Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Stitching for Yuletide

Every year I tell myself (and sometimes others) that I'm going to give handmade gifts.  Sometimes this is for the beauty and the love and the care and the ethic of handmade.  Sometimes it is because the bank account is looking real thin.  Both were true this year.  The difference was that I actually managed to give one meaningful handmade gift -and it was completed in time for the actual day of gift giving!  Happy Yuletide Mom!

This is a stitched copy of a medieval print from the first published midwifery manual.  Its an image I'm familiar with from a childhood raised by a childbirth educator, doula and midwife!  

This is probably my best "I saw it on Pinterest!" project to-date.  It wasn't precisely this image that I saw, but another medieval print done in black (and red!) line embroidery in this style.  I'm really pleased with how it came out.  And the stitching itself was both fun and therapeutically soothing.  I was working on it during a time when the dark was getting to me, when I felt frustrated, trapped into spending far too much time in town and not enough at home and overwhelmed with large projects; the stitching was something that I could control.  I could watch it grow.  It lulled my over-active mind, eased my way slipping into a meditative state.  It could be worked in small bits in companionable company with my husband on the couch in the late evening or in the coffeeshop or at the studio between appointments.  It was wonderful.  I would probably really benefit from and enjoy getting another stitching project started.  They're manageable, portable and addictive in the best sort of ways.

This one, I gave to my mother for Yule.  But the internet is full of out-of-copyright medieval prints.  I've got my eye on one of two witches summoning a rainstorm!

First I traced the image onto the cloth (I used special tracing paper and pencils from JoAnn's but I don't believe that is strictly necessary.  Also if you have easy access to a computer and printer, you can print onto wax paper and iron-on).  And then I stitched every line. 

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