Needle endeavors

I've recently completed two very different needlework projects for birthday gifts. The top one began as the teaching sample for my art students. The students painted their muslin with watercolors, and are rushing to complete their stitching before Mother's Day. I'll put some samples of their work at the bottom. This piece is very traditional in its use of stitches, but lively in its depiction of a giraffe family.

By contrast, the second project is very textural. It involved hand-dyed fabrics, applique, and trapunto techniques. If I had been making an oil pastel drawing of four dried gourds, the result would have been very similar.

The student works-in-progress are as different as the kids themselves. The stitchers are age 5-9. They made sketches from photographs that interested them, then transferred their drawings onto muslin. They outlined their drawings with tropical fine-point Sharpie permanent markers, and painted the fabric with basic Prang watercolors.

Watermelon slices and animals of the Serengeti:

...Ducks on a log and a lily pond.

A lighthouse on a rocky penninsula, blooming cactus, and Mad King Ludwig's castle...

The same students just completed these one foot felt squares with all sorts of recycled items. We didn't stitch the kitchen sink, but we used hardware, keys, cds, buttons, sewing notions, pipe cleaners, playing cards, Indian sari fabric, net, beads, postage stamps, metallic punch ribbon, and mylar packaging. This was a free-form complement to their other precise compositions. Most of the kids plan to use these squares as Father's Day gifts. One wants to have his creation become his family's crest.
© 2007 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Christine Thresh said...

The lily pond is lovely. It is as good as (maybe better) than professional work I've seen.
Quite a few of the examples were excellent.


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