Thursday, April 9, 2015

Love - An Experiment in Embroidery

I love to make things.  Conceiving of an idea, picking out patterns and fabrics, and putting it all together brings me all kinds of gladness in my heart.  In general when I start a project, I have someone in mind.  That person drives every single choice I make even if the overall vibe is something that pleases me.  There's a delicate balance between making something that will please someone else and making something that will please me.

This is why, for me, gifts are more enjoyable to make than commissions.  Don't get me wrong, the experiences I've had with commissioned pieces have been good.  It's nice to make something that you know is exactly what the person who is getting it wants.  (The payday doesn't stink either.)  BUT.  It sucks just a little bit of the joy out of it to do all of the work but get none of the creative control.

I finished this project recently for a cousin of mine who is getting married next month.  I badgered her sisters and Grandma to give me the details on what Bible verses the couple was using for the wedding as well as favorite colors.  Given my recent interest in embroidery I knew that I wanted to stitch up the verse in some fashion, but that was as far as I had gotten in the process for at least a month.

Finally I got the details I needed from the pertinent relatives, and I set about searching around for inspiration.  If you're looking for something personal to give to a couple, Etsy/other sites are loaded with people who will stitch you up a verse or a favorite quote.  I found a lot of good ideas there.  But it wasn't quite what I wanted.  I searched some more.  When in doubt, Google it, right?

I'm glad I ended up doing that because I came across a site that I just fell in love with.  Hand Lettering Co. is loaded with artwork that I could picture in every room of my house.  And wouldn't you know, there was a print of the exact verse that I was looking to stitch up.

It's a popular one in weddings.  "The Love Verse" many people call it.  It's 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
Love by Hand Lettering Co.
I just fell in love with this.  Hard.  I contacted Hand Lettering Co., told them about the project I wanted to do, and asked if I could have their blessing to recreate this piece of art in embroidery.  I was elated when Chris got back to me with a YES.  :)

I fiddled around with a few different fabrics before settling on this one from Melody Miller's Mustang line (Rose Border - Multi).  The colors are right up my cousin's alley.
Rose Border - Multi by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel
I had to monkey with the fabric a bit to get it positioned the way I wanted it.  I cut out some of the flowers and appliqued them on the background fabric.  At many points in the process I worried that it was all going to be too busy, but I forged ahead anyhow.  I decided to keep the embroidery all in one color both for simplicity of stitching and to quiet down a bit everything else that I had going on.  After several nights of cutting and fusing and machine sewing and hand stitching I ended up with this:

The embroidery was done with navy thread in a variety of widths.  Mostly it's just backstitch, but there are a few daisy stitches tossed in and chain stitch done around each letter.  It's not perfect, but I'm still happy with how it turned out.

And yes - - I did use the Fabri-Solvy on this project.  I told you I was obsessed with it!


Leah April 20, 2015 at 9:39 PM  

WHOA. That's amazing.

Kathy June 7, 2015 at 6:14 PM  

LOVE, as in I LOVE IT, what a beautiful gift which I am sure will be treasured forever. Beautiful job Skooks, you are certainly gifted with a needle!!! So special.

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