Wednesday, June 11, 2014

&Stitches Embroidery Swap

I'm a big fan of Carina from Carina's craftblog and &Stitches so when the &Stitches team organized an embroidery swap I had to sign up.  It could be any type of hand embroidery, and the theme was places.  Of course one of my very favorite places is my home mountain, Sierra Blanca, which you may remember from this quilt.  I'm also a big fan of Judith Baker Montano's fabulous free-form embroidery, and since I have her book I thought I'd try out some of her techniques.  I didn't have time for anything nearly as intricate and layered as her work, but I think this was a nice first try!

Since I knew I wouldn't be able to fill in the whole canvas, I started with a picture taken during a summer hike to Sierra Blanca peak.  I think it was my birthday weekend of 2003.  This shot was snapped right before the push up the last little part, after hiking to the top of the ski area.

I printed it out on a transparency and then monoprinted it on interfacing-backed muslin as I described here.  It gives a pleasingly imperfect look, quite different from that which you get printing directly on fabric with the printer (although I do that too).  For this project, where I was going to embroider over some but not all, I wanted the more textured look which comes from the monoprinting.
After monoprinting, before stitching.

Then I just started embroidering away!  It isn't completely filled in but I had lots of fun.  I used regular embroidery floss, perle cotton, and wool, and several different stitches.

To finish, I layered it around matboard (with a single layer of supporting batting to fill it out a bit) and popped it into a frame.  The back has a label telling about it and the picture.

I'm really a novice embroiderer, so I had no idea what would be expected for this swap, but I like the way this turned out and I hope my partner does too!

Sierra Blanca, 2014, Shannon Conley, 9x12


  1. Very pretty, and it looks cool. Great work.

  2. Holy cow! Is there anything that you don't do well? This is incredible! I love the way you transferred the photo to give it a more painterly look and the embroidery is exquisite! I especially like the stitches that you used in the tress. Lucky the person that gets this.

  3. that is amazing...i think it turned out wonderfully! your stitches and colors were perfect and truly enhance the photo. :)

  4. Oh wow that's amazing! I had a great time in this swap too.

  5. This is gorgeous! I love the different stitches and textures!