I love a challenge! I was asked to make a portrait of a beautiful horse, having only ever embroidered dogs, I knew this would be interesting. Little did I know that the biggest challenge would be in getting the correct colour with the threads. It was difficult to see from the photograph if the horse was black or very dark brown.
Picture this… Like a spy on a secret mission, I went to the field where the horse was kept. Making sure I wasn't seen; I took the threads with me and checked if the colours matched. Note: if you ever see anyone holding cotton reels in the air, they are not mad but checking colours. I finally chose three different shades of brown and a black.
Back at my sewing machine I layered the threads regularly changing the needle and bobbin threads. For those of you who are into sewing, have you tried sewing with a different coloured thread in the bobbin to that of the needle? Some really nice effects can be achieved. Another thing I came across more recently is using the zig-zag stitch for free-motion embroidery.
I took the portrait to the field and compared it against the horse to check the colours were okay. The horse must have known I was coming because it was at the far end of the field. It was a good match.
A happy ending… the new owner loved the present and I’m now working on my next commission, having tidied a very messy studio.