I’ve been enjoying the sunshine through the studio window this week, dreaming about the beautiful places in Yorkshire that I want to visit later in the year. My talented friend Miriam Laville is a mixed media artist based in Leeds, her paintings capture the landscape of Yorkshire. From Roundhay Park to the Yorkshire Dales, Miriam’s bold use of colour and line lends itself to embroidery with ease.

I’ve been working on my machine embroidery for the last couple of weeks, building on the skills my friend Leigh Bowser taught me back in February. I dabbled in the technique during my degree, using my trusty Bernina 1008 but never really took to the process. I’ve only been able to use the lines for other techniques like applique and I wanted to use shading to add a different dimension to my work.

You can still make mistakes in your work no matter how much experience you have, and this piece had a couple of them. The satin fabric I had used for the deep brown was very distracting, it was standing out too much. I was also pretty heavy handed with the machine embroidery! I never recommend unpicking things, I always rework them by adding more fabric and different stitching.

The machine embroidery on this piece formed part of the background, helping to blend the fabrics and create a base for my hand embroidered details. I love looking through my thread boxes, selecting different colours and types to include in a piece of work.

Recently, I’ve been using my DMC Cotton Perle threads in a number 12 or 8 weight. They have a beautiful finish with a slight sheen so they stand out against the fabric and machine embroidery. I’ve chosen to use a few simple stitches, satin stitch, straight stitches and some detached chain stitch. These easy stitches give different effects, creating leaves, grasses and other shrubs.

I’m hoping to teach a Stitchscapes embroidery course in the autumn so watch this space for details. You can also find out more about my work by following me on social media, just click the icons in the sidebar.