Monday, January 16, 2012

BBA Challenge!

I belong to an awesome team on Etsy.  Although it's members are blogger friends that I have enjoyed meeting over the three plus years that I have been blogging.  It is a new team; Blogging Business Artisans support one another, and they host a monthly challenge.  This first Challenge is hosted by Deb of Storybeader because she was always wanting to try new projects but she stressed about where to find the time.  So this Challenge is to set aside time to work on a new project we haven't tried before.  It could be within our field of expertise, but doesn't have to be.

I do a variety of crafts, i.e. sewing, paper crafts, beading, etc.  I get bored doing the same things, so I had a hard time trying to pick something for this challenge.  After thinking about it, I decided to pick a technique that I have been wanting to try, but hadn't had the time.  I love embroidery and have tried ribbon embroidery and floss hand embroidery.  But I had never tried to do a technique called 'couching.'  This technique takes a cording, yarn or thread, and drapes it across the fabric in a desired position then adheres it with another stitch.  It can be done on a machine with a zig zag stitch, but I first tried it on my hand embroidered art hoops.

I recently hand embroidered this hooded oriole which is native to Southern Texas waterways.  I thought that the overall look of the hoop was a bit stark.  So I decided to try the couching method to add a background of reeds.

After choosing two types and colors of threads, I  draped them across the hoop to decide where I wanted them.

I sewed them thru the hoop fabric at each end of the desired length for each "reed."  You can see some, in this next photo, are loose from the design and present a shadow on the fabric.  Next, I sewed them down using a thin thread.  You can see some reeds completed and some not completed in this next photo.

The couching technique has provided some texture and dimension to my hoop, besides completing my project, don't you think? And it is just so much more fun than machine embroidery, I think!  (This art hoop and others available in my Etsy shop.)

Please visit the BBA blog to see what projects the other members have attempted for this Challenge!  Thanks!


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

That looks great! I think hand embroidery is kind of a lost art. I love all the old pillowcases, etc., with their hand embroidery. Yours is lovely.

Anonymous said...

It turned out great Linda! I too love the texture that this technique gives the background of your piece!

Rose said...

Your couching turned out beautifully! I have done a little bit of couching for cross stitch projects but have never made anything with this stitch exclusively. Your little bird is really sweet.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

Fun project! The reeds really add depth to your embroidered piece!
Great choice for a new technique :)

Erika said...

It is incredible how just a simple few lines have such an impact! I like it.
And I learned something new:)

Judy Nolan said...

The couched lines made a huge difference, Linda! Couching offers some very interesting possibilities.

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

Linda, the couching added just the right touch! I've never done it myself (perhaps another new thing to try someday!) but immediately knew what you were doing for your challenge when I started reading! It turned out well and the embroidery is complete! Beautiful!

Splendid Little Stars said...

Your bird is lovely! The couched reeds add interest and dimension. a beautiful project!