Friday, August 15, 2008

"For Amber Waves of Grain..."

I have to say that I love all my Impressionist Collection designs, because they are each so colorful and unique. Every one is a favorite. But... AMBER WAVES really is one of my all-time favorite designs.

The inspiration for this piece comes from the line in the song, AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: "Oh, beautiful, for spacious skies; for amber waves of grain..." and I worked very hard to choose patterns that echoed those waving fields of grain. (Although, I have had some stitchers tell me they thought the title referred to golden ocean waves - which could also work!) I deliberately used wavy border lines in the design (instead of hard 90-degree angles) to soften the design and suggest organic movement of waving wheatfields. (Although, I confess that counting out and stitching those tent-stitched meandering lines were tedious - but well worth the effect when they were done!)

Anyway, one of the reasons I like this pattern is because I found so many of the patterns really fun to stitch. I loved the simple zig zag rows that suggest fields of grain. And the box pattern is another fun one to stitch (hmmm, I guess they could represent little cereal boxes!) The square patterns also remind me of flying over the country and looking down on all the fascinating patterns of farmland you can see from the sky.

And then the ungulating wavy rows are so simple and easy to's especially fun to watch the sequence of variegated colors appear in the rows. (The variegated threads I used were Watercolours and Wildflowers 036 "Tobacco" a satisfyingly surprising colorway of gold, raspberry and sage.) Between the fat rows, there are smaller rows stitched in metallics that add a subtle shimmer of copper and gold.

And I LOVED creating this really great wheat pattern in the lower half of the design. The gold bugle beads were added last, to create extra dimension and the added illusion of a waving wheatfield.

Notice that the same wheat pattern is stitched in two different thread weights - a fine thread in the center area, and a thicker thread in the border area. It's one of my most favorite stitching techniques, because it's actually very simple to execute, and yet it creates so much dimension, richness, and complexity to the overall look and feel of the piece.


Stitchy Mc Floss said...

This is absolutely beautiful. I love the bugle bead idea to represent the wheat, how very clever!
This piece gives me the feeling of standing above a field and watching the waves of wheat, the sun shining down, a shadow falls across the field as a bird flies over head, it's like being transported into a story. Truly a beautiful work of art.

Annemiek said...

It looks great Laura, I really love your color choices. It'll be interesting to see if somebody will come up with a different combination.