My brain feels a bit like scrambled eggs at that moment… which may well explain today’s piece of machine embroidery! My completely obsessive love of over-challenging myself seems to have found new heights in my work and it’s very much this mix of being hugely excited by a lot of what is going on and going well, but also very much wanting a nap. Maybe now I’m at the point of embroidering people pigeons for their birthday cards I should perhaps consider the latter!
The original artwork for this one is not mine and nor is the adorable pigeon character – though I did make a modification by adding the birthday candle to the caramel pudding to try and make it clear it was for birthday wishes and not just a sign that I had completely lost the plot. All credit to oniphile for the original design. Why a pigeon with a pudding? Well, in the original source material for this particular pigeon character, he is a followed of ‘Puddhism’ – a religion devoted to honouring the one True Pudding – source of all miracles and life. All completely normal I swear.
There were a few challenging aspects for digtising this piece. The original artwork works really well as a nice bold clean design and even with the most optimistic of satin stitch coverage I was going to struggle to achieve that level of ‘smooth’ density. In a sense, more shaded, realistic images are almost easier with embroidery than very cartoony pieces, unless you can achieve the colours you want with the underlying fabric.
Another challenging area was the beak and the feet. The feet in the original art definitely convey the ‘I have helplessly passed out after too many puddings’ and are very cute. They are exactly the kind of dense, complex shape though that easily leads to overly high stitch densities and broken needles.
You can see the subtle change of stitch angle throughout which I think works really well to give the bird more shape without adding any shading. Shading with colour needs to be quite subtle and I am not sure I’ll ever have enough thread tones for that but the slight ‘gappiness’ of machine satin stitch works well. I have to say I think the feet have come out really well, they’re super cute.
I didn’t have a decent pink thread – seems to be the one thread colour I have largely ignored – so I ended up using some Gutterman variegated stuff. It works well enough, though I would have preferred to have managed to get both sections in that solid pink. It was the perfect colour!
Rather than going for a thick outline, I just went for a triple run of straight stitching. It blends into the black badge felt really well and there’s only one tiny area where I’ve not quite outlined the satin perfectly. All that practice is paying off!
I could have ‘fanned’ the direction of the satin stitching more in the tail but there’s nothing too jarring. I also only had to run the design once which is immensely satisfying when it’s one of your own! I’m overall pretty pleased with it – maybe running some more underlay would have been worth it to get less of the underneath fabric showing or experimenting with the stitch density versus multiple layers of underlay. I feel the density is quite high as it is but maybe for extra smooth coverage it’ll be worth it.