bring on the kitsch

I don’t know when my desire to learn to embroider began.  Perhaps it was the super cute tea towels my mom and mother-in-law both recently made me.  Maybe it was watching my co-basketball coach embroide in meetings.  Or maybe it’s the inevitable result of knitting.  Eventually the desire was too much to resist.  While home in Wichita at the end of June I started looking at embroidery books.  Once we returned to MA, I bought one from Amazon (Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart of the Sublime Stitching blog).

I initially planned to use this free t-shirt David had gotten from the strolling of the heifers parade (for more see David’s flickr stream), but my progress stalled quickly and I set aside the emroidery for over a week, which is saying something when my only ‘job’ is reading for class and crafting right now.  Just looking at the t-shirt you can see that it looked terrible.  First off the grey of the shirt was so dark that the colors didn’t pop.  Second, it was impossible to cover the white lines of the pattern, even when using all six threads of floss.  Finally my stitches were really uneven, with big gaps in between them in places.

Then as I flipped through my embroidery book, I discovered that t-shirt material, while perhaps the most appeal material to embroidery on because of its usefulness (you can wear your design) is actually really difficult because of how stretchy it is.  So I started anew on this crazy little tattoo embroidery pattern from my book.  I finished in a few short days.  It actually made me bummed when my oil change was done in less than an hour because it meant I had to stop embroidering.

The finished project left me with two questions.  A) What am I going to do with a very bright, embroidered tattoo?  I mean that’s not normally the design aesthetic of David and my walls.  I’m also trying to convince him that we should hang the 2011 Summer Quilt on the wall in the guest room and I think arguing that this too should go on the wall might hurt my cause.  B) What to embroider next?  Do any of you have cool websites or books that have fun embroidery patterns you might recommend?  And what do you embroider?

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