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.
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.
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?"
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~!