In Progress

The new piece is finally getting to the stage where I know it's working. I had carefully set up the layout so the critters would be making eye contact with each other in various configurations, but I didn't know how well that would show up in stitch. Turns out, it is happening just as I had planned. (Gleeful chuckle.)
I stitch the critters first, then fill in the foliage around each one. In this way I can look forward to both the fun, more intricate parts (critters), and the less challenging, easy parts (foliage). Hmmn, did you notice that I think the hard parts are more fun? When I am starting a critter, I stitch the line of its back first, just like I would do in life drawing - the posture animates the pose.
Then I move to the face, which usually requires smaller threads and careful attention to detail. This feral cat has quite a wonky expression, and very unusually for Louis Nicolas, no teeth!
Whilst stitching, we were visited by a tiny creature of another order in the animal kingdom - a wee spider (see her in the lower right quadrant of the shot. Arachne herself shows up - a blessing to be sure!
I continue to fill in detail on the face and expand into the body. I can't complete the whiskers until the layer underneath is finished, so threads dangle for a while. It takes between 3 and 5 hours to complete a 8 inch figure. The fur usually goes fairly quickly. When the whole piece is done I will go back over each figure, making small corrections and adding emphasis to major lines if needed.

I'd like to make a shout out to Denise from Quebec, who left a comment recently on the red-Winged Blackbird post. Louis Nicolas's work was all in French (and Algonquin) of course, and I have been a bit worried that I have not served his legacy properly, writing only in English. Le maudit Anglais and all, you know. Thanks Denise for your kind words!

And also In Progress, is Vicky Bowes' recovery. Thank you to all who have asked for an update. Vicky has been home since just before Christmas, and has been making great, well not strides exactly, but baby steps. She is able to walk a short distance without her cane, and has been working on a new set of commissioned  illustrations. She has a pair of compression gloves that she calls her "Queen Mother" gloves that help keep the swelling down. And she has a whole new appreciation of stitching - over 140 stitches were removed from the wounds on her legs.


  1. Oh my Heather. I love how this developing. It looks wonderful, truly wonderful and I so wish I could see it in real life! I think the finished work will be awe inspiring.

    I'm glad to head Vicky is healing, I hope she continues to make a steady recovery.

  2. This LN stitchery is the best yet - and I loved them all! Amazing.

    My best wishes for recovery to the indomitable Vicky! And to think I've been whinging about my measly 3 stitches. Pfth!

  3. Anonymous11:08 AM

    astounding, the detail is amazing. looks like the most complex piece yet, can't wait to see the finished work. glad to hear Vicky is progressing.

  4. amazing piece of work, I am in awe, and I think it's incredibly beautiful. So good to hear Vicky's on the mend, slowly but surely.

  5. Beautiful ! Love it ! :)


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