Thank you so much for sending in your numbered preferences for new and future embroidery patterns, there was an overwhelming response! More than 375 comments came in via the Blog and Facebook and each number choice was entered into an Excel sheet, so you can imagine it was quite a task!
Firstly let me clarify that this survey was for Needle Painting and not Whitework. The results were quite surprising, and although the traditional subjects remain steady favorites, I am delighted that some of you are branching out into new territory and thinking outside the box with your embroidery projects. It has given me a very clear indication of what you would like to see in new and future embroidery patterns and I promise that all your preferences will be included. There were 7 definite favorites. Number 9 the Sunbird was the outright favorite by a long shot, followed by No 3 flower paintings.
These were closely followed by brightly coloured, naive styled landscapes – it seems that landscape patterns are hard to come by in the embroidery world, so I will be looking more closely at these.
Next was No 9 & 11 and finally No 1. The others had a few likes but not of any significance. All your votes will be taken into consideration and I will do my best to provide more patterns along these lines.
To those who requested specific wild animals, birds, pets etc that were not listed on the options, more specifically from their country of origin, please understand that I have to cater for a wide audience from many different countries around the world and the subjects have to appeal to a majority. I will certainly take your requests into consideration and perhaps include them in future Whitework designs, but meantime, can I suggest that if you have a special project in mind for embroidery, that you take what you have learnt and design your own? I will be following up with a blog post on how to do this in the next few weeks.
The results were more or less level, some small and some medium and some of you requested large projects. I have decided to work within the framework of hoop size (6″ (miniature & small) and 8″ (medium) as a general guide. Certain images lend themselves better to smaller designs, such as landscapes where there is a lot of tedious background filling and others such as flowers work better in a medium size to enable us to have enough space to fill in small details. I do understand that there are some seasoned embroiderers who like the challenge of a large project but the reasons I prefer working with smaller designs are this:
- Small designs do not put strain on your neck and shoulder muscles whereas large designs do. A large frame or hoop is difficult to manoeuvre comfortably whilst stitching and tends to be heavy in the hand.
- Smaller designs can be finished in a shorter time frame whereas months or even years need to be devoted to a large design.
- Smaller designs are more interesting to work on – there are no large areas of filling which personally I find boring!
- Smaller designs have all the detail of a larger design but take up less wall space and provide more options for the final use.
For those of you who prefer larger designs why not get your photocopy store to enlarge the outline and adapt the design to fit? Also you will be happy to know that the new book on Kew botanical paintings does include some larger designs.
No matter what the size all Needlepainting designs should be worked with a magnifying lamp or a good light source and your spectacles to see the details and avoid eyestrain. You can find more details on this in my handbook.
This has been such a useful exercise and I want to give a big thank you to everyone who participated. Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.