When I finished my Christmas cushions, I wanted a no-pressure project that I could pick up and put down over the Christmas period. I reached for another of the zenbroidery pieces in my stash - along with one of the cotton thread packs I had originally purchased from Herrschners ( more recently I have bought them in Australia through the Fox Collection).
This design presented more dilemmas than my previous mandala because there was potentially more white space. As the mandala was in quite narrow rings, there were fewer choices of whether to fill or not to fill.
I began roughly in the centre with some of the spirals, and left quite a lot of space.
These designs are great for experimenting with stitches. The spirals lent themselves to running stitch in the Kantha style. I used star stitch on many of the centres and quite a bit of stem stitch.
I worked out colour as I went, once again, grading through the rainbow from the centre out. As I went, I experimented with leaving white and filling it in. By the end I had pretty much filled it all.
I find these great fun to stitch. I love making it up as I go along, trying things out, adjusting, adapting. It really IS colouring with thread - with the extra pleasure of playing with stitches.
Because I worked this on holidays over Christmas, mostly in my hand, with only the occasional use of a hoop for tricky stitches, it needed blocking. My intention was to turn it into a bag. I tried therefore to square it up by blocking.
This worked well, so I found a lining fabric and zip. I really like the look of this. The thread is from China and I enjoyed working with it. It is perle, soft and pleasant to work with- very little tangling, no shredding and wonderful colours.
I folded it in half, sewed up the sides and added a zip. It makes a lovely gift. I'm glad I filled in
most of the white background with colour and texture. The resulting pouch is a useful size for a pencil case or small tools.
I have given it as a gift to a cousin. It's handy and not readily lost.
I've been working another, slightly larger, while travelling.
I like the thread, the colours, the patterns - and the leeway to make your own emphasis and colourways.
I can see myself making more of these.