Edward Gorey Stitch Along

Way back in December, I mentioned that I was going to be participating in an Illustration Stitch Along (SAL). We’re currently working on Edward Gorey pieces (with plans to do other illustrators, like Tim Burton, in the future). One participant has already finished their piece (and it’s gorgeous), but the rest of us are still working on our pieces or still trying to decide what illustration to use (we have three months, so there’s still time).

I was a bit slow to get started because I was trying to find a bigger copy of the illustration I picked. Alas, there just aren’t enough Gorey fans in Edmonton for the library to have all of his books and the book I first found a small version of the illustration (Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Groey, ed. Karen Wilkin) didn’t bother to note where each image had come from. ¬†The illustration I picked is of two children at the beach with the words “I can hardly wait for the fall season, can you?” on one side (I believe this refers to the fall season of ballet). Thanks to Google Books, I believe that it’s from Gorey’s book “Amphigorey Too”, but I haven’t confirmed this.

I was drawn to the illustration because it’s on a beach (big surprise!). And, it didn’t look like it would be too hard, which is nice because I haven’t done many bigger pieces of embroidery. I found some lovely sandy coloured cross-hatch patterned fabric and knew right away that I wanted to use a dark brown thread, but I wanted to add a bit of colour to make it my own. I eventually decided on a palette of brown, green, blue and purple. The green will be for the seaweed, the blue for the water, and the purple for the sea star. Everything else will be brown. Of course, I didn’t have the right colours in proper embroidery floss, so I just decided to use some Gutterman (regular sewing) thread I have. I like how thin and precise the stitches are, but I have to admit that it’s a bit of a pain in the butt to use. It keeps getting tangled, and sometimes I don’t notice when it happens on the back, so I end of having to weave the errant loops into the stitched lines. It’s time consuming and annoying, so I won’t be using non-embroidery thread again, if I can help it.

Here are some pictures of it’s progress so far:

The illustration:
Stitching!

The colours:
Starting many Edward Gorey SAL. Decided to do it mostly in dark brown with a few bits of colour.

My wobbly lines: Oy! My lines are really wobbly :P

I’m using Fabric-Solvy printable stabilizer for the pattern (so I don’t have to worry about permanent lines, rubbing off chalk lines, etc.). It washes away quite easily when you’re done:
Working on my Edward Gorey SAL

Here is my messy back:
The back of my Gorey piece is a bit of mess, thsnks to a bunch of knots and such. Working with sewing thread is a pain, but I didn't have the right colours of proper embroidery floss.

I’ve made a little more progress on the piece (the boy, as well as the outline and shading of the surfboard) and I’m ready to start working on some of the coloured bits. I still haven’t decided whether or not I will use colour for the stripes on the surfboard, so I will leave that until the end.

6 thoughts on “Edward Gorey Stitch Along”

  1. Hiya, trust you to pick a beach scene! And yes you’re absolutely right, it is in reference to the Ballet season and the illustration is in Ampigorey Too. Part of a story called The Lavender Leotard. I have the book so was able to check. Wish I’d known perhaps I could have enlarged it for you.
    Wobbly lines are all part of the Gorey charm. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! b.x

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    1. Thanks for checking for me :) As a librarian, I hate not being sure about sources.

      I did try to pick a non-beach illustration. Honest :D I just love this one so much. We used to joke with seaweed hair when I was a kid, so this made me laugh when I first saw it.

      I was a bit disappointed with the wobbly lines, at first, but, I think you’re right – they work with his illustrations. And, as it progresses, I love how it looks more and more.

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  2. Embroidering with one thread, or in your case with sewing thread, can be a bit of a challenge. Black especially can look more ‘wobbly’ than you would like. But hey it’s looking great so far and I’m sure it will look fantastic when finished. :)

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    1. Yes, I really should have been a little less lazy and gone to buy the threads :) But, the thin lines work for the piece, so I’m ok with the occasional annoyances.

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  3. This is so dang cool! I went searching for Gorey counted cross stitch and found your wonderful work. Thank you for sharing!

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