May. 21st, 2010

viennabelle: (Default)
What's Done So Far 5/10/10A background on this project...About a year ago I spent a weekend stitching on the Plimoth Plantation jacket project. Since I came in at the end of the project, most of the embroidery was complete, so I split my time between sewing on spangles and stitching in tendrils with gold passing thread. However, in preparation, I'd worked on the sampler project required for participation. It seemed deceptively simple--little shapes in detatched buttonhole stitch. I managed to complete and submit my sampler, but I hadn't been happy with the results.

Since then, I've practiced in a desultory manner--but slowly my skills have improved. A week before going on vacation last month, I realized a kit project I'd ordered wasn't going to be ready before I left. So, I decided to take the plunge and come up with my own project.

Initially, I attempted to scale up a design of an original (child's sized) coif--but I discovered that the repeats weren't nearly as regular as I thought they were! When I tried to add on new repeats, the design became a mess, so I scrapped that idea.

Then I came up with the idea of designing my own, much as drafters had done so in the era. They  adapted desired elements out of common motifs, usually onto a circular vine pattern. So, I started taking out jam jars to trace out circular vines and played around with motifs.

My design is mostly based off motifs in the 1608 Trevelyon Miscellany at the Folger Shakespeare Library. It's an original pattern book of embroidery designs from the Tudor period--and many of the designs in it are commonly seen in Tudor embroidered objects, especially jackets, coifs and cushion covers.  I'd seen the original book on display a couple of years ago when we'd gone to see a play at the Folger, so I returned to study the designs out of a facsimile edition the Library kept for public reference. 

To be honest, this is a big challenge for me. Those motifs are small, but they sure take a lot of time to stitch (though when I do it, I barely notice the clock)! As you can see, I've got a lot of work to do. I'm hoping that by journalling this, I'll keep a record for my own reference--a record not just for recalling the decisions and challenges I faced, but also to pull myself back to working on it once other projects seem more appealing. I figure to make my posts public--maybe it will inspire others to try it, too (if you do, friend me so I can get inspired back!

One thing I'm learning--I stitch much better by natural light. So, I have my little setup put by the sliding glass doors to the deck--it may not be south facing, but it's the best light in the house. It's a nice thing to do before heading out to work.

I held off posting this for two days due to difficulty posting the photo...it took me that long to realize LJ doesnt like bitmaps.

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viennabelle

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