Time to get that old Christmas feeling…

It’s almost time! I made this little embroidery to celebrate:

I used Appleton crewel wools. They are sooo nice to work with. This time though I used linen, because I found out the hard way that it really isn’t so easy to pull them through a tight, woven cotton – they just get worn fast. The size of this piece is about 5 inches.

This project is a bit special for me because I just started with an idea, not a complete design drawn on fabric. I wanted a reindeer head, and I decided it needed to be a realistic shape rather than a cartoon. So I found a photo on Wikipedia, drew the head on paper and transferred it over. Then I added the leaves. I used the edge of the hoop to help me make a nice circle shape. Next came the ornament, then the candles. I tried a red for the inside of the candles, but it was too intense. Since I had no orange, I tried a dusty pink and that worked great. It looks like orange in the photo and in real life too. Funny how colors sometimes become what you want them to be.  I then added the branches to anchor the candles and ornament a bit, then added the beads, and the little white stars and french knots.

This was just lots of fun to make. It’s a bit scarey in a way, just picking up the needle and stitching without a drawn pattern to guide. But there is something so fun about just letting the feeling of the embroidery guide you. I would encourage everyone to give it a try. You just need an idea to start with.

I made this with crewel wools, so officially it’s crewel embroidery. Just thinking about how my fall stitch school petered out a bit. I didn’t quite carry it through to the end, but really it is just a beginning. I will be coming back often to this type of stitching. I hope this piece shows you that you don’t have to do the traditional big flowers and leaves or birds with very long tails in order for it to be crewel work. There can be much, much more to this type of embroidery to learn – and for me, the exploration has just begun.

I hope to be finding some time for my needle over the holiday weekend, so I will be back early next week!  Until then have a great holiday!!

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