Spring 2024: Google ended its email subscription service in 2021. I believe I've found a replacement, but haven't had time to test it. I have been stitching a little bit here and there and have some posts ready for when the email subscription is active again. Fingers crossed, I'll have time to rouse this blog out of its dormancy sometime this year.

26 August 2020

And Now for Something Completely Different

If you wait long enough to finish a project DMC comes out with new colours! With the help of some of the new DMC threads, I have finally completed embroidering my design for the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design (SFSNAD or SNAD) 2017 challenge. The challenge commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and was due in August 2017. I'm a little late...but I finished!

These are the 16 new DMC colours that were released last year. There are eight brights and eight naturals. I normally stitch with naturals, but for this project I got to use some of the brights!

New DMC floss colours from 2019 

I burned out on this project in 2017 and haven't been able to face it for the last 3 years. It's been a big problem because my set of DMC floss is spread out all over my work space. I had to complete this thing in order to tidy up my environment and get my DMC threads back under control. Also, the piece is on a slate frame that I want to use for other projects. It needed to get finished!

To recap the project, there were different themes that could be selected. DMC provided three skeins of floss to go which each theme. I chose 'Flower Power' and was required to use these three floss colours in my design:

Choosing the 'Flower Power' theme for the 2017 challenge

I had major problems transferring the design onto the fabric which is the primary reason I wasn't able to finish on time. I finally got a good print off the inkjet and away I went.

Although the stitches used are basic--split, stem, satin, straight--it was not an easy project to stitch. I discovered that stitching shapes rather than outlines is a royal pain especially when they are grey and there isn't a lot of contrast with the ground fabric. I don't ever want to stitch shapes again! Outlines are my friends!

The edges of the shapes would sort of disappear as I stitched and there were times I couldn't tell if an edge was the shape or a shadow. Even with excellent lighting and magnification it was very difficult and often frustrating.

Challenging shapes to embroider

I managed to control my urge to shade lots of the objects. I only shaded the four large main flowers. Everything else is flat, solid colour. The quality of the embroidery isn't great. I was in an extreme hurry for most of the piece and it shows. I also had to cut corners to save time by not outlining before filling and using two strands of floss for the outer rows for the larger shapes.

One of the other difficulties was stitching along the edges of the voided central motif. The edges needed to be excessively neat, clean, and sharp. I got better the more I did, but it was still challenging and time consuming. (This is a challenge piece, but I'm not sure that was what was meant by 'challenge'!)

Design-wise the challenge was with colour placement. I had to go from monochrome on the left, through the gentle addition of colour and then onto full-blown crazy bright colour on the right. That part of the project was probably the most fun and interesting. I had a little bit of a plan, but I primarily selected the colours as I stitched. I spent a lot of time pondering about colour placement!

Large intense pink embroidered flower from surface embroidery project Floradelic '67

This was a completely different embroidery project from that which I'm used to working on. I enjoyed choosing and playing with colour. I'm not sure I can say I fully enjoyed stitching it, but I'm certainly pleased to have it done. It's so good to have it off my UFO list!

The design is meant to be fun and kind of crazy. This is Floradelic '67:

Completed surface embroidery project for 2017 SFSNAD Challenge

I was a very small child in the 1960s. I don't actually remember anything from 1967, but I do have some specific memories from 1968 when my grandmother took me on my first plane trip. We went to San Francisco. I vividly remember driving around Golden Gate Park and Haight-Ashbury. Vivid is definitely the right word as it was very colourful and chaotic which is my child's eye view of the 1960s.

I have a challenge for all of you: What do the four main flowers represent? (Hint: it has to do with some famous music released in 1967.)


  1. Well, that was quite an epic! Well done for finishing it!

    1. Yes, epic, indeed. So glad it's done!

  2. What a lovely colourful reminder of the 60's and flower power. I don't remember too much either, but I do remember when suddenly bright orange, green and purple were the in thing.

  3. Where have all the flowers gone Pete Seeger maybe ? :) Loving those cheerful colours ! :)

    1. Oh, that's an Interesting guess, but not the answer.

      Another hint: it's a band with four fabulous members.

  4. Replies
    1. That's it! The four big flowers are the same colours as the Sgt. Pepper uniforms.

  5. Replies
    1. That's it! The four big flowers are the same colours as the Sgt. Pepper uniforms.

  6. Replies
    1. Yep, that's right. The four big flowers are embroidered in the same colours as the Sgt. Pepper uniforms.

  7. I really like the design you have come up with, and very well done on finishing. It looks wonderful. I had similar intentions to participate in the 2017 SFSNAD challenge but could not make myself stitch with those colours, and the skeins remain unused in my thread box. I guess that is what a challenge is for.