I honestly didn’t intend to be away for so long. I am taking a very brief respite between groups of house guests to catch up on my recent creative endeavours. Despite the quiet on the blogging front, I have been up to all kinds recently.
I have finished this hoop. I cannot express how happy I am with how this project turned out. Not only the end result, but the whole process was so enjoyable and, it feels to me, something of a turning point in the way I design and make.
I thought it would be interesting to talk a little about what inspired me this time around. It all started with this hoop I designed last year. I really enjoyed covering the entire space with stitching and the tile effect creating a backdrop for the flower motif. I knew I wanted to revisit this idea again.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have been forcing myself to spend more time on the design process. I have always identified myself as a stitcher or a handembroiderer but I have come to appreciate the importance of spending more time sketching, researching and pattern drafting.
This piece of embroidered artwork was inspired by a trip to Marrakech. I was amazed by the ceramics there and fell in love with how you could escape the hustle and bustle of the city by stepping into the courtyard garden of a cool, quiet Riad. I was trying to capture that feeling of peace and quiet by satin stitching the Moroccan inspired tiles in cool grey, green and bluish hues. Each “tile” is given definition by being edged with tiny gold back stitches.
A Riad isn’t a Riad without a garden so I embroidered a sprig of Almond Blossom that is commonly found in Morocco. This felt very appropriate because almonds are also grown here in Sicily so I felt it was mixing up our recent history rather nicely! The flowers were stitched using a combination of long and short stitch, padded satin stitch and straight stitches worked in varying shades of pink and white along with yellow French Knots. The twig was created using stem stitch in varying shades of brown.
I really feel that this more thoughtful process is having a positive effect on the quality of the work I produce. Careful measuring and drafting of the tiles and extensive research into the appearance of almond blossom shows in the end result…at least, I think it does!
This project represents another turning point for me. It is the first of a few hoops I will be adding to my shop. I posted some pictures of this piece on my Instagram feed along with the price I intended to charge. I was a little surprised at the number of people who told me I was undervaluing my work. Upon reflection I realised that what I originally had in mind were a series of much simpler hoops but I had got so absorbed in the project that it had proved to be much more detailed and labour intensive than I intended. I am so grateful for those who told me to reconsider the matter of pricing. I don’t think my problem is undervaluing myself but I do allow projects to just grow and I enjoy myself so much, I forget all of the extra work. I will learn to get better at evaluating my work as I go.
I love how one project can grow from another and how each thing we work on allows us to learn something new.
Anyway, I need to get the spare room ready for the next lot of guests!