Friday, 2 January 2015

The Stitching Year 2014 - A Review

Here we are for the annual stitching review, where I get to showcase all the embroidery highlights of the year just ended.

Thanks to the Needlequest challenge I ran last year, I worked quite a few different styles and did a few things that I might not otherwise have done.  Having said that, I'd been wanting to do more thread painting for a while, so I was happy to complete two projects from the Trish Burr Beginners' book, and here is the best of the two.  I also did the yellow Welsh poppy design, but made rather a hash of the leaves, so I wasn't too pleased with that one.
For the May part of the Needlequest, I took my first steps in blackwork and did this little flower, a heart with gold thread as well (which I made up into Sir's anniversary card last June) and designed and worked a tiny shaded piece based on a Chinese tea cup.

From the beginning of January to some time in July, I was also cross stitching a Tudor Lady piece, which was quite sumptuous and included rayon threads, metallics, beads and petit point for more detail on the face and hands.  When I was in the early stages of this one, it looked like a piece of holey cheese.  Cross stitched Emmenthal, remember? =)

My favourite piece this last year has to be the wedding ring cushion that I worked in July.  This was the first time I had chance to put my new DMC stranded cottons to use alongside the regular Anchor ones.  I used several of the DMC greens in this piece.  There are also some Mill Hill petite seed beads sparkling away here.  It's based on one of Helen M Steven's designs in the 'Embroidered Flowers' masterclass book, with the addition of a stumpwork butterfly.

Looking at this photo of the completed feather, I just remembered that I totally forgot that I meant to take it to the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show in November to show my old teacher!  I started it as part of the C&G line design work and never got around to finishing it until almost six years later...  It was a real triumph to get that one done though, as it meant that ALL projects were finished at that point.  Nothing was hanging around half done or neglected.  The slate was totally clean.  =)

August was an excellent month for finishes as, not only did I get that feather done, but I also made up a cushion using the appliquéd I'd done for the Japan theme for February's NQ challenge.

Also in August, as part of the fabric colouring NQ challenge, I painted this flower and picked out some highlights etc in stitch.  This was also done in DMC stranded cottons.  I find myself reaching for these when I just need to get a pack of a certain colour out as I store them in colour bags rather than shade number order.  It's also rather nice to use the things I've bought, especially as so much time went into colour comparison and selection.

Next I completed this cute stumpwork/appliqué face and posted it as my one and only tutorial for the year.

August ended with my winning four placings at the Sheffield Fayre - two firsts and two thirds.  I only entered the green sampler for the sake of it and it won!

Mid September saw me conducting a monster great thread reorganisation, which, I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed!

Having created some space by moving things around and buying this handy Really Useful Box 0.3 litre storage system, I found I had room for quite a lot more stuff, so I amassed quite a lot more pearl cotton #12 balls, with two exceptions, the entire Anchor coton à broder #25 collection (about 79 skeins), plus a good few of the DMC ones to plug colour gaps.  This one shown here was the biggest thread haul I'd had in years!

The latter part of the year was rather light on actual stitching and there has been nothing finished since August.  I have two things in progress at the mo (three if you could the bookmark I'm halfway through and will finish tomorrow) and, frankly I'm struggling.  I'm not sure what's causing my current stitching apathy as there's nothing really pushing it out, unless you count that I'm rather more into books at the mo, so I suspect it has something to do with my health - I sometimes lose interest in my hobbies when things go a certain way out.  I have to get on and make myself finish the freestyle piece as it's promised completed for 31 Jan, so you can expect me to get back to that from, if all goes according to plan, Monday.

I have no plans for the year ahead stitchwise, as I really don't know if I'm going to regain my umph in the short-term, medium-term or at all.  Sometimes you just move on from an interest and I'm aware that that may be the reason.  In my late teens up to mid-20s, I was a very keen penpal, with dozens of letters going in and out every week to some of my 100+ global collection of penpals.  That fizzled out after a few years never to restart.  So, we'll see.  I'm hoping that getting some things done may spark my interest again, but I'm not going to force it.  Neither am I going to allow the current projects to just sit there.  I'll be posting to WIPW (although I'm not sure there'll be a post on Pintangle to link on, as Sharon's taking a blog break) with my progress on the Paradise Island and the butterflies piece as often as I can and see what else transpires in time.  There'll be at least three project finishes during this coming year anyway.  I hope my interest returns at least to some degree as Sew in Love will be marking its 10th anniversary in late June this year.

'Til next week, then! =)

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015


jackiescrafts said...

Happy New Year
What a great review of all your finished projects this year, I hope you get your stitching enjoyment back as I am looking forward to seeing more of your makes
Jackie x

Magpie's Mumblings said...

What a joy to be able to look back and re-visit your work that I've enjoyed seeing over the past year.

Queeniepatch said...

Happy New Year!
It is amazing to make a review of one's work once a year; usually we have made more progress than we realise.
I hope you have another good year ahead of you.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Loved seeing your year of stitching in review. I too have interests come and go over the years, the list is long and each was all consuming. I wonder if this is just part of our journey a need to learn, do and move on. I am envious of those that seem to have found the one thing that makes their soul operas here only "one hit wonders". It is exciting though, to think of what is next!

zenuwpees said...

Je vous souhaite une bonne et heureuse Nouvelle Année beaucoup de belles broderies
Les broderies sont magnifique Marie-Claire

Rachel said...

It's been a good year, I think - you've done a lot of interesting projects!

Anonymous said...

You have created some beautiful projects this last year. You probably just need a bit of a break from your sewing for a while, doing intense work can take it out of you.

D1-D2 said...

It's great to see all you're projects from 2014 on one page. You have so many different types of projects as well, it is nice to see :)