Last week, I received one of the bi-weekly newsletters in my inbox from Robert Genn of the Painter's Keys.
I've recommended his newsletter before so maybe some of you read it?
Even though its audience is mostly painters, I find many of his messages resonate for embroiderers as well.
In last week's missive, he mentioned that he was feeling at a loss for inspiration having finished a painting the night before. Not only had he finished the painting, but he had signed it as well. Something he doesn't normally do. Normally, he would follow the wisdom from Ernest Hemingway who wrote:
I learned never to empty the well, but always to stop when there was still something in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
And so he goes on to recommend that we leave a piece of our artwork unfinished at the end of the work day, in order to prime our creative pump for the next.
I had never thought about that before. But it makes sense, doesn't it? To leave something unfinished for the next day...
Without foreknowledge of Messrs. Hemingway and Genn's advice, it turns out that I had left two things unfinished on my January Reflections piece.
You see, I still hadn't stitched any whiskers on the little hiding bunny and it was bothering me something fierce.
I had tried various types of threads but they were all too thick and didn't look enough like whiskers to suit me. Whiskers are hairs and they kind of taper toward the end.
I noticed that the individual hairs of fur that I had used for the bunny's tail tapered perfectly but the hair was too fine and too short for stitching.
Then I remembered all the bits of fur that they sold at the fly fishing department at Bass Pro Shops. So I took a road trip to the store to go fur hunting and came home with none other than moose mane!
The hairs were long enough that I could indeed sink them into the bunny's cheek. It was a very tough spot into which to sew since there were many layers of stitches and the bunny's cheek was stitched right over a seam in the fabric...Very tough to get a needle through.
To help in these tough situations, I've been using this tool called a paddle thimble or hand-held quilting thimble.
This "thimble" is a real gem when I'm trying to sink a large-eyed needle through many layers of threads and fabric. It gives me a little more strength and control than a finger thimble.
After sinking five of the moose mane hairs and couching them down on the back of the fabric...
I was thrilled with the result...
Now my little bunny has her whiskers, my piece has been signed...
And the day is still young.
Plus, as a special bonus, I have discovered that moose mane is stitchable!
One fact, I am sure, you were dying to know...
Happy Monday everyone!~