Let’s start with photo printing:

Here is a wall hanging that began with a photograph of Autumn leaves swirling around my front door. I took the photo when I lived in the Forest of Dean. There were many different kinds of trees there resulting in this medley of leaf shapes. I’m grateful for the gusty weather that whipped them into an inspirational and artistic whirlwind for me to see and record.

After printing the photo onto A3 sized photo-paper I appliqued it onto a brown silk background. I added some machine embroidered toadstool designs and some free-standing embroidered leaves. Finally I backed it and bound it with matching silk dupion. This one was created early in my stitching career but it has always remained my favourite.

Photo prints without embellishment:

This second example was one of half-a-dozen I made to sell at a local craft fair. I’d taken lots of photographs of the old buildings in Tewkesbury. So I printed them onto A4 sized cotton backed photo-printing paper and appliqued them to a collage of quilting cotton offcuts.

Commercially they were quite successful and some made nice gifts for my friends. Photography and stitching go so well together.

A Themed Wall Hanging:

Sometimes all you need for inspiration is a theme. My theme here was Spring and for me it was important to include my favourite flowers – primroses. After failing to find the right embroidery design I decided to hand-applique the primroses from a design I found in Zena Thorpe’s book, Beautiful Wild Flower Applique.

After deciding that Spring as a theme definitely needed bluebells too I used these from Zena Thorpe’s book. I hand appliqued the bells and machine stitched the leaves. The sky and fields were enhanced with free-motion machine stitching, as well as the group of trees at the back.

Dozens of Suffolk Puffs (or yo-yo’s):

If you’re very patient it’s fun to make petals for flowers with tiny circles of fabric gathered up into a small Suffolk Puffs. This small piece of wall art took many hours encircling and shaping the fabric into petals with sewing thread. A bead in the middle of each one added to the illusion of an hydrangea flower petal.

For the leaves I found an image on-line and copied it onto freezer paper. I ironed those shapes onto a double layer of bonded green cotton and cut them out. The stem is a bias cut strip of cotton, stitched along one long edge then turned in pressed before machine stitching down. Finally I machine stitched the leaves over the smaller hand embroidered stems.

Purchased machine embroidery designs:

I go through phases with my stitching life and sometimes my computerised embroidery machine takes priority over everything else. As a result I’ve bought numerous designs on-line. Some are very easy to do while others demand skill, time and lots of attention. The two on my wall at the moment are both designs by Ananda’s Divine Designs. As a general term she calls them ‘Appliscapes’. This one which I finished recently is called ‘Asian Sunset’.

I’m currently matching the colours in this scene to a new table runner and cushion covers. My walls are white and this scene with these colours stands out really well.

This second one the designer calls an ‘Aquascape’ and it has loads of 3D effects. Its fish fins and the plants are embroidered on organza and put aside in advance of creating the background. The 3D pieces are added as you’re stitching the background. I would say some experience is needed before tackling something like this.

The scene is so restful to look at now it’s finished. It was challenging to do but well worth it in the end.

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