OK, I swear the number of embroidery projects I’m working on simultaneously is not exponentially increasing. Really. This blog is definitely not helping though – I keep finding more things to try out. Regardless, I wanted to mention a wonderful kit I started a few weeks ago before I got distracted by the mouse and the Turkish embroidery designs. This kit is from Elite Silk Arts, a company run by Mindy out of Los Angeles California and Hunan, China, which sells both finished work and embroidery kits. The photo is of her studying under Master Yuqin Han on a visit to China in 2010. Here’s my kit (I love the colors):
My progress so far: most of one big purple flower and several small yellow and white flowers. I think I’ll be pretty good at silk shading and long-and-short stitch by the time I’m done. Got any advice? Mindy suggested longer stitches on the purple flowers. I still have plenty of flowers left to improve my stitching on.
The section for embroidery kits includes sizes from 6×6 up to much larger kits. These kits are not step-by-step directions – the design is printed on the fabric, all the silk is included, and there are some general instructions on embroidering flowers and birds (4 pages), but it is definitely a creative endeavor. On the other hand, it’s silk, so anything you do looks fantastic! The designs are lovely, and they’re super affordable ($18 for the 8×8 including shipping). There are some additional technique instructions on the website and some simple free patterns.
The website is full of information. There’s a section about the major styles of Chinese embroidery, a gallery of Chinese folk embroidery, an essay on the history of embroidery in China, and a list of Chinese embroidery masters with short summaries of their major works.