Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lettering on Fabric


Yesterday, our Embroiderers' Guild held a Lettering on Fabric workshop with Canby Robertson. She is a fabulous teacher and shares so much of her knowledge beyond the "topic du jour".


Canby is a very accomplished needlework designer, teacher and artist. You will often see her work in the EGA National traveling exhibit. Here is a closeup pic of the piece which is touring now, The Rebirth of Venus. You can just see some of her lettering in the top of the picture.

Section from Rebirth of Venus by Canby Robertson

She has a lot more needle-life experience than me so I just enjoy being a sponge for the day and soaking up everything she says...about conservation, framing, printing techniques, you name it!

Our focus was on lettering and Canby has considerable calligraphy experience which she brings to her embroidery. Through trial and error, she has learned invaluable tips for letter placement, alignment, spacing, and stitch direction when applying hand-lettering techniques to the art of embroidery.

Lettering on piece by Canby Robertson

She asks, "Do you wish to make the stitched letters on your surface embroidery as professional in appearance as the lettering that enhances counted techniques like cross stitch embroidery and samplers?"

Another lettered example by Canby Robertson
Yes indeed, I do. In fact, she noted how often we stitch a gorgeous piece of embroidery, only to place an amateur-like signature in the corner...Oh, Canby, I am guilty of that...but never again after yesterday!

She has this very simple but nifty tip to underline the alphabet which you are going to use with black permanent marker -- and then use the line under the letters to get the proper alignment for your letters by drawing a line on your tracing paper and matching them up.


After aligning the letters, we traced our names onto our fabrics using a lightbox...


And began stitching the letters using one strand of cotton embroidery floss and a size 10 embroidery needle...


Following her tips and guidelines for stitch direction and shading...


We had a wonderful day!

Thank you Canby. Thank you for the techniques, the knowledge and the smiles of satisfaction. We're off to explore whole new worlds!


Now I feel confident in tackling some of those projects that I've wanted to letter and just didn't have the guts.

Oh, and I can't mention lettering without telling you about the series of tutorials on hand lettering that Mary Corbet is holding on her blog Needle 'N Thread. It's really a great series with lots of tips, close-up pics, and decision support for making your own lettered sampler. I am really enjoying it...especially the tip on how to dot an "i" without traveling the thread behind your work! Thanks to you too Mary~!

14 comments:

pam ehlers stec said...

Oh my goodness Canby's work is absolutely spectacular! Her stumpwork berries are to die for! Susan, your needlework guild always seems to do the coolest things. What a wonderful way to spend the day, looking at gorgeous needlework and learning new techniques from a master. Not only am I inspired to improve my lettering, I am itching to try my hand at some of those berries!!

verobirdie said...

You seem to have had a wonderful day! This course and the tutorials by Mary Corbet make my fingers itch:-)

Carol said...

OMGosh, what wonderful needle work. Thanks for sharing your day and some of the tips you got.

You Lucky Duck!!

Ingrid Mida said...

Wow! This was really helpful. I tried lettering some of my recent works and it was incredibly frustrating. Maybe I'll give it another try!

FredaB said...

What wonderful work. I think I came at embroidery too late and will never make it up. I too have been reading Mary C's lessons on lettering. she has a wonderful blog and I sincerely wonder how she does it all with teaching on top of it. Makes me feel like a sluggard.

You are so lucky Susan to have such a guild. there is one in Florida near here but they meet at night and I am not interested in a night one. Daytime would be wonderful.

Hugs

FredaB

a2susan said...

I love living life through your adventures and learning experiences. Makes a dreary Michigan day glow! Thanks as always, Susan

Marnie said...

How LUCKY are you to have Canby teach surface lettering? I have admired her work for years. Great post!

pam T said...

beautiful, Susan, beautiful! and the previous post about Mrs. Delaney, beautiful too!

JoWynn Johns said...

Thanks for this post. The tips and the referral to Mary's tutorials on lettering will definitely improve mine. And I like to put names and words on pieces.

Can't e-mail you because I've lost Outlook Express and your new address, so I swam 1/2 mile, breathing alternate sides this morning.

Bobbi Pohl said...

I really liked the workshop, too. Thanks for putting it all into such expressive form. I've printed out Mary Corbet's needle painting tutorial, but have only done the first lesson. And, here she is on to a lettering tutorial. Her turorials are very thourough, well illustrated and easy to follow. That, plus, her regular blogging on interesting subjects like Schwalm embroidery, are mind boggling. How does she do it and produce such beautiful needlework and work outside the home, too!

Melissa said...

That is some of the most remarkable handiwork I have ever seen! Thank you for sharing.

claire said...

you are an artist !!!

anne said...

ouh lala!!! This is nice. I would love to come to one of her class. Her embroideries are so so so... beautiful.

anne said...

I'm looking for a website to see more of her work, I can't find one. Do you know one?

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