Oy vey, I’m running late this month! But that’s ok, this one will be small. Actually, you might notice my samplers getting progressively smaller, as I try to be more realistic about what I can actually get done in a month – and still have time for anything else! This is something I’m trying to do more of in all areas of my daily life, I’m learning that I am a seriously chronic over-estimater.
Anyway, so above you’ll see that I’m getting ready to start Sampler #7 (halfway done with my Year of Samplers, woohoo!) – though I haven’t really planned much out. As I explained last week, this sampler will be all about long-and-short stitch shading, which is pretty much vital in crewelwork. But coming up with a ‘design’, such as it is, has proven incredibly difficult.
This is the general idea: I’ll make four shapes (to go with my four groups of threads) and shade those in different directions. This should give me a lot of practice in how to work with the thread shades and blend them to get the effect I want, etc. The thing is, the obvious / most common use of crewel shading is in leaves and flower petals. But I don’t want to stitch those as a sampler because that messes with my rules of what a sampler is – and anyway, four petals shaded in different directions would look quite odd.
So, that leaves me with the idea of four simple shapes, preferably rounded shapes because shading curves and direction are things I definitely want to practice. I’ve decided to go with hearts to mirror the fabric I’m using (which, by the way, is a poor quality linen fabric from my stash that I’d like to use up. I’m going to use it doubled to give it enough strength to hold the crewelwork). My four hearts will meet with points together at the middle, and I’ll keep them quite small – maybe about 1.5″ tall. This is my Incredibly Official Design Plan:
If you’d like to stitch along, feel free to pick any four shapes of your liking and arrange them however you please! The only thing I’ll do before the next post is outline each shape using split stitch in the middle shade of each color group. No movement on that one, it has to be split stitch. If you are stitching along, you might read the Long-and-Short Stitch tutorial I previously wrote for &Stitches, which also (coincidentally, I swear!) uses a heart. That’s essentially what I’ll be doing here, but blending shades as I go and changing stitch directions. Don’t do anything beyond outlining yet ’cause we still need to plan the shading, but give it a scan so you get the general idea if you’ve never done any long-and-short stitch before!
(By the way, I’m going to get back to doing sampler posts on Mondays, so they don’t take over all the posting all the time! If you hate these samplers, feel free to skip Monday posts; if you can’t get enough, be sure to stop by at the beginning of each week!)