Poppy Embroidery Part One

Once I did the small poppy (see the last post) I realised I've got a long way to go before I'm happy with what I'm creating. It's always this way when I start on a new theme/path - it takes me a little while to work out what threads I have and what works together, to take what i've been doing before and adjust it to work for the new designs, to basically get my head around what I'm doing. Which is a pain because it means I need to spend longer looking at pictures and keeping more reference tools near me when I'm sewing, instead of doing it all from feel as I can do when I'm working with something familiar.

I started off with some drawings, trying to work from memory as much as possible, but I found I kept going back to the source for a general shape. I found the image in my head of a poppy was very 2D, very 4 petalled and very boring. So what I have ended up with is a composition of a few different poppies put into the one frame (sorry for the blury picture):

Which I then redid a little more fluidly in pen (over a photocopy):

I also moved the top poppy up a little so there is more space between each poppy. I wanted to make sure that when you looked at the composition as a whole the two poppies didn't merge, and also sometimes too much heavy embroidery too close together can distort the fabric inbetween.

I have dyed some homespun grey fabric with black - I basically painted on the dye with a soft wide brush, and then spattered some dry dye on top then spray misted some water to disperse it. I was a bit unhappy with the result - it looked a little heavy and i think that one technique or the other would have worked fine without me combining them. But when I turned the fabric over the pattern created on the back was very good, it was a little lighter and less 'organised' and it will work well for this project.

Better stop writing so I can get back to sewing!