Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Life of an Item with Waterrose

Ideas run wild in my head. I look at something and my brain makes the leap to the colors and shapes that make up the item. I start thinking in terms of embroidery thread and what colors I will need and what stitches to use. Shiny Brite ornaments have been my current muse. In this case most of the design is easy, but I'm already trying to decide on how to make that center portion come to life in my embroidery design. I try to break the whole down into manageable design elements. I also simplify elements as much as I can so that the embroidery doesn't become too complicated.

I may begin designing on paper with colored pencils, or I may begin on the computer. If I hand draw the design then I will transfer the image into my drawing program to refine and get to the measurement or size that I want the completed item to be.

Here's my color palette. Embroidery thread chart and my notes detailing the colors I think that I want to use. As I take needle to fabric the colors and types of stitches I want to use may change. (actually they often do)


It's time to choose the fabric. If I'm making a cuff I decide between linen, cotton, or felt to place the embroidery on. I also need to choose a backing. I love to find unusual fabrics and prefer designs made in linen for the lining. I look for specialized designs and love to use independent fabric designers. I think how a creation is finished is as important as the design.

Then the fun begins. I sit down in my favorite chair...surrounded by all of the tools, thread, buttons, fabric that I'll need. My favorite scissors and the best needles around...John James! I create a sample piece if it's a first time design. Sometimes the sample turns out exactly the way I want and I can use it for the final composition. However, in this case the piece didn't turn out the way I wanted so it sits in a box with other samples.

After some thinking and redesigning the final piece is mounted and finished. It's now ready for it's photo shoot and listing to be sold!


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  2. I liked reading this and learning a little of your process. I also like the pictures in your shop, they have a nice flow to them. It's nice "meeting" the ladies behind the curtain :)

  3. Absolutely beautiful items. I love learning about how you work :)

  4. I didn't see this until now.....thanks for the feature!