Monday, January 4, 2010

The Last Completed Artwork of 2009

Last week I shared the embroideries for my new series “Alice and Friends”, including The Queen of Hearts and The Frog Prince, both of which were in progress. 

I like to end the year on a high note, and try to wrap up at least one piece, and have another piece in process so that I can carry the energy into the new year.  With that in mind, I present the last completed artwork of 2009:

Queen of Hearts complete

The Queen of Hearts 14 3/4” x 14 1/2” hand embroidery on hand knitted felt, backed and bordered with hand-dyed twill.  Commercial polyester felt and Crafty Chica embellishing glue  from Duncan Enterprises.

And the pieces which carried over into the new year:

The Frog Prince

The Frog Prince

Alice in process


I am actively working on completing The Frog Prince first.  As you can see, all that is left of the embroidery is half of the lily pad.  Then it will be up to the studio, where I will find some backing and bordering fabric.

I learned a lot between making the two pieces.  The first piece was made on a background which was a knit checkerboard.  I had left the floats between each color change, since there were only five stitches for each block.  I assumed that I wouldn’t need to wrap the yarn in between, and so made sure the floats were a little longer than normal, to account for the shrinkage which occurs when the knitted fabric shrinks in the felting process.

Overall, that idea worked, but as you can see here, there was a bit of puckering.  The hand-stitching really helped to push down the ridges, but it involved stitching a lot in some areas because the initial stitches would get lost in the gaps.

 Queen of hearts pleat

For The Frog Prince and Alice, I wrapped the floats every three stitches, regardless of where they fell in the color change pattern.  When I felted these pieces, both came out a lot flatter and a lot more even. 

There is still the rough surface that comes with the hand-felted surface, but the ridges from the first piece are practically non-existent.  I am fairly confident that this is due to wrapping the floats rather than the choice of yarn.  I chose to use Lana Loft for the first piece, while the second piece is made with Ella Rae Classic, and the third piece is knit in Cascade 220. 

The next piece will be a mermaid, inspired by some floss I found while searching for colors for the last three pieces, and the background of it will probably be a beautiful gray and blue colorway I found in Plymouths’ Boku yarn.  The colorwork in that base will be provided by knitting it in the entrelac technique.  I am excited to see how that turns out.

But first I’m going to finish The Frog Prince and make some more progress on Alice

In the words of Willy Wonka “The suspense is killing me.  I hope it doesn’t end.”


Crafty Ann said...

I love your work. This Alice in Wonderland series really ROCKS! Your doing such a great job, I know the creative flow will keep going for you. BTW, I saw some of your dolls on your website, their beautiful and unique. The word I would also use for you in your work is PASSION. That's why I believe you won't have a problem keeping up with creative flow.

Andrea Stern said...

Thank you so much. I tend to skip around sometimes because I follow where my heart leads, it's good to know that the love shines through the work :)