Monday, February 25, 2013

My Temporary Light Box.

I have been obsessed with a new embroidery project. 

I have found another way to combine my two favorite things. Embroidery and photography. (My first combo is here.) I am turning some of my images into what I think of as "thread sketches".  Just as my simple drawings have translated well into thread, so will many of my photos. Mostly, the many (many) that aren't technically good in composition, or light, or whatever, but still have a certain feeling or tell a story that means something for me.

The process has several steps. 

1. Trace/sketch basic outline of photo subject onto tracing paper for proportion.
2. Sketch in detail and smooth it out to final piece.
3. Darken line with thick pencil or black pen.
4. Trace final drawing onto fabric.
5. Stitch it up.

Most steps, especially step #4, require a light box. I don't have a light box. Yet. 

I do have a dinning room with lots of windows. Five of the thirteen windows in our whole two story house actually. So even on normal, grayish, darkish winter Kodiak days, it's bright enough to serve very well as a light box.

I can tape the paper and fabric up and go stir the soup or make a coffee. 

Minna can cut and glue and I can work in the sun from our giant light box when it is shining.

 I usually have a sketch going, something taped up to be traced and a drawing in the hoop.

I splurged on a little kitchen for downstairs too. It was time to rethink Minna's room and her old play kitchen situation. Lots of happy cooking going on while I embroider down here. Lots more room and organization going on up in the girl's room.  Been really nice.

I have finished four so far. I love "sketching" with floss. It feels very free and I use only back and split stitch. I am also manipulating the thread and breaking rules by doing a lot of reverse split stitch. It really looks like sketching to me. I like it. 

Many more pieces in the works. It may be the only kind of embroidery I ever do again. I like it that much.

 And just because they lend themselves to the light-bright theme today,

our pretty eggs.

Happy Monday!


  1. Love it! I'm a big fan of "sketch stitching," too. I tend to gravitate to a single color (usually black) and thin lines in a limited number of stitch styles. Just what comes out. :)

    I do the window trick too. Or I have a big piece of plexiglass that I put a lamp under and lay the whole thing across my lap, if there's no sunlight to be had.

    1. Totally. I may need to rig up a plexiglass version too. I love the window method, I just prefer to sit to be able to sit if I want.