A New Leap – Fibers

Here are the fibers I used for the background.

image by Carmen CS
image, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

The top one is the heavy thread I used for the trees.  Next is a loose spun thread used on the darker meadow areas.  Finally, the lighter meadow areas were stitched using a silk with flames, which means tighter areas and looser areas.  Laid down with long stitches, these fibers show off their irregularities to make a rich background that looks complicated while actually being fast and easy to stitch!

Prayer: Father, thank You that our irregularities make us unique, beautiful, fitted for individual purposes in Your world.


A New Leap – Background Stitching

Rather than leaving the background openwork, I decided to do some fancy stitching with different fibers to make a scene for the leaping lamb.

This was done freehand, using different variegated textured threads.  I stitch the trees first, then fill the landscape in around them and the lamb and Joy.  Fun and quick, as the stitches are long.

image by Carmen CS
image, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the beauty we each can bring just working in the background.  I pray for those who work quietly to know that they do Your work.

A New Leap

Recently our pastor and his wife left for an encouragement trip to missionaries in the Philippines sent by our church 20 years ago.  20 years in the field!  Perhaps this is normal, but I didn’t grow up in the church and it seems extraordinary to me!

He asked the church members to send cards of encouragement.  There was just enough time for me to stitch this piece for them.

Missionary Joy by Carmen CS

Missionary Joy, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, please bless this family which has devoted so much of their life to your service and service of your people.  Bring them an ever closer walk, unexpected joys, long worked for successes, wisdom for their path.

Show Me the Way – Ready to Stretch

I’m going to stretch this piece on foam core to prepare it for framing.  For this, I need thin foam core, and t-pins.  The foam core has to be thin enough to fit in the frame.  The piece has open-work, but the white of the foam core makes a good background for the cream of the canvas.

The first step is to cut the foam core to size.  It should be a little smaller than the space in the frame, because the canvas wrapping around the foam core will add bulk.

Tulips - Ready to Stretch by Carmen CS

Tulips – Ready to Stretch, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Sometimes the work of the days results in an uneven quality to how we perceive our lives.  Father, help her to see and appreciate the beauty of her work as a whole.

Show Me the Way – Stitched!

Here it is, all stitched!

Tulips - Stitched by Carmen CS

Tulips – Stitched, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help her work and love come together to make her life a beautiful whole.

Show Me the Way – Text

Show me the way was her choice of phrase for this piece.  She told me it echoes what she has long felt, that throughout her life, she has been guided when she sought it.  May this piece help her always to remember to seek it.

Tulips - Show me the WAY by Carmen CS

Prayer: Father, grant her wisdom, and above all grant her comfort once she has chosen her way.

Show Me the Way – Show

Irregular diagonal stitches make up the flowing letters, designed based on the Zapfino font.

Tulips - Show by Carmen CS

Tulips – Show, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, guide her, I pray.  There are so many choices ahead of her.  Many of them may have no good answers.  Guide her in her choices.

Show Me the Way – Fiber for the Words

For the text, I have chosen a combination fiber made up of a core of metallic thread surrounded  by mesh ribbon.  The ribbon tones down the metallic core, which otherwise might be too garish.

Tulips - Text Fibers by Carmen CS

Tulips – Text Fibers, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, thank you for her dedication and love!

Show Me the Way – Butterfly

Here is the completed butterfly.  Can you see how the variegated threads give subtle areas of different colors, particularly in the dark purple and blue?  You may have to really look to see them consciously, but they give life and a sense of the dynamic to the piece unconsciously.

Show Me the Way - Butterfly by Carmen CS

Show Me the Way – Butterfly, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, I pray for rebirth for her spirit as she moves through her challenges, and for her love of those she cares for and their love for her.

Show Me the Way – Butterfly Fibers

Next comes the butterfly.  Such a classic symbol of rebirth…

Again, I’m using variegated silk fibers for their lustre and intricate colors.  But I am not blending them as I did for the tulip blooms.  Rather I am using them as dyed to get subtle variations in the color in different areas of the butterfly.

Show Me the Way - Butterfly Fibers by Carmen CS
Show Me the Way – Butterfly Fibers, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, please bring beauty into her life and help her recognize the little differences in the days that can bring a sense of joy into what otherwise might be tedium.