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embroidery for strange times

These are strange times and most of us are struggling to deal with our own new realities.  Maybe like me, you are under a "shelter in place" order or maybe you are voluntarily self isolating.  Whatever, it's likely you are living a different life right now and that can be stressful.  I'm finding it hard to concentrate for long so I'm filling my days with things that take smaller chunks of time.  I've been baking more and stitching in between other chores and activities.  

One of the things I've been working on is an embroidery pattern by @tinkerellen on Instagram.  It's a very simple pattern available in her Etsy shop for $1 and my first decision was background fabric.  I really like stitching on linen and I had these three colors.  Since I knew I'd choose bright, clean colors of floss I decided to go with the black linen.  If you don't have linen a low volume quilting cotton would work great or any plain cotton.  

I sketched the pattern freehand onto the black fabric because I knew I wouldn't stick to it exactly.  I'm incapable of following a pattern as it is written 😂.  I knew I'd be adding felt flowers, sequins and maybe beads.  In my mind I could see this as a bright Spring like embroidery with that section of running stitch as a burbling stream, fed by snowmelt and crystal clear.  The flowers would be pink and purple and the leaves, the bright greens of early Spring.

I added my felt flowers and interspersed them with embroidered ones. Then I filled the spaces between with french knots because they are my favorite stitch and I can never have too many!

I really like using variegated thread for this type of project.  It looks so good against this black linen and the repetition of stitches really shows off the color variance.  Instead of a running stitch for the "stream" I decided on chain stitch and I worked the rows really close together because this gives such a lovely texture.  

If you look closely you will see a bit of metallic thread for some watery sparkle!  This project is all about using what you have on hand and I have a pretty good stash of floss - it's been fun to use it!  You'll see some sequins here too, these are so pretty and very sparkly.  I used lots more french knots (um my favorite stitch!) to fill in between the leaves and then black french knots between the flowers on the right.  I know, black on black - what was I thinking?  It was hard on my eyes but again, the texture is awesome!  

In my next post, I'll share how I like to finish the back of an embroidery hoop.  If you'd like to stitch a long, check out @tinkerellen on Instagram.  Those of us who are participating are using the hashtag #coronavirusrainbowheart.


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