Coral Reef Embroidery Project

Every now and again an idea for a picture comes to my mind's eye and I see it filled in with threads and stitches rather than paints and brushstrokes.

  

And that's just what happened with this fun scuba diver sketch!

I recently brought this sketch to life with my needle and threads, and, it turned out
so bright and summery, I thought I'd share a bit of the process with you all. :)


 Because there were so many different shapes and details in the coral reef, I tried to limit the color palette to keep the piece from looking too busy. 

These are the numbers for some of the colors that I used:

Diver and Fish Colors:
Light Gray (used on the diver) - DMC 648
Light Orange (used on the goldfish and some of the coral) - DMC 976
Gold Satin (used on the goldfish fins) - DMC S3820

Coral Reef Colors:

Red -  DMC 321
Yellow - DMC 743
Light Green (also used on the jellyfish body)- DMC 772
Aqua Blue (also used on the jellyfish legs) - DMC 993
Silver Gray (used on the french knot bubbles) - DMC 762

The colors I used that were unmarked were: the medium green seaweed, the pale blue coral, and most of the orange coral. All of the variations in color on the orange coral were achieved using one skein of variegated orange floss.

 

I worked this piece on navy blue denim, hoping to create a sharp contrast between the bright reef and the dark "ocean waters". This was my first attempt at embroidering on denim and it was definitely a bit trickier than I expected! Sometimes it was a struggle to get the needle's eye pulled through the fabric.

The first part of the sketch that I began on was the scuba diver.
I outlined the diver in stem stitch . . .

 
Then I free-handed the coral reef. (I looked at a couple of photos from Pinterest to give me some ideas for different stitch combinations.)
 
Once the reef was filled in it was time to fill it full of bubbles.
All of those itty-bitty french knots took almost as long to make as the reef itself!


The last step in the process was filling in this little jellyfish. With his plump body and swishy legs, he ended up becoming one of my favorite parts in this entire piece! :)



It's so fun to see how the completed picture ended up different from the original sketch, and yet how much it stayed the same.

I'm still not sure how I'll end up finishing off this panel. . . all I know is that its bright and cheery colors make me happy when I see them!
😊🐠🌊



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