Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Embroidered Art: Walk

This past weekend, I finally completed a project I have had in progress for several months, and since there has been some interest expressed in how I did it, I wanted to share the process here.

First of all, inspiration: The design was inspired by Isaiah 30:21—Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it, " whenever you turn to the right or to the left. There are also numerous other verses that encourage walking with God that come to mind, but this is the verse that prompted the project. I decided to make it as a belated birthday gift for some like-minded loved ones who I know will appreciate it.

Next, the drawing: While I am working on improving my drawing skills, I was not confident enough in my own abilities to draw the sandals without some help. I took a photo of my Birkenstocks, and I rendered the photo in my photo editing software to produce an outline. I then traced the outline onto tracing paper using a transfer pencil and ironed the design onto my chosen fabric. The word, "Walk," and my intials were written freehand with a water-soluable marker.

Materials: The fabric I used is a linen/cotton blend that I purchased at the local discount store. It was okay, but I'm still searching for my perfect linen or linen-blend fabric for embroidery. The stitching* was done in dark brown DMC size 5 perle cotton, my thread of choice. I like the thickness and texture as well as not having to separate threads as you do with stranded cotton.

Mounting/Framing: I purchased an inexpensive art canvas at the discount store for mounting the project. I sprayed the canvas with Elmer's Craft Bond following the instructions for a temporary bond, and then placed the embroidered fabric on top smoothing it as best I could. I flipped the canvas over and folded the excess fabric over, then glued, taped, and stapled it on the back of the wooden frame.

I am very pleased with the finished project, and I hope the recipeints will be too. I had considered making a pillow, but I'll do whatever I can to avoid the sewing machine!

* I used size 8 black perle cotton for my intials.