Hello, May! And April round-up

April embroidered projects

With April coming to the end and May rolling in, I decided to sum up my first month of constant blogging and voice my plans for the next month :)

This blog was created about a year ago with a certain vision of what this place must look like and which purpose it must serve. I am still learning the art of hand embroidery, so I wanted to share all tips&tricks, how-to's and all the information that could be useful for stitchers like me, as well as my own creations and lessons I learned that also could be of use for others. I see this place as a journal of my hand embroidery exploration.

But as it turned out, having only a vision in my mind wasn't really enough. I wrote some posts back then when I only started this blog, but my enthusiasm died away pretty soon, as I didn't see the results I wanted to see. Something changed in the end of March this year when I just sat down and started writing down ideas for this blog. It was like a sudden switch. The strategy and plan were developed – first for a week, then for the whole month, and this plan was keeping me and my enthusiasm in check.

I'm incredibly happy to have spent April blogging regularly! Consistency in posting here also affected my motivation and creativity level, as the ideas juices are flowing constantly and don't ever stop. I can only hope that all of the projects that dwell on my mind will be implemented in real life!

Thank you, everyone, who stuck with me during this month! I got my first followers and I can't express how happy it made me! Please, leave the links to your blogs if you have any, I would really like to check them out! If you have questions or wishes, do share them in the comment box below or you can drop a line in the contact form!

Now, to sum up this month.

There were 4 complete projects in April. Two of them are my “old” creations: the anemones wreath and “dancing poppies”. The anemones wreath got a surprisingly high feedback which makes me very joyful because I reeeally love this design! So I'm grateful to all the people who also liked it. The dancing poppies is also one of my favorite ones, I just love its delicacy and color palette! Can't wait to frame it, but I'm so picky that it's taking a long time :( Hope you try stitching it as well after downloading the free pattern!

Two other projects that I completed were started and finished during this month. One is the Bur Marigold botanical hand embroidery. I stitched it following a real botanical illustration by Ann Murray, and willing to add more realism to the herb, I used ribbons for the flowers. You can see tutorial here. This piece is already hanging in my room, in front of my workplace and always catches my eyes. I don't know what is the secret of botanical aesthetics, but they do have some relaxing and soothing vibes. Perfect for a workplace!

The other completed project was the Boho Baggy with hand embroidery on its facade. It is so bright and cheerful! I love the combination of golden-yellow with deep pink and how it matches the inside fabric. It is the first project in my challenge to get rid of the fabric scraps that are still left after the days I was into patchwork. I already came up with the name for this mission: “Exhaust the fabric stock!” I'm determined to make at least 10 more things in the course of this challenge, and of course, all of them have to feature hand embroidery. Also, I posted a tutorial on a very peculiar edging stitch with bullion picot, which can add a lovely lacy touch to any project. And the baggy is already serving its purpose of storing the beads jars and doing a good job at it.

The “Guide to hand embroidery” got two new posts: 6 tips to remove hand embroidery (which was technically posted in March, but as it happened after my “waking up”, I will count it here), and 3 ways to start the thread. I find these posts really important because all of these tips are essential. You can't start hand embroidery without knowing how to start the thread. And just like in any craft and art, knowing the ways to undo what you don't like is significant for a good result of your work. And for avoiding breakdowns! We don't want that.

April stitches

There were also new entries in the Stitch directory. Namely, Lazy daisy stitch, chain stitch and fly stitch. I also explored some of their variations. For example, feathered stitch and fly stitched leaves, as well as some of the chain stitch faces, like broad chain and reverse chain stitch. There are still many other variations and combinations of them, so, hopefully, I will touch on that later. But for the time being, the basics are there, in these posts :)

Last but not the least, were my thoughts on the backside in hand embroidery and how the view on it changed with the coming of the new generation. Modern stitching is very unique and a bit more bold than it used to be before, and the artists also became much more confident. That's how it feels to me, and I think this new tide is definitely positive.

That's it for the April round-up! There are still some “behind the scenes” things I want to fix. Gotta improve my English, gotta read more books on hand embroidery, gotta improve my sewing skills (I'm so sloppy when I sew, it's a disaster), gotta draw more of new designs – they mostly live in my head but I'm slow to draw them on paper and trace on the laptop. Lots of things to improve, which is great, because it's a motivation to move forward :)

As for May, there are already some outlines for this month:
  • For the Stitch Directory, I would like to cover the “knots” family. French knot, colonial knot, bullion knot. If schedule allows, I also have an aspiration to explore buttonhole stitch.
  • I'm starting to work on sewing a summer tote bag with hand embroidery. The design is ready, but I'm searching for a nice inside fabric. Local shops don't offer quite what I envision. I'm going to report my progress on this project.
  • My pile of old hand embroidered pieces actually has few more works that I didn't show yet, so keep an eye out for that.
  • As for the “Exhaust the fabric stock!” mission, I have a “needlebook” in my plans. My new baggy failed its purpose of storing the hand embroidery stuff that I keep at hand when I work on some piece. So I decided to give this problem a different approach. The needlebook I plan to make is not so much a needlebook but more like a sort of organizer for small but handy stuff.
  • Bur Marigold wants a neighbor, I feel it. So another botanical hand embroidery is in my plans. I already found a candidate and I think I will opt for ribbons again, to keep the line consistent.
  • And, of course, new designs! Practice, practice, practice stitching. I will also try to prepare some freebie. Making them monthly would be nice, don't you think? :)

Let's make this month special! What plans have you got? Any particular projects on your mind?

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