While recuperating from my knee operation I have been working on the Kantha design I began in the Barbara Mullan Embroiderers' Guild workshop in June. In my last post on the topic I had a design on paper. I transferred the centre motif and the four large corner motifs to the fabric using a combination of sketching and tracing. I worked these before adding the other motifs.
The other two corners have octopuses. In between, jellyfish swim around and a variety of shell fish nestle.
For the smaller shells and the jellyfish I sketched the basic shape with pencil then improvised with thread.
Once I had the basic design stitched, I began the process of background stitching. I began with the piece in a hoop to maintain tension in the running stitch, but soon abandoned it as too slow. It is much more efficient to work the running stitch with a scooping, rather than a stabbing, technique and the mantra from my class last year at the RSN was 'never scoop in a hoop'!
Without the hoop I progressed more quickly. I worked a swirling circle around the central motif - a current taking the jellyfish around in a whirlpool and washing other creatures off to the edges.
This process took several days of stitching. When it was finished I did a little bit of padding to give dimension to a few of the creatures. I was a bit ambitious with scallop shell, distorting the fabric - creating the need to block the finished piece.