June 4, 2009

Honey, I Got You a Car!

At last! I have finally put the finishing touches on the big embroidery project I keep referring to. I am happy to present the BMW 325ci.

Beamer(The photos are not to my satisfaction. I am having lighting issues, but I was too excited to post this to wait for better light.)

It's a birthday gift for my husband, one of his favorite cars. When he was gone I stole the photo from his computer, turned it into a line drawing in Photoshop, and transferred it onto a piece of fabric cut out of an old bed sheet. I used two strands of black floss (1 strand in the BMW logo) and went to town. It's about 5.5 inches tall and 10 inches wide.

Beamer (4)
Then I made my life miserable by deciding halfway through the project that I didn't like my stitch choice (back stitch) and ripped it all out. It's taken almost two months to complete because of this (and the always-present fact that I never have as much time as I'd like).

I was really looking to achieve a certain style, a sort of hand drawn or sketched look, but I couldn't quite get it, and I knew it wasn't right. I asked for advice from the lovely crafter behind doe-c-doe (she's very inspiring; thank you!) and from Craftster member Sheeena (have you seen her Delftware piece?), both of whom have done pieces that had a look similar to what I wanted. I also consulted some embroidery books and online stitch dictionaries.

Beamer (2)
And what did I learn? That you really can achieve similar looks with several different types of stitches. It's just dependent on your stitching style and technique, really. Each "source" recommended a different method (outline stitch, stem stitch, split stitch), yet each had the end result that I was going for. Interesting.

After some experimentation, I decided that outline stitch was the best option for my stitching style. I didn't want the individual stitches to be too obvious, but rather to flow together as lines in a sketch, for a more seamless look.

Beamer (3)
I have to say, I think it was a success! (My husband agrees.) I think you'll see more outline stitch from me in the future. It's so "me."


Tweed Delights said...

How brilliant - congratulations!

I love the sketched effect :D Must have taken forever, but well worth it!

Glenda said...

That turned out REALLY nice!

I tried embroidering a car design once and ended up tossing it (before I got anywhere near completion) because I just was not happy with how the stitching looked. I can't remember which stitch I started with, but I pulled it out and went with a backstitch, and didn't like that either.

I didn't know about the outline stitch -- reading about it, I realize that there are times I stitch my stem stitch in a way that it's actually an outline stitch. Interesting!

How did you end up finishing the piece -- in a frame or hoop or stretched on canvas or some other option?

Emily said...

Great job on it! I find stitching only black thread to be a bit hard, so I think it's extra impressive.

Muddlepud said...

Thanks, all.

Glenda, I think you could technically say that I switched between outline and a sort of stem stitch at times, depending on which direction I started working on a particular line. (If I worked right to left, I had to change the direction the thread went to keep it consistent, and I guess that was probably actually an upside-down stem stitch, if that makes sense.) I think they're pretty much the same thing in the end. ;)

I didn't know about the outline stitch either, but it does definitely get a much tighter "braiding" of the threads.

I haven't finished the piece yet, because I'm letting my husband decide how he'd like it to look. I am pretty sure he's going to put it in a simple black frame to go along with some other things he already has hanging up in his office area.

Denise Felton said...

Brilliant! Wouldn't this make a great Father's Day gift! I just put a link to this post on my blog. I hope it brings you a few extra visitors.


g said...

this looks so cool & it was really interesting to hear your process! {and not just because I played a small part, lol}

can't wait to see what your next project is :)

Anonymous said...

i like the outline stitch too, it's cool that it's the opposite of the stem stitch, i use the outline stitch too when i want a bit of texture but still tight, you know?

RovingWeaver said...

Oooh! I love it! I don't have Photoshop (I need to get it), but I have already asked my brother to convert photos of my grandfather's race car from before I was born, plus a car that he custom built when my mom was in high school and a car that my dad and brother restored.

I tend to switch between stem stitch and a stitch that the embroidery book on my Kindle called "crewel stitch B." :-)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Wow, it looks amazing! You make the BEST gifts!

Lucy Bowler said...

This is amazing!

Leah said...

Wow, this is amazing, I think you did achieve the sketched look! Well done.

julie k said...

This is AWESOME! My husband is a BMW nut and would love something like this. Thanks for the inspiration.

Muddlepud said...

Thank you, everyone! This is one my favorite projects thus far. I'm glad it gives someone other than me good feelings too. ;)