August 24, 2015

Stitched Paradise (Tropical Wall Hanging)

I cannot claim to be a traditional artist. I do not paint, draw, song-write, dance, etc. But what I do is research, pick a melody I like, and produce a harmony that may not be fully original but is still a unique conglomeration of the many parts available, creating something unique and settling--art.

Though this concept rings true for most of my crafty and artistic endeavors, this is explains exactly my relationship with embroidery. To be frank, I print out coloring book drawings, car decals, and whatever outlines Google Images can give me for my embroidery patterns. But the embroidery choices I make--the stitches, the colors, the textures--that is the part that is my own, that is the part that is art. And this is what I am so excited to show you, one of my most advanced projects to date.



I could gush on and on about this piece of Stitched Paradise, my new Tropical Wall Hanging. But first, the context...

The motivation for starting this project was none other than that I felt my freshman dorm room lacked sufficient wall decor. As the crafting person I am, I value the handmade variety of wall hangings most, so off I go to make one good enough for the likes of my sophomore year dorm room

Although my attempt to produce a wall hanging my freshman year fell through, sophomore year is a whole new cannoli. What better time to indulge (read: talk more about it)?



Embroidery generally isn't a medium that I excel at. Make no mistake--I am most excellent at coloring between the lines with thread, which is exactly what embroidery is. However, it takes a while and is much less exciting than knitting for me. Yet in summer, when knitting is wholly impractical in my mind, embroidery is perfect when traveling for a month straight. It's portable, it's compact, and it's highly conducive to TV sports-related multitasking (Women's World Cup and embroidery? Oh yeah!) And that's exactly how 90% of this embroidery was completed, for when I got home, the remaining 10% took as many days to get around to as the 90% of it done in Canada and Hawaii.  


Beach Sunset completed in Montreal and Quebec City
Moorish Idol Fish completed in Honolulu and Palo Alto
Honu completed in Quebec City, Vancouver, and several airplane rides
The Hawaii-esque embroidery is an homage to my "second home" that is closing up shop. I'll return once more later this year and then that may be the final goodbye :( I have so many fond memories of watching sunsets on the beach, sneaking peaks of moorish idol fish while snorkeling, and observing the Outrigger Canoe Club honu live their lives. 

I compiled the embroidered pieces together with a turquoise marble stash fabric and a solid unifying yellow as the binding (also stash). Another new part of this project for me is the quilt sleeve that I added. The sewing part always seems to take longer than I expect, but I'm very happy with the result! Stay tuned for the image of it hanging in my dorm room--I'm going back to school in less than a week!

Happy Crafting!!
--Elizabeth

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