18 May 2019

Creative Embroidery

Something I love about the SCA is that it has gotten me interested in needlework and embroidery again. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmother creating artwork with counted cross stitch. She taught me, but I quickly lost interest (as most little girls do).

I got back into counted cross stitching while living in Pennsylvania. I also did other crafty stuff then, but the cross-stitching was the one craft that would calm my anxieties. The process of counting stitches and bringing artwork out from cloth and thread was, and still is, most satisfying. I would find a kit that interested me, complete it, then frame it and give it away.

It wasn't until I got re-involved with the SCA again that I started to look at other types of embroidery. Crewel, blackwork, redwork, tapestry, clothing. Getting into the research made me realize that a lot of the "freestyle stitching" and embellishments I did on garments with beads and pearls is another type of embroidery. I was thrilled that something so good came from my deep past, that I started researching into the cultural aspects of my heritage and what sort of textile arts and decorations were used by my Irish ancestors. And that has lead me into some serious rabbit holes!

Here are a few of the patterns I drafted for embroidery works. They are not always pretty, and some have been given to other people for them to do the stitching. This should be entertaining, to say the least.

Based on my "Golden Monkey Scribe"

Inspired by a friend, a Celtic Raven.

Final of the Celtic Raven.
Pattern given to a friend who stitched this design onto a Viking Apron as a gift for the source of inspiration.
I make the designs on a grid as it helps with orientation an scale. Of course, these designs are not for counted stitches! There is a lot of freestyle and thinking involved. As I create other projects, I'll document them and show the in's and out's of custom stitch work for almost any medium.

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