I cropped around the right-hand corner, and my aim was to focus the centre of the embroidery on the bit with the squarish shapes in it, surrounded by what looked like three walls, because I felt those shapes lent themselves to stitches like Rhodes and Norwich. However, even though I marked my image into sections and stitched matching sections onto the canvas (10HPI because it’s better than 14HPI for thicker threads), the central point was somehow too high up, and I started off stitching too small, so I worked a bigger area of the picture than I intended. Next time I might try marking the canvas in some way to help keep me on the straight and narrow and stick to the plan – perhaps a few painted lines on the canvas would help.
The central shapes, which I wanted to stand out from everything else should have been bigger and in a thicker thread. Consequently, there didn’t seem to be as much texture and definition between high and low as I wanted, so I used a lot of tent stitch for the ‘background’ areas. I did try one or two other stitches to start with, but everything seemed to be on the same level, so I unpicked them. However, I did work the tent stitch in different threads in different areas, to give a much patchy, bumpy sort of effect, but it is not as apparent on a photograph or scan as it is in reality. And I ought to have remembered about leaving white space instead of trying to cover everything with stitching – I can’t think why I forgot this, because I was reporter, and then a sub-editor, for more years than I care to mention, and I know about the importance of white space as far as page layout/design is concerned!
But I loved stitching this. I had such fun doing it, and I learned a great deal in the process, especially about how essential careful planning is, and felt a real sense of achievement when I finished. It may not be perfect, and looking at the completed piece I feel there are lots of things I would do differently if I started again, but on the whole I rather like it, and it’s not too dissimilar to what I had in mind at the outset.