It's been a year since I posted about my progress on Project 4 of the Guild's Back to Basics Program. This is because I had not made much progress. The group meets once a month, and closes over the Christmas/January period. Between my knee reconstruction and trips away my progress has been slow.
The group has even changed it's name since I last wrote about it. There are five projects in the program and members take varying times to finish. Some slow down towards the end, because they do not want to leave the supportive and educative group. So we re-named the group Basics to Beyond. We can keep the B2B abbreviation and members can stay on 'beyond' the basic course.
Much of my time in the group last year was spent getting the layout and dimensions of the Project 4 bag right. The course places a lot of emphasis on construction, including accurate measurement - an area where I need to improve. I've had to re-do my initial attempt at tacking the boundaries of the embroidered panel and the side panels of the bag. I've learned a lot from this process.
My first attendance this year was in April, and I could finally begin the embroidery. Our designs for this project are based on our initial, and I had planned to use the curves in trees and plants to give me my J. This project also requires the incorporation of texture to the embroidery. I used what I had learned from tree limbs in my Robins quilt to put in my first tree trunk.I then began to add smaller branches, building up the framework of the tree (and incorporating a few more Js!).
One of my daughters had given me a year's subscription to a quarterly thread package and my first package contained a length of red chenille thread, which I cut into pieces to form the flowers. I like the result.
The other side of the embroidered panel is framed by a wattle tree. I found a photo of an interesting wattle tree on the Australian Geographic Flickr site and based my wattle tree on that. This gave me the opportunity to use some cane toad leather, purchased from Alison Cole and to practise my couching. Once again, I worked the framework of the tree, then added the flowers - using Ghiordes and French knots.
My progress is largely down to a recent trip to Sydney and the NSW Southern Highlands. It was a good 'grab and go' project. I could work it within the framework I have established without reference to a pattern or charts. It has given me the boost I needed to move the work forward.
This is where I am now. I intend to put a layer of grasses and Flannel Flowers on the ground but it can wait a bit. I now have the energy - and motivation - to attempt to finish the Whitework project from the March Retreat.