In-Depth: Post 3

“Now the Earth with many flowers puts on her spring embroidery.”

– Sappho


Happy spring and welcome back to my In-Depth posts. This week you’ll be reading about my mentor and I, a recently finished project, some frustrations, and more.

Mentor Meetings

What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

During our meetings, I’ve begun to be more comfortable around Michelle, and I show her my ideas, and explain my plans. She gives me feedback and suggestions on skills to learn which I can use in the future. She also supports my ideas and tells me about previous projects she’s seen. When Michelle is explaining ideas she has, I listen and take mental notes so I can apply them to my work later.

What logical challenges affected your communication? What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

From what I have learned from her, Michelle is often busy, as she travels quite a bit. Sometimes this impedes our meetings, or when I text her an update it takes her a while to respond. Due to her schedule, our meetings are often on the shorter side, which means I don’t learn as much from her during those sessions. Although we both share our ideas, I often lean towards mine, making it harder for Michelle to teach me the skills that are important for future projects.

What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

I have been hesitant to continue asking about Michelle’s schedule, so our meeting time isn’t very long. I will start asking her about it more, so I can learn more skills with her. I also believe I should share my embroidery ideas with Michelle more. This way, she can see what I’m interested in, and we can make plans for my projects together. This also makes it easier for Michelle to teach me skills that will be helpful for the designs I like. A third strategy might be for us to trust each other more. I think it might build a stronger relationship if Michelle and I knew more about each other. I can learn about her teaching strategies, and she can learn about how I like to learn.

What is the action plan for implementing each of the three strategies?

During my next meeting I can bring up these strategies with Michelle and ask her what she thinks. I can start sharing my embroidery board on Pinterest with Michelle so she can check it out. While planning our meeting dates I can ask which days would work best for her that week so we can get as much time as possible. As for getting to know each other, if she feels comfortable, we could go to a café and embroider t  here or something like that, since I’ve only been meeting her online.

Progress Report

Since my last post, I started and finished my second pattern group which is words. For that project, I had to make very neat and small stitches since the letter wouldn’t come out round or good-looking if I didn’t. I started practicing with words that had spaces between the letters, and Michelle recommended I try some cursive words. I did end up liking those more, as it’s more flowy and I don’t have to end the stitch when I finish a letter. Stitch-wise, I found backstitch to be the easiest, as it makes round lines clean, which makes my letter look neater. I tried it with split stitches too, but I found when it came to corners, the stitch would move to the side, making it look strange. For the final project, I went with a simple quote, and added some flowers from the previous patterns I had learned.

My practice words.
My words project.

For my next project, I will be working on a different medium, which is tulle. When I first asked Michelle about it, she said to use a mesh with smaller holes, so it would be more like working on my regular fabric. I found a fabric which was sufficient, and Michelle approved it too. Since I won’t be learning new stitches for this project, I will be making two simple projects instead of having a practice hoop and a final project. I will check in with my mentor about this on Friday though. For ideas, I’d seen a layered embroidery piece that looked like a koi pond, and I wanted to recreate that with simple stitches like the satin stitch, French knots, and more. As for the second one, I am not so sure yet, I want to try the simple project first to see how it is.


The tulle I will be embroidering on for my next project.
An inspiration picture of my tulle project.


For the word project, I realized that I had to make my stitches very short to make the letters look like letters, which turns it more time-consuming, and by the time I am finished half a day would’ve gone by already. I also learned that placing a stitch slightly away from where it should be can turn the word into a strange collection of lines. This especially applies to cursive words, since all the letters are connected. When I get very frustrated with my stitches, I end up leaving the piece for a bit and coming back later.

Updated Timeline

Plan: An outline of methods, activities, strategies, people, and resources you can use to meet your challenge Timetable: The specific dates or times when you will accomplish the steps in your plan
Find a vision or goal. Before December 17th (done)
Find and contact a mentor. Before December 20th (done)
Make sure mentor has completed necessary forms. January 12th (done)
Do some research on embroidery. December 31st – January 10th (done)
Start finding stitches I want to learn. January 3rd – January 10th (done)
Find four types of patterns that I want to work on and two types of fabrics. Before January 31st (done)
Buy (most) needed supplies. Before January 31st (done)
Start learning and practicing stitches. January 16th – January 31st (done)
Start practicing a certain genre and complete a design for first mini project. Before January 31st (done)
Finish first mini project. February 6th (done)
Learn to care for finished product. February 6th (done)
Start working on second genre. February 7th (done)
Finish and care for second project. February 28th done)
Finish and care for third project. March 21st (in progress)
Finish and care for fourth project. April 11th
Finish final project. May 22nd
Complete a journal of what I have learnt and this journey. May 28th (in progress)