The bride to be wanted colors to match her wedding color scheme. I asked her to send me some color references, so that I could create a customized thread palette. Choosing colors has to be one of my favorite parts of planning a piece. Below is the images she sent me, and the threads I selected.
Once we've agreed on the colors it's time to draw up the custom pattern and stitch it up. First, the heart and names, and then the bouquet of flowers and leaves are stitched over several sittings. It's too much to do in one day, so I will stitch for a few hours broken up between several days. It's a labor of love.
I use a water soluble pen to sketch out the flowers. I like having the reference, but allow a lot of freedom to diverge from my sketch.
One thing I do a lot is take out stitches I don't like. I can stitch the same piece or part of a piece several times until I get it right. Like the leaves on the left side (below). They were just not right, so I pulled them out and tried again.
Once I think the leaves are done I'll remove the water-soluble pen marks to see the piece better. Then, I'll add in lots of little french knots into the flowers and fill in any empty spaces with more leaves.
The very last step is adding in the string for the rings and backing the hoop with a coordinating cotton fabric.
Hope you enjoyed this peek into my custom embroidery process. It's a lot of work, but I love the idea of these pieces becoming treasured family heirlooms....