It's Day 50 of my current daily embroidery piece. Right now it's about 22 inches high; I can stitch to about 30 inches and then will have to stop.
For this one, I'm using running stitch only, horizontal one day, vertical the next. Black thread Monday through Saturday, red on Sundays.
Nothing is preplanned in this piece. I decide what the day's motif will be when I sit down to stitch. I work freehand, except for tracing the edge of a hoop with a disappearing ink pen to get the semicircular motifs started.
Sometimes my stitches are nice and even, sometimes not so much. Perfection is not the goal! In fact, this and my other daily embroidery is very much about celebrating imperfection.
I shared my love for imperfection and stitching freehand with the students in an embroidery class at Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse on Saturday. After tracing a circle using a template as a guide, the rest of the design we embroidered was all done freehand:
So that they could jump right in and get started stitching, I prethreaded lots of needles in a variety of colors. Everybody got handouts with instructions for basic stitches and how to sew a sachet. They also each got a bag of fragrant lavender, chamomile, and rosemary (needless to say, the classroom smelled great!).
It was so much fun to watch everyone's designs take shape. Each student brought their own personality and color preferences to their stitching (I can't say "her" because there was actually one guy in the class).
One of the best things about the class was meeting other creative people who live in the Pioneer Valley—like Kimberly, who has already finished her sachet and blogged about it at Where Earth Meets Sky. I love the colors she chose and the beautiful red blanket stitch she did all around the sides.
Want to try your hand at embroidery? I'll be teaching Freehand Embroidery again on Saturday, October 19, 10 am to noon. We'll be stitching the same design and sachet project that I've shown here.
Then, on Saturday, November 16, I'll be teaching Embroidery II. You'll learn more stitches in Embroidery II as well as ways to transfer images to fabric. I'm going to create a new design that you'll be able to take home and use to embellish whatever you like—towels, dinner napkins, maybe a shirt, a tote bag, or a pocket.
Both classes will be at Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse, in the Eastworks building, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 126, in Easthampton. All supplies, including hoops, thread, and fabric, will be provided. Sign up at the Knack website. Hope to see you!