How are you? This week I would like to introduce someone who has become a great source of inspiration for my Whitework designs but before we start there are three things I need to chat to you about:
1. New Whitework Kits
Firstly please accept my apologies for the delay in the release of the new whitework kits. We have been having recurrent load shedding (power cuts) here in South Africa and this has resulted in the printers and screen printers having to work around these power cuts so everything has been delayed. This also applies to re-stocking kits that have sold out in the Etsy shop, so please bear with me they should be back in stock by next week. As a side note I have found a new use for my battery operated Purelite magnifying lamp – it is good for standing on the kitchen counter and lighting up the area when cooking chicken on a two plate gas stove! Who says us embroiderers aren’t resourceful?
2. Book Review
Secondly Mary Corbet kindly did a review on the new book Miniature Needle Painting yesterday. You can read about it here: In the acknowledgement section I asked her to “be nice to me Mary” and she was very nice, so thanks for that Mary! One of the concerns that came up from readers in the USA is that the Gutermann polyester sewing thread that I use for outlining on miniatures seems to have a different numbering system in the USA to the European ones. Rest assured that we are working on a solution and Mary Corbet has kindly offered to take my list with her to the shops this week and find substitute colours. I will share these with you in a future blog post but they will also be listed next to the Gutermann threads available for sale in the Etsy shop. More on this later.
3. Whitework Book
Thirdly further to my announcement that I would be working on a book Needle Painting Birds Of The World – it has been decided by the publishers that this will require more time to produce as the projects are slightly larger and more time consuming and so will be delayed slightly and follow on from a book on “Shades Of Whitework. I call it this to distinguish from pure white on white embroidery as I add touches of colour. I am very excited about this one, it is quite diverse to needle painting but very freeing and the projects are great fun to work on. This will hopefully be released late 2016. To those of you who have written with requests for birds, your suggestions have been noted, thank you.
Which brings me to Jill Buckley. Jill is a Canadian quilter, designer and artist you can read all about her here and in an interview for the Canadian Quilters Blog. Jill designs the most stunning doodles, some of which have been built into the library of Janome Embroidery machines, and published in books to name a few of her achievements. Like me she came into her own later in life and finally found her niche so we have a lot in common. Her artwork has a lovely flowing composition which caught my eye whilst browsing for ideas on Pinterest and I soon got in touch with her to request the use of some of her designs for whitework projects.
Now you are probably not aware of the potential battle that goes on to gain permission from artists/photographers to use their artwork? Not all artists are forthcoming some just say a flat NO, some ask for unrealistic licensing fees, and in one case I received this reply from the agent of a prominent nature artist in the USA: “We are not interested its just too small a deal…” there was no dear Trish or yours sincerely, just that, then of course there are those lovely, generous artists who are only too willing to share their work and Jill was one of those. When I first approached Jill she was a little apprehensive but eventually agreed to let me use the outline of her cat, the result of which you can see below.
Having seen the completed embroidery of Katarina The Cat she agreed to let me use more of her designs and since then has actually been designing exclusive doodles for me to use in the new book, how lucky am I? Of course I have to re-draw and adapt the original to make it suitable for whitework embroidery but the idea source is there and it allows me to spend more time on the designing and stitching, and less time on sourcing images. I am in heaven! I wish I could share them with you but of necessity they have to remain secret till the book release, but I am sure you are going to love them – there are lots of different, gorgeous designs, which have inspired me with all sorts of wonderful ideas for the final projects.
If you have a specific idea that you would like to see in shades of whitework let me know and I will certainly consider it. Next time I hope to share with you how to overcome some challenges that people experience with needle painting, specifically long & short stitch. Meanwhile, wherever you are in the world, remember “Embroidery forever, housework whenever!” Keep smiling and happy stitching! Trish