Summer Seashells I

Today I am excited to present a guest post from my mom, Laura, about her creative process for her original piece, Summer Seashells. Next week, y’all will get to see the finished piece!

I love the beach, I adore long sandy walks, I love hunting sea shells, I can spend hours at tidal pools. Sadly for beach walks I live in Minnesota as far from any ocean as you can get (some 2,000 miles away no matter which direction you go). So I tend to beach walk in my embroidery. Two or three years ago I finished the following tidal pool series: Seashore and Tide Pool.

Next was a painting complete with seashells, sand, and more seashells. When the mood to embroider something hit I used the painting as a design starting point. I transferred the sea shells to a nice linen then drew some interesting squiggly wiggly lines back and forth for the tide lines and waves. Crabs are common companions of beach walks and I originally planned to feature them-the star attraction. I sketched a variety of crabs in all shapes and sizes.  I cut them out and moved the paper cutouts around to find the best location for each.Below you can see the design process in action.


And a close up of  the little guy at the top. Satin, buttonhole, stem stitch with legs to be whipped.


The lower left corner filled with waves and sand and a starfish.


Close up of crabs.


Here’s the big daddy crab. Satin stitch outlines. Filling of cross stitch and herring bone stitch in a variegated cotton floss, 3 strands. He is surrounded by various individual free stitches-french knots, colonial knots, rice stitch, beads.


Tide lines -whenever I got bored with one type of line stitch I switched and tried out another. You name it, it’s probably there somewhere. Strings of gold and brown beads are couched. Variegated blue floss worked in butterfly chain stitch form the waves. The star fish is made of five bullion knots.


Close up of the shells. The big shell uses 6 strand floss on the outside, 2 strand for the inner shell.The outside is stem stitch, the inside is split stitch.  The blue-gray alternates stem stitch in one row with backstitch in the next. Herringbone stitch over split stitch forms the last one. Circles are ribbed spider webs.


Next post will show the final result after much stitching, ripping out, stitching again. For example, the ugly white mess in the corner above is Gone.




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2 Responses to Summer Seashells I

  1. What a wonderful welter of stitches! It looks as though it was fun to do. Even unpicking and restitching can be fun…

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