In 1-1/2 days of class so far this week, I've reoriented myself to the piece and the techniques. I stitched five small leaves (4-1/2 really, the instructor stitched the first half of one), finished the iris petal that's started, and stitched some teeny grass heads. Slow going and intense but very enjoyable and so very beautiful. (I keep reminding myself of the galloping horse rule--if you can't see the mistake while riding by on a galloping horse, then it isn't a problem.) Karen Plater is a wonderful instructor, very positive and kind. And inspiring.
Each day begins with a morning talk. The comment that sticks with me from today is that you need to slow your head to the speed of your hands. Wise advice!
In the same suitcase, I found two other mounted pieces that I'd begun. This one was designed by Shay Pendray. She is a wonderful teacher and this class really helped restore my stitching confidence. I really enjoyed being in this class (Needle Artisans workshop in 2003 or 4). This is also Japanese embroidery. I'd always admired the technique used in the leaf, called fuzzy technique.
But, I was never thrilled with the grape design and I felt the drawing was clumsy. I've learned that if I don't get the drawing right initially, the piece will never be right. It's really difficult to get elegant curves on this ridged fabric--I probably should have couched the pattern lines. Plus, you can see the damage wrought by six years left strung tight on the frame (my bad). The silk ground was ripping and there wasn't much extra space to allow for repair. So, I've decided to chalk this one up to lessons learned and not finish it.The last piece in the suitcase was this needlepoint, from 2003 or 4. It was designed and taught by Judy Souliotis. I will finish this. In a way it's a no brainer--none of the techniques are new to me or very difficult (except laying and couching the gold and much of that is already done). The gold "water" and shading on the fan were applied by Judy before the class, using techniques she learned in Japan. I remounted it (the canvas was very loose) and have already stitched a second camellia. The only challenge, really, is working on black canvas. (18 count) It uses Needlepoint Inc silks and Kreinik metallics--almost every leaf and petal incorporates some metallic thread.