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I have recorded here some of the stages of my most recent embroidery, completed this week, and would welcome your comments. The drawing was done in central Spain near Covarrubias last summer. I have shown some of the stitching as it develops, explaining the processes that resulted in this final piece, a Spanish landscape that contrasts strongly with my gentler South Downs pieces.

Here is the drawing, A4, pencil, pastels, watercolour pencils, and pen.

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The planning stage with mainly Madeira threads, Natesh and Wonderfil added later

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I draw a few main lines directly onto the painters canvas, stitch them in and then turn to the back as most of the work is done with cable stitch. This technique means putting threads that are too heavy to go through the eye of the needle on the bobbin. I stitch on the reverse side of the canvas, couching down the heavy threads to give long, uninterrupted lines of threads- the next image shows me workimg from the back. The top thread colour is important as it affects the bobbin thread adding new  colours to the piece eg the bright red is couching down a heavy metallic copper underneath.

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I have to keep turning to the front, shown next, to make sure I’m happy with what I’m doing, but as the bobbin runs out every 3 minutes I get plenty of opportunity to correct any errors and add any fine details. You can see below that the fabric starts to move and undulate. I “go with the flow” in the hope I can control the final results!

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-and here it is, 24cm x 35cm approx. The drawing is  only ever a guide, as once I start stitching, the thought processes and techniques take over. I never try to copy my sketches, but aim to translate and interpret. Hope you found this useful and interesting!

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