Seen the new Mr X Stitch rogue’s gallery of needleworkers?

A great video that demonstrates why Mr X Stitch is the only website you’ll ever need to keep abreast with what’s happening in the world of contemporary embroidery and needlework. If Jamie Chalmers and his team of needle-obsessed stitch fiends can’t inspire you to make something amazing with needle and thread, I don’t know what will.

Many thanks to cocoa eyes the stitcher for the heads up…the video was uploaded about 4 days ago.

All in green my love went riding…

icelandic horse

…All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

Four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
my heart fell dead before.

—from All in green went my love riding by e.e.cummings

 

Finally settled on a design for the journal I am making my friend Miri.

It’s based on the Icelandic horse (Miri has one of these chunky Nordic horses, herself, and loves to ride) and her favorite color. In keeping with the Nordic theme, the horse is a simple, solid silhouette of greens, overstitched in a counted-thread geometric pattern, worked on a rough linen-like fabric…I just love this stuff! Crazily, this is synthetic upholstery fabric, left over from a curtain job I did nearly a year ago. I took a closer look at it and saw that it’s an even-weave fabric (about 18-ct., which I love to work with, as it makes for fine stitching); sure wish I had more of it! It’s lined with a dense cotton on the back, making it thick and very stable to stitch. I love serendipitous craft discoveries like this.

green horse

First, I cut a paper stencil of the horse and attached it to the fabric with re-positionable spray adhesive. Then I brushed undiluted acrylic paints on with a stencil brush. I outlined the shape in dark brown embroidery floss, using backstitch.

Now I’ve filled in the horse shape using two strands of DMC floss and an allover blackwork pattern, with little cross-stitched squares in iridescent thread. I tried to farm some of the work out to cheap labor, but that didn’t work out—he kept trying to eat the thread spool.

I hope to finish the book covering today. I’ll be adding a mane and tail in fine running stitch lines. Haven’t decided what to do on the spine or back of the book, yet, but I’ll be keeping it spare and simple…clean lines, trying to emulate Scandinavian fabric designs, and using a palette of only neutral colors from hereon.

Miri’s last journal, which I also made, is nearly full, she tells me—she needs her new tagebuch, stat! Hope she likes this new one; it’s very different from “Postcards from The Archipelago”.

So back to work, despite the disgruntled worker’s labor strike and disruptive tactics.

Untitled

TAST Week 32 ✂ Cast-on Stitch

cookie, doily, flower...

It’s been 23 weeks since I last posted something for the Take A Stitch Tuesday Challenge; I didn’t just fall off the wagon…it’s like I then rolled off the side of that steep mountain pass and fell a thousand feet into somebody’s backyard garden in another county, where I took up turnip farming.

I’m only posting this now because I happen to have some old projects that show the week’s stitch to good effect…and not because I have managed to organize myself enough to work a new sample for the challenge.

But an old entry is better than no entry. If I hadn’t vainly insisted on making a special sample for each stitch, I wouldn’t have missed so many of the weekly TAST posts…I probably have examples of most embroidery stitches, forgotten and unappreciated on small pieces buried at the bottom of various drawers  in my home.

Week 32 features Cast-On Stitch, a highly dimensional stitch that reminds me of crocheted loops and picots. I often use it to imitate doilies.

These cookie-sized thread confections were worked on circles of felt bonded to the ground fabric. I made a varied bunch of them, and then forgot about them. I know they’re in a box of craft junk somewhere on this boat…I came across them a week ago, winced a bit in guilt, and carried on looking for a bottle of white acrylic ink…
cookie, doily, flower...
Untitled

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This small embroidery sample is for the Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 Challenge, of which I am a very sporadic and hopelessly disorganized participant.

today

Moulin D'Or WIP

Lost this piece amongst my other projects for half a year…maybe more. But I found it last night, and added some stitching in rayon threads.

Enjoying the angled bars as they catch the sunlight like a mandarin’s silk robe, or the dull, furred fire of rough red gold.

Moulin D'Or WIP

No work for me today, so I’m curled up in an armchair on the boat with an orange cat for a cushion, pots of coffee, strains of music, and this embroidery.

Tomorrow it will be back to work…but Tomorrow—mangy grey wolf outside the door of the Present—can wait; this is the glorious Today.

Moulin D'Or WIP

über embroiderers: Lorena Marañon

I’m trying to keep up a sort of regular ‘feature’ on über embroiderers on The Smallest Forest: These are the big kids, the crème de la crème, the leet of needle and thread…that runts like me long to play with, but will never even exist in the same universe with. *stabs herself with a #24 chenille* Oh, crewel world!

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Check out these jewel-brilliant embroideries by the artist Lorena Marañon! Her embroidery work is perfection, and I am in love with her embroidered art pieces—Kaleidoscope Studies (above) and Kinderatom (below)—only slightly more than with her embroidered jewelry pieces.

I’m really amazed by how well-finished the jewelry pieces are, too…everything is so well-planned and minimalist, it really reveals a beautiful mind behind it all. Does she not totally rock the vogue for geometric shapes (triangles, especially) and bold, contrasting colors?

She’s absolutely stunning, to boot…on her website, Lorena models the Embroidered Jewelry collection for 2010, herself. I am smitten with craft crush.

My personal favorite is this irregularly shaped mass of tumbling blocks in the necklace just below…

Lorena Marañón, born 1988 in Holguin, Cuba. Emigrated 1997 to Miami, FL. Miami International University of Art & Design for Fashion Merchandising. Currently living and working in Denver, CO. (source: website)

Mmmm-mmm, YUMMEH! Sunbursts and kaleidoscopes and pyramids of tropical color…there is so much amazing art, design, and crafting talent coming out of Central and South America, I could probably limit all my Google searches to en Español and never run out of über embroiderers!

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Lorena’s website is here, and she keeps a blog here.

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uber embroiderers: Jazmin Berakha
uber embroiderers: Jazmin Berakha
über embroiderers: Tilleke Schwarz
über embroiderers: Tilleke Schwarz
über embroiderers: Maricor/Maricar
über embroiderers: Maricor/Maricar

über embroiderers: Jose Romussi

dance8 35x30

I’m trying to keep up a sort of regular ‘feature’ on über embroiderers on The Smallest Forest: These are the big kids, the crème de la crème, the leet of needle and thread…that runts like me long to play with, but will never even exist in the same universe with. *stabs herself with a #24 chenille* Oh, crewel world!

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Not only is Chilean-based artist Jose Romussi doing some gorgeous embroidery on vintage photographs of ballet dancers, as you may have seen making the rounds of blogs recently…

work by Jose Ignacio Romussi Murphy, via Lost at E Minor

dance12
DANCE6

Dance13 40X35cm

He also creates these hybrid works using acrylic paints and stitching…

and works the same mixed-media magic on vintage papers like maps:

I love the fun and colors of his animal paintings on maps, particularly this fat panda:

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Besides loving Jose Romussi’s work, you simply must admit that men who stitch are HOT (at least in my book they are!)
Hmm, another “item” to add to my list of Things I Want To Do When I Go To Chile.
Don’t nobody tell Kris. 😉

Pay a visit to Jose Romussi’s Flickr and his online portfolio

uber embroiderers: Jazmin Berakha
uber embroiderers: Jazmin Berakha
über embroiderers: Tilleke Schwarz
über embroiderers: Tilleke Schwarz
über embroiderers: Maricor/Maricar
über embroiderers: Maricor/Maricar