first time. In such cases, my mind is normally occupied with what step to take next on that particular project.
But if I’m following someone else’s directions, it’s much easier to think about something other than the project I’m stitching on while I’m stitching on it. It’s a good time to work out little directional problems and develop ideas. And it’s nice to be able to do that while still making some progress on something.
So, while I was doing some pondering, I added the beaded outlines to several leaves on Late Harvest.
The outlines are worked in beaded Palestrina stitch. You can find a tutorial for beaded Palestrina stitch here. I love Palestrina stitch, and it works up really well with beads!
The beaded outlines were a lot of fun, even though they can be a bit tricky when changing directions while working your way around the leaf.
I had more success with the outline if I could stitch the whole outline without interruption. If I had to leave the frame and come back to it later, I ended up losing the rhythm of the stitch and the feel of the tension, stitch length, and so forth. The outlines that I stitched in one sitting ended up being much more evenly spaced, much more consistent in tension and stitch size.
The next step in the project after the beaded outlines are two narrow leafy tendril thingies worked in long and short stitch.
I tend to mark out the direction of my long and short stitch right on the fabric, especially when the shape is a bit challenging.
When I set out on this project, my intention was to follow Hazel’s instructions to the letter, but habit stepped in before I even thought about it, and I found I had outlined the leaf shape with split stitch, which is not part of the instructions.
Then, I started the long and short stitch, and it wasn’t until I finished the long and short stitch that I realized I missed the instructions on that part, too.
Hazel approaches her long and short stitch from the inside out on shapes like this. That is, she starts at the center vein line and works to the edge.
I generally go from the outside edge into the center.
On a piece like this, though, it really doesn’t matter which direction you take. I worked it how I habitually work it, because that’s what was comfortable for me.
On the next tendril leafy thingamabob sticking out from the other side of the pomegranate, I’ll follow the directions. I suspect Hazel’s approach may make shading on an irregular shape a bit easier – it’ll be interesting to try it and to compare the two approaches.
The Moral of the Story
After working a few little elements here and there on this project while pondering, I achieved a little clarity and I made some decisions.
I overcame an instance of writer’s block.
I decided how to organize a section of my work area.
I made a plan in my head for executing a small how-to project.
And I figured out what to have for dinner the next two nights.
Not bad, eh?
You do know the moral of the story, don’t you?
Right! If you’re unsure of what to have for dinner, just go stitch. Dinner will take care of itself.
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