Saturday, May 10, 2014

New project: acanthus with cutwork and needleweaving

At least, that's the plan!  I will be taking part in an invitational exhibit in July on the theme of It's All Greek to Me.  It's for all members of our artists' association, which means many media, so I can choose fiberart at will.

So I've designed an acanthus, that plant you see carved on Greek temple columns, and I plan to create it in white on white with some drawn threadwork and pulled work, as soon as I figure it out.

So first I found a nice image which I adapted, and drew, then, on my scanner, enlarged significantly to work with the frame I have in mind, and in the house already, a big point, and went from there.

And here I have to acknowledge a Raveler, I'm sorry, I forget who, or I would credit her by name, who introduced me to the brilliant idea of short circuiting the scan, print, copy, enlarge, transfer series of actions. 

I simply put my paper over the enlarged image on the screen, traced it in heavy marker, leaving a few dots on the screen where the ink penetrated, but a swipe of rubbing alcohol took care of that. You'll notice, in the interest of transparency and openness in government, I left in the mistake I corrected. It won't be transferred to the linen.

Then I sorted out my choice of linen from a few selections I forgot I already had, from Dharma Traders, I love them, cut a piece and pressed it, along with the Schwalm whitework piece, or pale blue piece as it now seems.

 Here are the materials, the initial drawing, then the enlarged and traced image, the choice of hoops, ended up going with the bigger one, the linen waiting patiently till I get to it, and the frame which I will use for the finished project, a box frame, I love this for embroidery.

Then I taped the paper and the linen piece onto the laptop screen and used it as a lightbox, whoah, this worked.

I used a fine point Pilot pen for this so that the lines will all be completely covered by the work, and won't need to be washed out, since Pilot is not waterproof.  This is my usual MO and has worked fine up to now.  Famous last words..

Now all I have to do is survey my threads and pick out white ones, and I'm off.  Now to the end of June is not a long time for this kind of work, but I'm up for it.  I'll back the piece with dark blue something or other, so that the Greek colors of white and deep blue will be in there, too, as well as the acanthus motif.

I think I'll use embroidery floss rather than the coton a broder we used for the Schwarm, since I like the idea of a bit of gloss.  And who knows, goldwork might get in there, too..


  1. I would never have thought of using my computer screen as a light box - how clever! It's SO frustrating trying to print off a pattern that's exactly the right size - I end up having to putz with it for ages (and often end up giving up in total disgust). This method will work!

  2. Wow this is so awesome. I am really looking forward to this. I find your needle-work very inspiring.

  3. this is going to be beautiful, I was warned against tracing off the screen, can`t remember why but was told no! seems to have worked well for you though and the computer is still working so not sure what the problem was


Thank you so much for commenting! it means a lot to me to know you're out there and reading and enjoying.