Friday, March 21, 2014

Sheep! Another project from the sewing group.

I've written about our sewing group before.  We've been together for almost 10 years sharing our love of handcraft.  You can find several posts about them by searching for "sewing group."  One big project I did can be found here.  Every year, we give each other a new creative challenge.  One year it might be color, another year it's a theme.  These squares are from my 2012 challenge -- SHEEP!!  I collect sheep in all forms and I knew my very creative friends would have a great time with this one.

The background wool is hand-dyed using the Cushing color "Bittersweet."  I knew I would use a blue as a background color.  My instructions to the group were to do sheep of any kind -- a grouping, a single sheep, just a face, etc.  The fabric was square so I didn't have to worry about portrait or landscape orientation.  Everyone was also given a bit of a paint chip showing a deep, Colonial blue.  They were asked to incorporate that blue in their design.

I just finished putting the pieces together and creating a wall hanging for one of our rooms.  There are very high ceilings in this room so above some French doors seemed like a great place.  Here's the finished piece hung in place.

 This one is mine.  Obviously.  I used some Merino wool yarn and did a hooked rug design.  The face is a flat appliqué of black wool as are the legs.  The bird is blanket-stitched to the background.  I would say that mine ended up being a little heavy!  It takes a surprising amount of yarn to hook a sheep in this way.  But, I love the texture and the way the sheep looks like it is VERY ready for a haircut.
 Here we have Beth and Barb.  Beth is primarily a quilter and Barb does a little of everything but is super talented at embroidery.  Two funny stories about these pieces.  Beth lost her paint chip and didn't even realize I had a color preference!  But, she still used the blue!  Barb accidentally cut the legs off one of the sheep and had to re-appliqué.  Hilarious.

Here's Kathy and Katie.  I feel compelled to tell you that I taught Kathy about needle-felting.  And, she produces something like this!  The student becomes the master, I think!  I love the expression on the sheep's face.  Kathy and Katie both used the required blue in the form of a ball of yarn.  Fabulous.  Katie's has my shop name embroidered on the bottom which makes it a favorite as well.

Angela is here on the left.  Another master embroiderer in the group.  The circles of stitching are so perfect!  And to the right is Anne.  Again with the embroidery!  Ann always does amazing detail work on all her pieces.  She humbles me.  I had to buy a book on embroidery stitches to keep up with this group.

Finally, here is Heinke's.  I love this one.  A little flock of sheep with vintage doily collars.  How clever.  I also love that there are three little sheep just as I have three boys.  I wonder which of mine is the black sheep?!  I suppose it changes daily.

I hope you love the look as I do.  I'm so proud to be in such a creative group.  My next set to put together is a Christmas-themed set on beautiful blue wool.  Everyone was to do a Christmas tree -- a portion, a branch, or a whole tree.  They are amazing.  Another post for another day.