Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Embroidery Journal Project

Hi all,
Maybe you have heard of the Bead Journal Project or the Quilt Journal project, there is apparently also a crazy quilt journal project. For some time now, I have been a bit jealous of them and their projects. But not any longer. I'm officially starting the embroidery journal project. It's a bit informal to start with, as I don't know if it will just be me or others will be interested. And to start with, I'm running it from here. Perhaps if there are others who are serious about joining in, I will make formal lists of participants. I've made a page here on this blog for the 2012 embroidery journal project. Anyone is welcome to join in, even if you join in late.
I made this project because these little black birds that live around here have an incredibly beautiful song, but you can only hear it in the spring and up to the middle of  summer, then they are quiet. Attracting a mate is but one reason they sing.  The little bird sitting on the branch was planned, the rest just came out as I went.
I've already experimented a bit with this whole idea myself this year. The projects I am putting in this post to break up the texts a bit are my practices, if you will. There was some particular thought behind each of these that I stitched. The projects are all 4 x 4 inches. This is a size that I feel gave me plenty of room to create without being overly large.
This is actually one of my store patterns, but it's me also experimenting with using a lot of colors in this style of design. The rainbow type project coloring can be a bit of challenge to get it to work right.

So what is this about really? I believe there is something inside us that motivates us to choose certain themes and projects over others. We only have so much time after all. What is it that is trying to get out and what are we hoping to say?

I believe embroidery is an art form. We can use it to express ourselves, perhaps even learn to understand ourselves better. When you silence the inner critic and let the stitches flow, you let your right brain have its way, and amazing things can come out. Things you just can't put into words.
A fall project, of course. We have some maples on the property, they are beautiful trees. I wanted to use my summer stitch school stitches in a project, and experiment with texture. It's fun to do this type of embroidery. Of course, the leaf shape was drawn on the fabric, the stitches just came from there.

Everyone has a story, everyone has different experiences. Use your embroidery to tell those stories. Let others learn from you. Each of us has our own way of making stitches on a fabric, even the same exact stitch is different from person to person. Let those be part of your story.

There are really no technical requirements, just a willingness to try and share. The project can be anything, if you insist on following a pattern you of course, can, but it really is better to just pick up your fabric and make your own themes and motives. If you feel that is beyond you, then take a pattern you really like and make some effort to change or personalize it, so it's the way you want it to be.

The project can be any style, it can be very definite forms and shapes or it can be free and abstract. Neither is wrong. But do take the chance to go out of your comfort zone just a little, try some new technique or new stitches. There are many ways to tell your story, perhaps a new method will open new opportunities for you.
This was my first completely unplanned project. I started with letters. I knew I wanted a spring theme. Something to capture the exploding new life around me.

Just one more thing to say: that is this is part of my effort to help make stitching more personal, because this is what it is about. It isn't about making perfect stitches and perfect designs. There is enough press in the world for us to all be "perfect". In addition, our personalities are getting lost in the mass manufactured culture out there. Use your crafting skills to be unique.

9 comments:

73mw said...

What a wonderful project - i
I've always admired the bead journal project but am somewhat daunted by it. I love your beautiful embroideries and would love to participate in your project. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments regarding our relationship to our stitches. I'm going straight to sign up - thank you!

Katie said...

I commented on the official page for this project, but wanted to give you praise for your motivation behind it. I see embroidery as an art form and very personal. I think that comes from not having been taught as a child and instead, learning on my own as an adult. I don't have those things that hold some people back from exploring and going beyond a pattern and perfect stitches.

Anonymous said...

Your so creative with your embroidery! :DD Beautiful work. Yes, it would be fun to start a
embroidery journal. Great idea!

chandice

Jane Jeffress Thomas said...

I am a beginner embroiderer, but would definitely be interested in your project. I am already a subscriber to your feed. Your work is flat out beautiful. I am interested in seeing how this develops.

Emily said...

Great! I'm glad to hear some are interested. There is no reason to be intimidated or worry if you are a beginner. This is personal. I can tell you I fought my inner critic on some of these pieces, but in the end they worked out fine, and more important, they reflect my thoughts and feelings at the time I stitched them.

Wendy said...

Hi Emily,

I've signed up to join in, but I've just realised I don't know when my first project needs to be ready! What date in January will it be? (I'm hoping it's toward the end of January!!)

Jensters said...

Well done Emily....i'd love to join but not sure yet x

Anonymous said...

It is a wonderful project. I didn't know about it until today. With my busy schedule I don't know if I would have time.I love the needle arts.
Let me think about it.

Mamacessories said...

It is a great project - i am joining in! I agree that embroidery is at art form and it is so relaxing and expressive for me. I just found your blog and I am so glad I did!