I’ve always loved to embroider, it’s something I was taught to do when I was very young. Over recent years I have seen more and more embroidery done on a machine. I did think this was cheating to start with and have continued doing it by hand, although a lot of my quilts do have applique that is machined. But I have become more aware of local Cornish artists such as Poppy Treffry Freehand Machine Embroidery: Learning to draw with your machine who uses machine embroidery to sew seaside scenes onto items such as bags and cushions with ancient Singer machines and thought that maybe I should give it ago before dismissing it.
I was also really inspired by the work of a freehand machine embroiderer called Abigail Mill ( not Cornish) whose embroidered artwork I discovered online. (I do make it sound as if I spend all day looking online for inspiration which isn’t the case. Well, maybe it is.) She uses a white piece of organza for the base of each piece and then layers it with different organza to create the background sky and sea. This gives a real illusion of depth and it’s something I had to try for myself. Despite spending a lot of time looking at her art work online I couldn’t quite see how she achieved her results. So I bought her new book Applique Art: Freehand Machine-Embroidered Pictures (The Textile Artist) . This book is beautiful.
I began my machine embroidery with layers of organza and even before I had done any embroidery it looked really effective. I am not entirely pleased with the background now that I have embroidered it with my machine. Maybe machine embroidery is not quite my thing! However, I shall reserve judgement until I have added all the details and have a completed picture.
The initial plan with this one was to applique a seal onto this and maybe a Cornish gig . However, when we were walking home from lunch the other day we saw a pod of dolphins stranded in the creek next to our house. Several people had gone in to swim them back out to deeper water and didn’t look in any rush to get out (any excuse really). It was a hot day and I wouldn’t have minded going in myself but walking home in wet clothes wouldn’t have been as much fun! So I think I’ll have to put a dolphin or two on my embroidery – when I get around to it.