I love So You Think You Can Dance. This season I have been trying to sketch while watching it on TV. I have no way to record the program and stop the action, so I make very crude stick figures in various positions all over the page of my sketchbook. Afterwards, I use my little artist’s manikin and put it in the position of one of my stick figures and draw a slightly better sketch of the dancer.
Once I have a sketch I like I trace it onto water soluble stabilizer. I use free motion embroidery to fill in the figure and then add a lacy grid pattern around it to make a rectangle. In my first embroidery, I filled the background in a little more than I intended so I added some gold metallic thread to the figure to help it stand out.
I left it for a time while I decided what to do about it. It needs a back ground in order to see the figure. Hanging it in a window also works, but the sun would not be good for it.
Meanwhile I had done some more sketches and was ready to try again. I figured, as long as I have to add a background I might as well embroider it on a background and then I don’t have to make sure all the bits of the background lace is attached to other stitches. So I went off to my favourite sewing store, Yarn Forward & Sew On, to get some suitable stabilizer. Well, I did buy a little bit of stabilizer, just in case, but Jo-Ann Raven persuaded me that I should frame it in a deep frame with the fabric close to the glass leaving space behind the embroidery for light. So that is what I did. Thanks Jo-Ann.
At the moment I have not put any backing on the frame. I have photographed it hanging on a blue wall (at an angle to avoid reflections) and again out in the garden.
For my second embroidery, also on water soluble stabilizer, I did less background stitches. I think too few. In future, I will do something in between, less than the first attempt and more stitches than the second.