Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taking the Time to Embroider

Embroidery is time-consuming. REALLY time consuming. If you don't have patience, any embroidery you pick up could become a nightmare project for you. Of course, the simplest way to add embroidery to any design you create is to have an embroidery machine. Those guys are amazing! Just put on your fabric, upload your design, and BAM! You have an intricate, perfectly embroidered piece.
A beautiful piece of classic Kazakh embroidery.

Sometimes, though, you don't put embroidery on enough items for that to even be a consideration. (Let it not be said that pricing is reasonable on specialty embroidery machines.) And sometimes, you just want to feel a little bit closer to the ladies of the past, who would sit for hours in their sewing circles, stitching away.

In 2007, I embroidered tiny orange flowers on the empire waistband of my royal blue prom dress. In 2009, I undertook a daunting task..... Outlining the design on a standard handkerchief with two different colors than the base of the handkerchief. I made about 3 of those, before realizing there was no way that was profitable. (I was 19, give me a break!)
I found this picture on my old etsy shop!

Since then, the only embroidery I have been doing is tiny bits here and there, no real project to speak of.

Until now.

I found this picture while googling cow skulls.

I always have short term and long term projects going at the same time.... And this is definitely my long term project. I love animal bones and think they are so beautiful, so wanted to test my hand embroidering one, with maybe a wreath of flowers around the top of it. Finding this drawing was perfect, because instead of doing flowers, these nice fall leaves are simple, and yet unique from the flowers you tend to see in juxtaposition to animal bones.

Elsie and Emma do a really cool jewelry hanging project on A Beautiful Mess, which was my inspiration for my original idea. Check out their project here: Antler necklace display. 
Here's my embroidery, with only the first 3 colors completed.

My embroidery is a bit farther along now, after hours of sitting and stitching, I have 5 leaves filled in, and only two leaves to go. They are nice rich fall colors to contrast the peach fabric of the background.

Originally, I had no idea what I wanted to make this piece into when I am done with it.... But I think I know now. I want to turn it into a purse, styled slightly like a bowler's bag, and slightly like a tote bag. It will be a mixture of the two styles. Here's a vague example: The closest thing I could find.

Wish me luck with this project. I am so excited about it, but that just makes it harder to wait for the reward. If my patience will last, I will be posting pictures as soon as I am done with the embroidery, and then again with the bag!

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