Mixed Media Embroidery Happiness

Something other than paper today… The first of my mixed media embroideries presented to you in full colour and many details. My new found happy maker.

iHanna's Embroidery (III)

When I finished it the name just came to me, in English Fly photo over a Inner Landscape (in Swedish Flygfoto över inre landskap III). I love this name! It goes so well with what I see in this embroidery; myself. The winding roads that my mind takes, with its creative ideas and bits of hesitation, passion, joy and mindfulness…

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery

This embroidery is rich and complex, just like our minds. In mostly green and covered with thousands of little hand sewn stitches it portraits a inside in development, and maybe you too can identify with it and see the map it portraits? I hope so.

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery

This is one of the embroideries that I exhibited
together with my Embroidery Group in May here in town, and it was the only one I sold there. I know that the lady that bought it (whose favorite colour is green) saw many things in it, including herself and the way she feels. That is amazing to me and maybe what art is all about. Free interpretation and associations… To sell it and to such a positive and appreciative person made me very happy, so it was not difficult to let it go. The experience transformed my feelings for the artwork and made it even more meaningful! It had meaning to me already, but of course all the hours I’ve spent sewing this I was never sure where I was going or what I was doing. Sewing right now is an experimentation to me, an exploration of what is possible. That others appreciate what I create is such a positive thing that I can hardly explain it in words, though happiness is one good word for it…

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery

I call it my “mixed media embroidery” and that feels like an appropriate name for what I’m doing, since it is a mix of all kinds of materials in there! It is like a free form embroidery but on a mixed media surface. I’ve been working on a series of three mixed media embroidery all through winter. Sewing little stitches on the train or dark nights in front of the TV (watching good movies).

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery

Mixing Materials

This embroidery is made on a white cotton fabric that is now almost invisible. It was covered with different colors of acrylic paint before I started to stitch. Painting on fabric is fun but acrylic paint hardens the fabric and makes it difficult to sew through, so it is not really recommended. But once I had started with my three pieces I just wanted to continue to stitch, and so I did. I covered the whole surface with my small stitches and could not stop.

The materials used in this mixed media embroidery are:

    * one strand thread (different kinds) for the stitching
    * acrylic paint
    * various ribbons
    * plastic fruit net
    * hand painted paper towels
    * organza and lace fabric
    * crocheted lace
    * 3d fabric paint with glitter
    * small pieces of fabric scraps

Fly photo of an Inner Landscape

Even more close up photos of this embroidery piece I made:

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery
All edges painted with a gold coloured acrylic paint that shimmers a bit in the light.

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery
The plastic fruit net is almost invisible against all the colours…

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery
All the surface embellishments (tulle, sheers, ribbon etc) are hand sewn onto the fabric too, I didn’t use the sewing machine once (that was a experimental rule I invented).

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery
I like sewing rows of straight stitches. I like mixing it up too.

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery
The leaf ribbon wanted to be included because it felt at home in all this forest greenery.

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery
New texture created by wrinkly organza sewn down with all its folds intact.

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery
Yellow and purple together… yes? I think it works!

Detail of Mixed Media Embroidery

The other two Mixed Media Embroidery pieces in this series will be blogged too of course, just give me time to upload the photos etc.

Thank you for taking the time to read all this, I appreciate it, please take the time to comment if you feel so inclined! Or tell your Twitter friends by tweeting about this post, that would be awesome too.

32 Responses

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous. So much wonderful detail and colour, I just want to keep on looking at it. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful piece of work. You are amazing!

  2. Sheila, I like to look at it too, that’s why I took so many photos of the details I guess. Now I have the photos to look at and they make me happy. Thanks for commenting! :-)

    Melissa, I feel like I’ve just started exploring embroidery too, hehe, and yes, it is a wonderful world to wander into…

  3. This is fantastic! I love all the little mixed details. This is not just beautiful eye candy, but very tactile as well. I love running my fingers over embroidery and feeling the different stitches. I recently purchased the book Stitch Alchemy by Kelli Perkins. It has some cool ideas about using paints on fabrics…check it out!

  4. How much do I love this??? It’s fabulous and I so enjoyed reading how you describe the feeling of just stitching…free stitching and how it makes you (and me) happy! You’re speaking my language!

  5. Hanna,

    This is so beautiful! I wish I could touch all the textures you added on there. And the fruit netting… oh my! I love it. I can only imagine the number of hours that went into this. You have a lot of patience. Bravo!

  6. It’s gorgeous and so intricate, just like the mind of Hanna! BTW there is a fabric medium you can get at most craft stores to mix into the acrylic paint to make it lighter and easier to stitch through.

  7. As I have told you once before when it comes to art and crafts, you have an explosive mind. Absolutely stunning.

  8. Thanks girls!
    MissKoolAid, I am NOT counting the hours, I don’t want to know how many hours it took, hehe, but indeed, they were many. :-)

    Lin, wow, I didn’t know that about acrylic paint, cool! Though I’m going to start experimenting with sun dying for fabric this summer so expect more fabric experiements from me! As always… ;-)

  9. Love this!! I sent it to a friend who loves hand stitching too. I will have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!!

  10. Oh wow! The embroidery looks like it has taken a long time… I’m always in awe of stitching work…it’s so detailed and small! So delicate and beautiful…

  11. No one but another embroiderer understands what time means when you’re making a piece like this gorgeous thing! Some embroiderers and hand quilters are using the term “slow cloth” and I think that’s very appropriate. Hand stitching has always been slow work where good craftmanship is an essential part but I like the random stitching so much more than the traditional techniques. Do you know of Jane Dunnewold’s book “Complex Cloth”? She dyes fabric using Procion MX in very little water to produce cloth that looks much like yours. The hand of the fabric doesn’t change, doesn’t get stiff, though if you use fluid acrylics thinned further with water you’ll still get the intense colors without much change in the texture of the cloth.
    I spent the first 3/4 of my life as an embroiderer, hand and machine making abstract art. I loved it but now my fingers don’t like holding a tiny needle so I’ve given that up. I’ll just enjoy your work and be very satisfied.
    This work is so beautiful it brings me to tears. Good for you. Keep it up, Hanna.
    What size is this piece?

  12. the way you have created texture here is wonderful, and the colours and use of simple stitches to achieve this, another wonderful Hanna creation. Beautiful

  13. Hi Hanna, thanks for coming by and visiting my blog and leaving a note so i could come discover your wonderful blog. Lovely embroidery piece with great texture and color!

  14. this is so, so beautiful! i can absolutely see how much love, thought, and time you put into this. just lovely!

  15. Wow, Hanna, super-duper amazing work! Love at first sight. I love the photographs of your art in all of its loveliness, it makes me happy too! [Thanks for pointing me in the right direction to find my missing magic wand.]

  16. this piece is so beautiful and intricate. you have inspired me to get out my embroidery and try something as magical.

  17. Dear Sweet Hanna! Your work is just so beautiful! Your embroidery is just luscious! I can see love and happiness in each and every gorgeous stitch!! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful creations with the world! You are truly an inspiration!

    When I was in college, I was best friends with an au pair girl named Maud that came to live in the US from Sweden. I still have a huge soft spot and love for Swedish people, Sweden as a country, Swedish music—I can still sing “Happy Birthday” in Swedish, ha ha ha—everything Swedish I love! And I still crave LaKrits (I believe that was the name)–a Swedish candy that we could only find in one specialty store here in the US–so delicious!! small chocolate circles covered in black licorice! Oh I haven’t thought about all the fun that Maud and I had in so long! (this was all in the 80’s)

    I’m so glad to have found your blog, your beautiful work, your sweet spirit and personality! Thank you again for sharing so much of yourself with us!!!


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