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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Spring Stitches

Last spring, my friend Patti called me up when the first few crocuses appeared.  I drove out and we walked around a local cow pasture snapping photos of the first blooms of the year.  It's always a celebration when you spot crocuses after the prairie winter melts away.  One photo in particular was a keeper.

There was this blue blue water in the distance.  We were up on a hill.  The grass was all blonde and dry, trampled from the snowfall.  When I looked closer at the picture, I noticed that the distant horizon appeared the same pale purple as the crocuses.  Can you see that?  I really liked the way it tied the whole scene together.  I ended up making a small one she bought right away.  Since the crocus is Manitoba's flower, I fully intend to bring some crocus pieces to my show there in May.

this is about as far as I get with sketching... if I sketch it at all

Sometimes I sketch.  Usually I don't.  Often that first reproduction by sight is the art itself.  I like the thrill of stitching something out for the first time and seeing if I can overcome the challenge of that preliminary 'sketch' being the final piece.  I did sketch this out the other night.  It's from the same series of photos I took that day.  In this case, sketching was VERY helpful.  It made me look closer at the patterns and lines so that now I know exactly how I plan to stitch it out.

'Spring Rolls' (pardon the pun)

As for the first piece, the only practice run I did here was to figure out how to stitch the crocuses.  I decided on silk ribbon.  I didn't have a lot of purple ribbon, so I grabbed a color I wouldn't use much of and began practicing.  Here's some of my samples.

with crocus pictures nearby, I try my hand at reproducing them with silk ribbon

Finally, around midnight I took out some of my Jaquard dyes and dyed some of the pre-colored ribbons.  I added some watered down periwinkle dye to the pink ribbons and they ended up just the perfect match!  Once they dried, I slid the ribbons under a warm iron to smooth them out. I added them within the dry spring grasses.

work in progress - Spring Crocuses #2

Next I'll add more threads by hand.  So far so good!  I made smaller masses of crocuses into the foreground because I figured it would look very strange to have one huge flower in stitch.  I like the perspective of this one.  I think it works well.

Old camera photo...  sigh.  I can't wait to see them again!  : )

This year will be a very wet spring.  It will be interesting to see how that affects the color and abundance of flowers this spring & summer.  Last year, things were very sparse for some native flowers.

That's all for now folks...  have a great week!


What Comes Next? said...

I just love how realistic you get your images - your ribbon crocus' are perfect! This going to be another stunning little landscape!

Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau said...

I really enjoyed seeing a little of your process. This looks to be another beautiful piece!

Patti said...

sigh...the crocuses are just turning out beautifully! Love them. Come to think of it though...there is still that photo with the cow pie... ;)

stitchingimpressions.com said...


Your work never ceases to amaze me! One day I am going to try to make something along the same lines as you do. I am sure that it will not be as good as yours though.


Margaret said...

Your work on those crocuses reminds me of treks with my kiddoes when they were very young, to the hills in the green spaces near our NW Calgary home. One hill was particularly spectacular each spring. Thanks for the memories.

Mary Ann said...

Beautiful...the crocus is one of my favourite spring flowers:)

jojo said...


JennyPennyPoppy said...

I love going crocus hunting in the spring in the hills of Buffalo Pound. With all the snow we've had hopefully it will be wonderful year for them. Your crocus piece stitching is wonderful and beautiful!

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