Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hoopy designs

I'll admit it, sometimes when I set myself a new system or procedure designed to help me create or focus, it doesn't always work. However, my new embroidery hoop sketchbook is going great guns! Who would have thought that a simple outline of a 6 inch hoop and a few guiding words in pencil on some pages of a sketchbook would help focus and guide my creativeness so effectively?

After my first batch I posted about here, I had a vague idea to somehow portray stories in hoops. I'm a big, big comic fan so doing a panel per hoop seemed quite natural to me. I'm contsantly lamenting the fact that I haven't done much stitching for my daughters room, so I decided to come up with something themed for children. For some reason, a rabbit pirate leapt into my head (well why not?), and I thought a three-hoop simple story would work well. I took my sketchbook on the train to work one day, and by the time I returned home that evening I was bouncing with glee at what I had produced. Thank you sketchbook! 
 This is design one, entitled 'setting out'. This design is pretty finished, though I'd like to see the whole thing shifted down a little in the frame. Easy to do though.
 Design two entitled 'an encounter'. Well a pirate rabbit has gotta have adventures right? Things look quite desperate here, a giant squid has captured the boat! Whatever can he want? I have drawn the squid with one eye here but I think I will change it to two. The only thing missing here, which is important in the last frame, is that there should be a large, prominent picnic basket on the boat.
 Design number 3: A new friend. Well what do you know, the big squiddy was only peckish and wanted a sandwich and a bottle of pop! I wanted a really positive yet unexpected end to this series, and anyway, giant squids are pretty cool :) This design is the one I'm least happy with and needs the most work, hence the sketchiness of it. Maybe it's because there is a lack of movement and action, but I'm sure I'll find a solution. I think perhaps using the squids tentacles to create a circular affect around the edges of the frame might help. We'll see how it develops.

I was so excited by my new designs that I decided to start stitching right away! Well, I held myself back long enough to try and select my colours correctly, then I just had to get started.
I think it's coming together quite well. I like the appliquéd sail, and the chain stitch I used to give the boat texture and colour. And the french knots on the clouds were a last minute brainwave which I really like. Still a bit to do and then I'll need to finalise the last two designs.
Clever sketchbook! Good boy! Have a cookie :)

{nifty button}


  1. Julie!! I thought you were just showing us your sketches...then I scrolled down and literally gasped with delight to see that you'd actually brought one to life!

    I *absolutely* love this! I can't wait to see the rest, I just know they'll be amazing (no pressure!).

  2. Oh, I love this! Will you be making more of these to sell?

  3. SNAP, SewRayMe!!! I did the exact same thing!!! Soooooo cute and fun! :-)

  4. Thanks all! I've just finished this piece and I'll pop a picture up when I blog on Sunday. Now on to working on that squid... :)

  5. Face, thanks for your lovely comment about my pirate rabbit design. I couldn't reply to your comment directly so am doing so here. I do plan to make a few to sell. I'm just setting up a folksy shop, when that's done I'll announce it on my blog. I also plan to work it up as a pattern to sell too. I'm afraid around work and a toddler these things won't happen super fast, but I'll post regular updates on my blog!

  6. WOW! This is the cutest thing ever!! I would LOVE to buy it! Pretty please.. ;)
    I'll be featuring you at {nifty thrifty sunday} tomorrow!
    Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

  7. Wow!! This is super cute- I love the way you were able to portray the story in just a few hoops- very very cool.
    I have been trying to sketch some embroidery designs and haven't been having much luck yet- I may try the hoop outline as a starting point!

    If you want to I would love it if you linked up with my brand new part- Scout's Sweet Sundays!