I've had two wonderful opportunities to travel a bit lately, and now that I'm finally unpacked (why does that always take so long to do?), I'm excited to share what I've seen and learned.
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure and privilege of taking a class from Sharon Schamber, whose work I have long admired. The workshop focused on the basics of machine stippling, and Sharon is a wealth of knowledge on this subject (and many others, as well). The pattern pictured above was included with the class and contains a DVD which thoroughly explains her technique (this pattern can be purchased from her web site).
We started with baby steps, however, and it's a good thing we did -- working with such tiny stitches obviously takes a great deal of patience and practice. My first attempts are pictured above, and I needed a neck massage when I was done. The size of my sample is approximately 3" by 6". I also found myself holding my breath while stitching, a practice that is highly discouraged by Sharon, as it tends to make you a bit light-headed. I used #60 Mettler fine embroidery thread on my sample, and I worked with Hobbs Heirloom wool batting for the first time; this type of batting has a good deal more loft than the cotton blends, and the result is a more textured quilt surface. Needless to say, I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but that's a good place for me to be if I'm going to improve my skills.
I hope to share more about my journeys in a future post. My thanks to all of you who follow my blog -- I am always grateful.