The Happy Crab

One of the most enjoyable stitching projects I have completed in recent months was my plate of paella! I liked the finished picture so much that I wanted to make a companion piece, but didn’t really want to make another plate of food. Keeping to the seafood theme though, and similar colours and techniques, I decided to stitch a crab. The idea had started with a visit to the Seasalt Friends website, which has some good articles and ideas from Cornish artisans and some free art tutorials. There was one by an artist called Jennie Maizels which showed how to paint a watercolour lobster – a good confidence building tutorial, but very prescriptive. I decided to use the watercolour technique on my own design rather than follow the lobster pattern.

When complete I decided to make a funky foam print block in a similar size as the idea of making a piece to match the paella plate was coming together. Here it is printed with koh-i-nor inks just as a practise, before I started printing with acrylic paints onto fabric.

After I printed the crab onto fabric, in similar colours to the prawns in my paella, I bondawebbed the back so it was really firm and easy to cut out and then I reapplied it into the middle of my calico circle. I added a few scraps of colour around the background and then machined the details in with dark grey thread, as I had done on the paella piece.

Finally I seeded all the remaining area (three evenings!) in a standard DMC thread to unite the background with the other piece of work. I hope to have them both framed and hang them in the kitchen.

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