I've always admired beautiful hand embroidery -- which to me, is one of the most beautiful arts. I have several hand embroidered family linen pieces that are well over one hundred years old and they are among my most treasured possessions.
A while back I bought myself the Embroidery Stitch Bible and have been working on some basic stitches by putting together a stitch journal, and translating those same stitches into this Van Gogh piece.
I'm using a combination of seed and straight stitching in the sky, straight and back stitching for the houses, spires, and mountains and tiny little french knots to form the illusion of treetops which I have just started layering in different shades of green. Jude a while back had suggested using some little bits of shimmery fabric in the sky. I think I might undue the moon (or add to it) and see about putting some bits of lame' in there.
Inasmuch as this is a learning process for me, I began to wonder "what if" -- instead of working on one section at a time -- I pick up a certain color of thread and work that color all "around" the entire piece - even if I only take a stitch or two in an area with a particular color. Will this result in greater depth and texture? I think so.
I'm enjoying working in this way as it really creates a bit of mystery. I love watercolor painting -- and stitching in this fashion reminds me of painting because I'm layering, blending, highlighting -- with thread! It's all about experimentation.
There's definitely a learning curve for me here. I'm still trying to figure out the best needles to use, how many strands of floss to use, do I like cotton, rayon or silk thread for clouds, etc., etc. My first conclusion: rayon thread is NOT fun!
Needless to say I've done plenty of "unstitching." And I can see in these photographs, I still have some "unstitching" to do.
Hence the title for this post:
One Stitch Forward....... Two Stitches Back!