I started the Enchanted Forest over 12 months ago – it isn’t finished yet. I keep adding little bits and pieces to it every now and again. Kind of like growing a garden!
Once again it was the fabric that caught my attention first. This fabric is batik – if you look really closely you can see the shape of trees in the fabric. The blues, purples and teal colours were so rich and inviting. That is the downside of working at a quilting and embroidery store – temptation is always lurking. The upside is I am surrounded by fabulous threads and fabrics and exposed to wonderful creations from both customers and co-workers.
I let this piece of fabric lie around on the coffee table taunting me to just pick it up and do something with it. And then...
... It happened and I was inspired to “plant a garden”. I had been fascinated by a few projects I had seen in issues of Stitch magazine, the UK Embroiderer’s Guild publication.
The first one was in No 32 Dec Jan 2004/05, a piece titled Sunset through the Trees by Jennifer Rochester. I kept coming back to this project and finally gave it a go using even weave linen as the background fabric and silk threads. It only measured about 5cm square and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the freeform nature of the project.
A later edition of Stitch magazine (No 49 Oct/Nov 2007) featured two more projects that caught my attention. The first was a hard anger and casalguidi pouch by Via Laurie of Chameleon Threads and a machine embroidered forest titled Enchanted Wood by Tracy Curtis.
That was it – I just had to give it a go. So I set to work.
Here’s how I approached it.
I searched the internet for a forest scene I liked.
I then went about simplifying the scene, sketching the main elements of the picture the large tree on the right, some background trunks and foliage, the pond, and some foreground bushes.
Now remember I am NOT an artist, by any means and really can’t draw to save myself. So if I can do it so can you! The unicorn was way too complex for both my drawing skills and embroidery skills, so it had to go! I put in another tree trunk on the left hand side to balance the scene.
Give it a go. Find a picture that you like and have a play with it. You just might surprise yourself.
I will do a clearer picture of my forest for you to trace if you are not happy with any you find. I will post it with the next edition of the tutorial.