I find the designing process absolutely fascinating. Sometimes I come up with an idea right away and other times, I can't get any idea at all. I especially found this true for the two postcard exchange groups I belonged to.

At one of the Board meetings, Sandra (the editor of Embroidery Canada) approached me and asked if I wanted to join the postcard group she was organizing. Once a month a picture would be sent via e-mail and we were to interpret the picture in any needlework technique, fabric and threads. The design could only be 4" x 6" and we would send the finished postcard sized design to another person in the group. I said I'd like to join as it sounded like fun. When I got home, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. I'd only designed one other needlework piece and I hoped I'd be up to the challenge.

The first picture came and it was a tortoise. I had no idea what to design. I put the picture on my typing stand so I'd see it every day. Nothing came to mind and it had been two weeks already. I was running out of time. I was staring at the tortoise one evening after I'd finished cleaning out my e-mail inbox and all of a sudden "Blackwork" popped into my head. Okay, so now I had a technique, but what was I going to do with it? I recalled an embroidery piece I'd seen that used a blackwork pattern to do the whole picture, only changing the colours of the thread and outlining the shapes. So now I had my idea. I picked out which blackwork pattern I wanted, drew the outline of the tortoise on the fabric and figured out where to change colours. Now, if only it worked when I started stitching. And, voila! It worked!




I now had the first one done and every month after that another picture showed up. Only once out of the 10 months did I use a purchased pattern. All the rest were my original designs. I didn't stuck to one technique. I've used needlepoint, applique, quilting, crochet, beading, goldwork, cross stitch, couching, surface embroidery and anything else that comes to mind and works for my design. I had so much fun with it, even though I didn't keep up with the monthly schedule, that when I was asked to join the second group, I signed up right away.

I finally finished the last postcard for the first postcard group about ten months after the end. The second postcard group decided to send a picture every two months and I kept up for the first six pictures. A picture of a Carousel horse came and I went blank. I couldn't think of anything for three months. As a last resort, I showed the picture to my husband and he came up with the idea of the Carousel horse as a star. It clicked and my idea was to use the Pegasus constellation with crystals sewn on the postcard for the stars. It seems to work with me that once I get hung up on a design, I have trouble coming up with an idea for the rest of the designs. So, it's a year after the end of the second group and I still have one last postcard to finish. Luckily, I have an idea for this postcard. Now, if only it works out in fabric and thread.

Linda

2 comments:

  1. Great post Linda. I was also part of those two groups and what I liked about them was the manageable size of the piece. I found it very non threatening to design a small piece around a theme.
    I am still in the postcard group and really enjoy this two month long challenge. To look at this years postcards go to http://postcardsagain.wordpress.com/
    Sue Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very nice post Linda! Your blackwork turtle looks great as well as your horse constellation. I'm not in the postcard group but do a number of atc swaps instead.

    ReplyDelete

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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

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