For a while I have given some thought to doing an online course with Tanja Berlin, as I really love her work, and the way she gives her critique and feedback looks like it would be extremely useful. Not quite like having a teacher sitting there beside you, but almost!

So, for my first participation in IHSW hosted by Random Ramblings, I thought this was the perfect project to get stuck into! What is IHSW I hear you say. I heard about it last week when reading Renee from Monkey and Mutt’s blog (thankyou Renee!). Once a month, Random Ramblings ‘host’ a weekend where stitchers around the world ‘hermit’ away and stitch, knowing that they are joined by others around the world. How brilliant is that?! The ultimate stitching group! Now, I wasn’t a particularly good hermit this weekend, and didn’t spend as much time hermit stitching as I would have liked, but that’s fine, I got some stitching in!

IHSW Hermie

When I signed up to this online course, I opted for the option without the design already transferred. This was because I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice the prick and pounce transfer method. But after seeing the design, I thought I would just trace it through with the light box! I haven’t had a great deal of success with the prick and pounce method and detailed designs, and chickened out. It would be a good design to practice on, since I know it can be done successfully.

transferring with light box.jpg

I haven’t seen needle painting designs drawn up like this before, and this method makes it a very formulated approach to the technique. On the design, you may have noticed on my traced picture, there are dashed lines horizontally across the fox. This breaks the fox into ‘rows’ that you stitch, so not only do you get the layering correct (furthest away stitched first), you also have a good guide for where to place your long and short stitches. I’m not sure if her more advanced designs also use this technique, but I like it, it just takes a bit of getting used to.

transferred design.jpg

After looking at the forum on the website you get access to when you sign up, and having a sticky beak at how others approached the first lesson, it seems the way to make the best use of Tanja’s expertise is to do the lesson in parts, and submit photos of each of these parts for feedback before moving on to the next section. Makes sense when that is what would happen if you were in a class!

The darkest grey was stitched in first, followed by the medium grey, with the light grey last.

Now to wait for the feedback before moving on or re-doing this first section.

row 1 finished

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend of stitching, hopefully with more hermit time than me! Have you ever used this technique for needle painting?

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