Yes, vacation's over and I haven't picked up a needle in the evenings this week. I did get in two hours yesterday morning at our monthly Japanese Embroidery meeting. That was lovely. Here's a photo of my fan taken last weekend...I forgot to bring my camera yesterday.
Progress is slow and it's hard to see any changes from photos taken a month ago, but I have done some work on both of the end fan ribs. I did more on the tie-die pattern blade yesterday (left end).
I also worked a lot on my sunflower design. The brown circle is rather sloppy basketweave stitched with floss...It's going to be covered with beads and perhaps some turkey work so I wasn't particular about it. I just needed it in so I'd know where to put the petals.
I completed transferring the design for my blue wool crewel project to the wool.
This is the (messy) back with the iron on transfer of the design.
And I got the wool colors I needed from Wooly Thread. They're in the bag with wools from my stash, ready to go.
After several years in a pillow case, I got out the needlepainted Robin by Tanja Berlin that I began at the EGA national seminar in 2007. I remounted it on the awesome adjustable Evertite stretcher bars that I won from Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread blog last January and continued stitching the feathers and filling in the branch and leaves. I've stitched and ripped the blossoms a few times already, so I'm wary of them now.
I returned to Japanese embroidery after taking this class and I'm finding it interesting to see how the two techniques inform each other. Both require the fabric to be held drum taut. Both work best with two-handed stitching, with the needle going in and out of the fabric at a 90 degree angle (perpendicular to the fabric, not at an slant). And both require thoughtful, precise stitch placement. Both have very careful color selections, especially when working toward a naturalistic effect. So mostly they reinforce one another.
I find that after working with flat silk, one strand of floss is very easy to use. Tanja's instructions are detailed and precise, almost stitch-by-number. The Japanese Embroidery box chart lacks that detail--and left me lost as a beginner. Tanja's instructions are ideal for a beginner to the technique. I'm following her instructions carefully, learning how and why it works and figuring out why she made the choices she did. For Japanese embroidery, I've been combining personal instruction with my teacher, Karen Plater, and also several books and am gradually seeing the logic and design of it.