I have been working on small abstract or representative pieces each week during the TAST Challenge. They are stitched on small pieces of hand dyed cotton fabric in a variety of threads and colors. Later in the challenge, I plan to combine these pieces into a quilted wall hanging. The photograph shows the pieces I have completed to date together, in random order. The images and the pieces of fabric vary in size so I need to complete more of them before I decide how to place them in a larger piece. All of the designs are original and all were stitched free hand.
I have also been working on two other, more traditional stitch samplers. Both are on evenweave fabric. The first one contains 9 sections each of which focuses on variations on a specific stitch. The first two, arrowhead and back stitch, were completed before this challenge starts. The rest have been stitched as part of the challenge. They use a variety of threads, colors and some beads. Some of the stitch variations have been taken from books or from on-line stitch dictionaries. Others are my own creations.
The final sampler is one that I started two decades ago. It is on a large piece of linen in twisted Walsh silks. The design lends itself to smaller experiments with individual stitches, patterns and shapes or to stitches that don't fit the linear model of the previous evenweave piece.
I am enjoying this challenge. The evenweave samplers allow me to test my stitching skills and to try out combinations of stitches and colors. The free embroidery pieces are a creative as well as a technical challenge each week. In some cases, inspiration comes quickly and the pieces are easy to stitch, in other cases they take a long time. It took me a week to decide that my random attempts at a pebble covered with whipped wheel variations was actually the shell of a turtle, but only a few hours to decide that barred chain was the perfect stitch for a desert scene. I work full time and have a long commute. I treasure the opportunity to spend an hour or so three or more evenings a week working on a stitching project. I also like the social aspect of this challenge as we share our work and our comments with each other.