The first decision is what to design. I've always liked wildflowers, especially those from the the Rocky Mountains. When I was growing up we'd trek from Ohio to Colorado and Wyoming. For entertainment I was given a flower identification book. I would research in the car and then look for some of the exotic flowers when we arrived at our campsite. So, flowers would be my subject. And band samplers, which consist of bands of patterns, where popular so that was my format.
That's the easy part. So, I set out with graph paper to come up with the flowers for the bands. The Columbine that I stitched years ago was bigger than life. Each flower was maybe 20 x 20 or 30 x 30 squares. That's alot of detail to make up one flower.
I was making smaller flowers, some remembered from those early trips - harebell, fireweed and indian paintbrush. Other flowers where chosen for the colors or were flowers I discovered later on. With less detail each flower had to be simplified. But, if they are too simple the flower isn't recognizable. With a lot of work I finally had some bands.
But no matter how I arranged them they didn't look right. I added words. I added mountains. Things where looking better. I stitched my first attempt. It still didn't look right. Back to the drawing board.
I changed the scale of the flowers. Some where bigger and closer up. Others where off in the distance. More shuffling of graph paper rows and I finally had just the right balance of scale, color, flowers and words.
It was a lot of work but I was proud of my efforts. It was displayed at the Prosepector's exhibit in Colorado Springs in 1999. It was also exhibited at Margaret Parshall Gallery at the EGA Headquarters in Loiusville, KY from August 1 - October 31, 2000 as part of an exhibit of work from the Rocky Mountain Region.
Here's on of the first sketches that wasn't quite right:
And here's the final sketch: