I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finding Inspiration For Embroidery Designs

As most of you know, I live out in the middle of nowhere,...........Texas...........
and in the middle of mesquite filled woods. There is never a day that I am without inspiration to find something for a great embroidery design. Long morning walks and the bounty from Mother Nature provides an unending source.

However, I find wonderful ideas for an embroidery design in fabric. I love botanical prints and vintage fabric with faded flowers and leaves. I have always love the cluster of these blue flowers on a piece of upholstery fabric I have had for years.............

A pretty flower to stitch, using french knots in the center and center ring, and shading with long and short stitch.

I have always loved leaves...........with their various shapes and changing colors..............

one can let their imagination run wild when it comes to stitching leaves. Shading done in long and short stitch and .............a new stitch I will show you at the end of this post..........to make the veins of a leaf more raised.

What designs do you like best in fabric? Is it the chintz roses? perhaps a group of floral sprays?
I would love to hear!

As you can see in the photo above, the center vein of the leaf is raised and draws more attention.
This is called an overcast stitch............I use it in embroidery like this, but I also use it when I am monogramming a design in white work.

Using 3 strands of the color you want your leaf vein to be, lay the strands along the vein line. With one strand of the matching color, couch.......or tack a few stitches to the strands along the vein line to keep the strands in place. Now you are ready to stitch......
This stitch is made up of tiny, upright satin stitches, worked very close together over a group of threads, resulting in a raised line. Starting at one end of the vein line and using 1 strand of matching thread, cover the tacked threads with small straight satin stitches, making sure to pull the thread firmly so that there will be no loose threads along vein. Work the stitches all the way to the other end of vein, making sure all threads are covered. Push needle under the design and secure in the stitching underneath and cut. Your veins should look wonderful after your shading work on the leaf is done.
So go out and take a walk to look at leaves..............or find your favorite material in your stash and create something!
Most importantly.........have fun!


Cindy said...

I have never used that stitch before. It does add nice detail to your leaf. I'll have to try it!

When we were in Texas in May, we loved the scenery - though it was a little dry:) I can see where you could get lots of inspiration from all the flowers and shrubs.


GardenOfDaisies said...

It's so amazing to see your work up close. You use so many colors to shade and get the look of that leaf just right! You are truly an artist!

Ladybug said...

Like you I live in the middle of
nowhere too.. but we love it enjoy
the quietness and you do get lots
of inspiration,perhaps it's all
the quietness... Your work is
amazing I have not used that stitch in long time..
Thanks for sharing ...
Warm Blessings

Bev said...

WOW what great work you do!! Beautiful.

letslearnembroidery said...

I like the way you shade- the flowers and leaves look so real-Ina

peggy said...

That is so intricate! Anything in flowers is my favorite but I also like botanical things as well. I hope your etsy is going well, have to pop over and see what you have. And I love the pictures of where you live.

Gina E. said...

As another comment said here, you are truly an artist, Kathleen. Your embroidered interpretation of original fabrics and pictures is very clever and always beautiful.

lil red hen said...

Thank you for sharing your knowledge of stitchery. Your work is truly beautiful!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Using those long and short stitches and the right colors for shading truly is an art. Your work is exquisite. Hope your day is beautiful. Tammy

Karen said...

Your embroidery is so beautiful, Kathleen, and I really appreciate the tips you give us, I'm glad to be learning!