April 18, 2008

The Problem Is......

Picasso is quoted as saying: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." My interpretation of that is: Most of what makes good art is "courage." I say this because I struggle with my own idea of what something is "supposed" to look like, instead of just letting my imagination go.........

As an embroiderer, I am most attracted to the things that are out of the box....or, that do not follow the "rules". I love things like crazy-quilting, and free-form crochet, I love mixed media where all the things bump together, doing their own thing, but coming together as one piece. But for the most part, I do not have the courage to step out of the norm.....I am working on that.

One of the things as an embroiderer that would give you freedom is to be able to make your own patterns. I am constantly looking at things as input for my idea box. I keep a spiral notebook that I paste and glue photos, and sketches. I know some people can just come up with things out of their imagination, but sometimes I need that little object to give me "courage" to even try it.


I found this picture in a Sunday newspaper and thought it was a great reference if I needed an illustration for shoes. I was thinking all week about blogging for today , and I decided to make it a project for you.


You can trace the shoes on a seperate piece of paper, and then trace that drawing on a piece of muslin with a water soluable pen, or if you are a really good embroiderer, a fine black marker. This piece is 8X10 inches. The muslin is 5 inches by 8 inches. After tracing the pattern, I bond the pieces together with heat and bond light.


I usually pick out first the colors I am sure about and decide as I go along. I knew I wanted the border to be red, but I wasn't sure about the shoes. I used a herringbone stitch, but you can use any stitch you like. You can see faintly the tracings of the shoes with the water soluable pen. I use number 8 DMC embroidery thread. It's easy to work with, although the colors are much more limited. I also think I just read that DMC does not sell out of the US. I don't know why.


After much looking at it, I decided to just let the shoes be black. At this point I thought of many ways to bring some design to them, but left them simple for this demonstration. You can fill them in with fabric markers, or you could have cut little appliques, and this morning while looking at them, I thought you could introduce some beading in them. I decided that the lettering should be red, for color balance. I free-handed the verse, but there are lots of books with the lettering done that can be traced in your scrapbooking stores. The sky is the limit!, is the saying.


At this point you can decide if it's a mini-quilt, a pillow, a small hanging, or frame it. Just go confidently in the direction of your dreams!


This pattern is absolutely yours to do with as you like and have fun with it! Now maybe when reading the Sunday flyers in your paper, you will get other ideas! Please post pictures on the Flickr Embroidery Group if you make anything with it, I would love to see what you do! Take courage and step out of the norm!

14 comments:

  1. so cute! Thanks for the pattern!

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  2. What a nice tutorial, and a cute pattern! <3

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  3. Wow! Thanks so much. This is a very creative project to be inspired by!

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  4. Great article! I can't use somebody else's pattern, either. It's also a well written tutorial.

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  5. Glad I found your blog. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Very thought provoking. I think you're right - art is about courage, I'd just never thought about it like that.

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  7. Love the pattern. Thank you for drawing it up!!! I am printing it out and have 2 ideas for them. I think I will start on them tomarrow. Also love how you get inspriation. I am also learning how to be more creative, finding inspration in diffrent places. I also started doing embroidery not so long ago. I love it.

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  8. this is the most amazing thing i've seen in a long time, i love it!!

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  9. Your project is so creative and original!!! I think it´s so nice reading someone`s text who have so many ideas and organize it so well!
    Thanks for sharing your talent with us!!

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  10. You certainly get DMC threads in the UK. I don't know about anywhere else.

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  11. Thank you - great posting! I just found your blog and love it! I've linked you on my blog, you're just full of inspiration! I really hope to one day have more time to pursuit embroidery art! Thanks. :)

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  12. Awww, how darling with the heels and the inspirational words!
    Thanks for writing this, it definately let me know that I am not alone when it comes to wondering how to find inspiration :)

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