As many of you know, I’m teaching an online course on the Trevelyon’s Cap that I embroidered in 2012-13. The finished cap is a piece I was, and still am, very proud of having embroidered. Now that I’m teaching the course, I’m embroidering one panel of the cap again so I can get more detailed photos for my students. This last month I embroidered the little rose buds and, for the first time, I noticed how much my embroidery has improved. I was surprised – and pleased! – to see what effect my RSN Certificate Course training and my own practice had on my skill level as well as on my confidence.
Here is a photo of a long and short shaded leaf at the bottom of the panel that I did in 2012-13. The stitching is shaded, but it’s a bit “thick”. Although the stitch direction is OK, I feel it looks better in the photo below where the stitches are more angled.
The shading in the leaf above is more delicate, the stitches aren’t as crowded and the length of the stitches is more varied. Additionally, I had the confidence this time to add a third colour. I simply didn’t know how to do that the first time I stitched the cap!
The rose bud, above, is the little motif that made me stop and notice how much my stitching has changed/improved. When I took the photo below, I had the cap itself right next to me. When I uploaded the photo and saw it on my computer, I was surprised at how much more delicate the shading on the sepal was now than it was in 2012-13. Remember my silk shading project for the RSN Certificate? I guess all those hours of silk shading paid off!
You might be wondering, “Why is Kathy telling us and showing us about her own improvement in her embroidery skills?” I’m telling you because I know, without seeing any of your work, that all of you have and are improving every single day. So often we get wrapped up in stitching a piece and having it completed that we don’t stop and look through our older pieces to see the improvement we’ve made. Of course, it’s easy to see improvement when stitching the exact same piece, which most of us never do! But take some time to look at an older piece and a more recent piece where you’ve used the same technique. Can you see improvement? I’ll bet you can!
We’re all learning and getting better at our needlework skills – we just don’t stop to look, to notice and to be proud for just a moment!