Love is crewel

Over the past few years my appreciation for embroidery has grown to the point where I am chomping at the bit to try my hand at it.  There are so many great artists out there that every time I look at their work I want to thread my needle and start stitching immediately.  For example:

Have you heard of Maricor/Maricar?  They are amazing.  Surely you've seen their Cookie Monster embroidery on Pinterest?  And I love all their text embroideries too - gorgeous!

What about the incredibly talented Chloe Giordano?  If you have a few hours, go drool over her Tumblr page!

The Smallest Forest, besides doing some really cool stuff herself, has a regular installment that she rightly calls "über embroiderers".
I really love crewel embroidery, but I didn't want to do a typical old-fashioned flowery design.  I wanted to do a little wall-hanging for my daughter's room, so I went with one of her favourite animals - turtles.  I was inspired by this turtle print from the lovely Etsy shop twoems.  Since the frame I will be using has a surface area of 12 x 12", I drew the turtle up to fit those dimensions.

I sketched out the turtle, and then went over the lines with a black sharpie.


I taped my drawing to the window, and then put the 17" square, ironed and zig-zagged piece of linen twill over top.


Using my blue Frixon pen, I traced the drawing onto the fabric.


I ordered a pretty selection of Appletons crewel wool and some linen twill from this shop in the UK.  It was like Christmas when it arrived!  I dumped it out and had a little fun experimenting with some colour groupings.


A few weeks ago I ordered a couple books on embroidery and crewel, and this one discussed a padded frame as an option to using an embroidery hoop.  The next day I went into my box of half-finished paintings in the garage, pulled out a medium size one, took the canvas off and made myself a padded frame using some synthetic batting (gasp!) I'd bought years ago and never used.  I topped it off with a bit of leftover fabric and voila!  It ain't pretty but it'll do the job.


Now all I have to do is decide on my colour palette.  If I use a restrained two or three colour palette (plus tones of these three) I think it could look quite modern, but honestly I'm tempted to use all the colours and let the 70's shine through!  I mean - it's a kid's room - why hold back?


My cutting table is a reflection of what's going on in my brain on any given day.  Sometimes it's neat and tidy with just one project on it.  Lately it's been like this - masking tape, yarn and knitting needles, coloured pencils, crewel yarn… my brain is so full of ideas right now I've had a hard time sleeping this week!  Does this happen to you?

6 comments

  1. fun fun fun! what kind of fabric are you using with this crewel wool?

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  2. I was just whizzing through blog land and came to a screeching halt at yours ! What a joyful selection of colours ! Cant wait to see that cheeky tortoise all stitched ! : )

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  3. How successful is the padded frame?

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  4. How successful is the padded frame? Love the colours!

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