Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April TIF

Time flies! Well it must when I read it is nearly a fortnight since my last entry.

I have done quite a deal of thinking about change and how I cope with it. Basically I think change is an inevitable part of life. I need to control change when I can and make the most of what happens when I can't be in control. Over the last 10 years my life has changed in many ways - I retired from a full-time job, we shifted house from the country back to the city and there have been some health issues. Some of these were exciting changes, others not so exciting and others quite difficult - similarly some changes were easy to manage, others not so - but nonetheless each day begins as something wonderful and there will always be new challenges.

I decided to represent change and how I try to cope with it by considering flowers - they start as quite small buds and over time change into the fullblown flower. This I enjoy (and do all I can to hang onto as long as possible) until eventually the petals fall and the flower dies - but what joy that flower has provided! I have my first pot, ever, of hyacinths (this is the subtropics after all) sitting on the chest of drawers at the foot of the stairs and the beauty and perfume is amazing. It has been wonderful to watch how they have changed from the pot of green shoots to these beautiful flowers - enough to inspire an embroidery,perhaps.

To my embroidery for the month. These are the colours of the month as I had seen them on my monitor. However I certainly wasn't using them in the same proportions as Sharon's Chinese photo - there is a preponderance of the pink and purple with some vanilla, green and terracotta/orange added. This gave a totally different feel to the colour scheme. I do find that my computer screen seems to give different results from others that are suggested.

My stitch list was again fairly restricted. The pulled thread is in single faggot stitch. (Another new stitch to me - I found this in Mary Thomas). This month I used a #12 perle and what a difference that made in comparison to the doubled Gutterman polyester sewing machine thread from last month - it was a dream to stitch whereas last month every stitch was a struggle. (A thought - could it have been the polyester thread? Maybe I should try pulled thread with doubled 'cotton' sewing thread.

The flower outline is in whipped stem stitch, again perle cotton. The fly stitch is also in Finca perle. The rest of the piece consists of buttonhole wheels and French knots (what else!). I tried to use a variety of thread. I found it very difficult to stop stitching and at one stage I thought I would have to do some unpicking but decided against this after I added the darker knots in the centre of the flower.

I would be very grateful for any criticism of this piece, especially designwise - I find working in isolation very difficult. As I mentioned in an earlier post I am a beginner in the total process (interestingly this came about because of a change in circumstance) and would really appreciate any help that anyone might offer.
Added later: I am really looking for suggestions in ways in which I might improve my work - thanks a million!

While I was working this piece I met up with Paula from The Beauty of Life and she very generously gave me an enormous bundle of DMC floss - threequarters of which were tints and shades of my chosen colours. Some of these are tucked into the knot section. I still have not worked out how to put photos where I want them!


coral-seas said...

Hi Maggie. I really like this piece. I think it's proportions and balance are good and it flows well. I love the way you have achieved so much texture with such a limited palette of stitches.


PAULE said...

Lovely work. I'm working on a sumptuous surface too for april TIF Challenge with more neutral colors.

Paule -Reunion Island

Jane said...

I think this piece is beautiful! I like the balance of textures, the pulled work vs the voided areas, vs the "encrusted" areas; very nice flow. The colors are lovely as well.

Paula Hewitt said...

Hi Marg
This looks great, but even better in real life of course. I love the way you have finished it. The centre of the flower looks lovely. I am looking forward to seeing it agin, when we meet up next

sandra wyman said...

A really beautiful piece Maggie, and thanks for your comments on my challenge pieces

monique said...

Oh ! A very nice work ! I like the sumptuous surface.
Thank you for your comment on my blog.

MargB said...

Thankyou for your kind words - I enjoyed doing this piece very much

Jo in NZ said...

Love this piece. The negative detailing is so striking.

Elmsley Rose said...

ditto what Jane said.

One thing - the stepals for the large flower - did you notice you did them emanating from the top of the bottom leaf, rather than in the *middle* of the flower (which is a bit higher up)?