Saturday, December 10, 2016

Stitch Along - Design Changes

Ok - now time for the more difficult path for everyone to follow, the designing it yourself path.  Let's start at the top, you don't like the Five Senses Design.  There are two reasons - one is that you have an idea yourself that you want to pursue (right hand side) and the other is that you mostly like it but there is something about the design you want to change.  

Let's treat the modification first (left side).  The first decision is what do you want to modify?  There are many who have already said that they like everything but the Adam and Eve on the top.  Ok, that is 'easy'.  First go through all the designs for double (or flat) caskets tops and see if anything is perfect for you.  The same process if you don't like the friezes, see if anything else 'does it' for you.  If so, you are done and go to the * (on the full diagram) which takes you down the path of getting your linen and putting the design on fabric.  

Perhaps you would like the seven virtues better.  I had already done these same sides (backgrounds) with the seven virtues substituted in them.  You can find it on the class page in the full casket designs.    Maybe you could use a Nelham style top for your casket and put something personalized in the cartouche.  Or it is the background you don't like and want to substitute in different flowers, look
through the library of motifs for something that substitues and fills in the space.

Perhaps you want something entirely different and have it already to go - that is great!  Get some fabric and get ready to start, we will be starting with the smallest friezes on the top of the double casket.  

But it is far more likely that if you are traveling on this side of the diagram, you are in the category of "I want my own design and am stuck".  You have too many ideas or no clue how to move beyond where you are at the moment.  This is where you need to use the power of the NING site.  If you haven't ever logged in, forgot your password, etc. Let me know and I will get you in.  There you can post a new discussion and put a picture in it, anything you are working on or the ideas you are struggling with.  There will be dozens of suggestions in minutes.  Many of the people reading and commenting on the NING site have been through the process already or might know of some resource that would help you.  Among the suggestions is a golden nugget that will help you move forward.  Or the encouragement to trust your decisions or validation that 'something' is off and needs to be swapped out.  I am sure you have showed your design to someone in your family and they just shrugged, not being helpful at all.  At this point you need someone who 'gets it' to look at the design in process (or verbalized ideas) and concur, suggest, or help you with alternative ideas.  

Ok, so you 'can't draw' and many of you might have something personal you want to add - lets say your house.  But you say that you can't draw and you are so frustrated with trying to get the right perspective.  Perhaps you have tried tracing a picture.  Wouldn't it be great if there was a program that could do that for you?  Well there is a piece of online software for taking photos and turning them into coloring pages.  
ReallyColor will do it.  I have done an example here of a picture of my house.  I uploaded the picture and then it gave me about six or so options of line drawings by processing the picture at different light levels (I think) and so more or less detail is given.  I think the result is pretty darn good.  At the least I can take this and trace it and simplify it enough to give me an embroidery design.  It has the right proportions which is sometimes the hardest thing to get when doing a drawing of a known piece of architecture.  You could do this with locations you want (castles, landmarks, cities, etc.)

My house front processed on to get my start
of an embroidery tracing for inside a Nelham oval
I have tried this with people, you could set up the photos (anyone into historical reenactment - that could be soooo cool!) like the poses you see on cabinets and then run them through the coloring page maker.

So see if you recognize the conversion below.  It might just be someone in a very famous jacket.

Faith in the jacket
Now if you just are truly at a place where you have ideas, panels that are just not right, or can't draw a hippo that looks stylistically like the rest of your stuff; it might be time for a professional.  And why not?  These real caskets weren't drawn by the girls, they were done by a draftsman.  And we have one.  Noah Caney is a friend of mine who is an architect/graphic designer/artist and has done all the motifs digitally in the course.  He has traced them all digitally, helped me put together the compositions, and has now designed several caskets for others based on their ideas.  So he 'gets it'.  I have uploaded his
rate sheet on the COC Part I page too.  I know he is doing a few projects at the moment and so it won't be instant, but it is an option.  The other day, he took one of the panels for the flat casket and modified it for the Five Senses casket.  The escutcheon was in the way for the lady's arm on the front and he changed her arm position.  Fantastic!  Look at the fronts of all three and you will see the difference.  Noah has the digital versions of all the motifs in the class and can rearrange things or scale them and fill in some of the background to give you a nice clean tracing design.

I hope that some of these suggestions or bounding the problem more is helping you move beyond the helplessness you are at and you can take the next step.  There is always some point on the curve where the roller coaster gets to the top of the hill and starts to race forward.  Maybe using a few of these suggestions will get you there!



  1. Thanks for the tip about ReallyColor! I will check it out! I can't draw at all. I love your seated lady with the slate frame, but I also want to include a seated lady doing bobbin lace. I have collected some photos from online as a guide, so this tool would be perfect! And I might get my son to take a photo of ME at my pillow and try that too! The stitchalong may just be the motivation I need to get going. Thanks so much!!!

  2. Can't find Noah's rate sheet! Should it be in Resources section?