Soft Rock

Soft Rock original

4.875 x 7 inches, hand stitching and free motion machine embroidery on hand-painted silk. A view from the seawall near English Bay in Vancouver.

I took a few photos of the work in progress. Below, here’s the sky all painted, with some dark green underpainting of the distant trees. Underpainting is to prevent any unpainted white silk from showing between stitches, and also to give me a rough idea of where to stitch in the first place. I’ve already begun embroidering some of the trees here…not enough patience to wait till the water was painted! And I’ve started to underpaint some gray-brown for the rocks. Before I start sewing on any area, I make sure to seal the paint using an iron.

In progress - underpainting and stitched trees

On the picture below, the water is more painted. I left bare patches where the white surf was going to be. I’ve also started some free motion machine embroidery of the rocks. However, some time after this picture was taken, my sewing machine broke. I mean, froze up completely. I wasn’t able to fix it myself and I’m reluctant to get it repaired by a professional or buy a new one since I mostly do hand embroidery these days anyway, so I decided to complete the picture by hand.


It took ages and I’m not eager to repeat the experience, but I’m glad it’s done now. I had to take care when stitching around the rock pools, not to let those dark threads run behind the water where they would show through. Some of the rocks are sewn by couching one thread into place with another, and some just have random overlapping stitches. The nearer the rocks, the thicker the threads I used and the more often I threaded a needle with two colors at once.

I embroidered the surf with white thread, and left this till last so I could make it appear to splash up onto the rocks a bit.

Hopefully it’s not quite as long until my next post!


Leave a Reply