Saturday, March 10, 2007

Coffee or Tea(Towel, That Is)?

After thinking about this for over a year I finally gave embroidery a try. My first two projects can be seen below. The towel on the right is from a Jenny Hart's Stitch-It Kit. The towel on the left is an Aunt Martha's iron on transfer. Apologies for this picture being in the shade, my camera battery died on me during the photo shoot. The coffee pot is red, the squiggledy lines are black, the cup is yellow, the saucer, lime, the coffee is brown satin stitch. The steam is also brown but stitched in a back stitch. Here's a close up of the orange dancing pot. I want to emphasize the word "dancing" so as I explain this to you, you can be a little inside my head when I was stitching this(inside my head, yes, that's a scary place, deal with it for a minute or two ok?). I chose orange for the pot because I like bright colors and I've been Jonesing for a Le Creuset Orange Dutch Oven and this is as close as I'm apparently going to get. I used a simple back stitch. I satin stitched the handle to the lid and it's not as neat as I would like. I also satin stitched the eyes and used a stem stitch for the lashes. The arms and legs are outlined in black using a split stitch. The steam, I pondered the color choice for a while. My first instinct was a bright green, then I thought, "No, steam isn't green, that's not realistic." Ok, in my world the steam for most things I cook is green but that's beside the point. I opted for the grayish color you see also using a split stitch. Now why was I so concerned with my color choice being "real"? The pot has arms and legs and it's dancing for cryin' out loud.

If I make another one of these I'll definitely follow my instinct, screw reality.
I was so euphoric over the success of my first two embroidery projects that I decided to get a little more advanced. I pulled out my Mystic Mermaid #3984 patterns, also courtesy of Aunt Martha. I only have two packages of these designs, I can't find more anywhere. But at this point I'm feeling like a master transfer iron-er on-er and proceed to screw up not one towel but two and completely render useless one of my mermaid patterns. I am going to go back to my corner and proceed to embroider another dancing kitchen gadget and leave the mermaids alone until I can be trusted not to ruin yet another pattern.
My beginner thoughts on embroidery are:
1. Embroidery is different than cross stitch. (DUH)
2. I worry a lot about my stitches being even and laying right. I feel my work has a naive(crude, kindergartner, sloppy) feel to it. My satin stitches suck beyond belief but they did get better on the second towel which is the orange pot.
3. It's fun and I can't believe I haven't tried it before now. My next 40% off coupon from Micheals will go towards the purchase of Hip to Stitch.
4. I can see this being addictive. The projects are quick, at least these two were, and I enjoyed choosing colors and not being told what colors I had to use.
This is what happens when a cross stitcher spends way too much time reading the finished projects in the cross stitch/embroidery forum over at Craftster. I want to embroider everything in my house. The feed sack towels are from the store who shall not be named. I've heard Martha's feed sack towels are the best and can be found at your local K-Mart. Definitely a reason to head to the Big K.


Ash said...

I love embroidery! Your little dancing pot looks great. Just keep at it - eventually your stitches will be more even. It just takes a little time.

Trish said...

Hey, guess what? I just bought the Sublime Stitching book last Tuesday and am thinking of starting some embroidery as well! I found some free patterns online to start with too! Your tea towels are too cute!!!

Look forward to seeing more from you.

Trish said...

I forgot to say that you can find more of the patterns are - email me if you want some links.

justtrish2 at yahoo dot com

monique said...

Great embroidery! Isn't it fun?!

Meari said...

Very cute! I haven't done embroidery since I was a teenager. Too many other crafts to try. LOL

Chelle said...

Your embroidery adventure turned out great! I love kitchen items with faces. They just make me happy.

I'm working on a set of day-of-the-week towels. I think I got them from Herschnerr's. They have nice quality towels.