The December meeting of the Embroiderer’s Guild, Oxford Branch is always a social event. Sometimes we have a members competition were we are asked to make something in advance. This year we were given instructions for a "Disco Donna" and asked to make a fairy version.
I thought that I might have a go at improvisational bead embroidery for my Donna. In her book, One Bead at a Time, Robin Atkins, advises that you start with a fabric that you love, so I had a rummage through my stash. The problem is, every time I found a fabric I loved, I had earmarked it for another project, or I considered it "too good" for a frivolous project. Eventually, I found a small square of silk, that Susan Elliot had given me as a 'bonus' for being her first customer on ETSY. There was just enough to make a Donna, I had no preconceived plans for it and I LOVED it. Next job was to pull all of the beads and sequins that I thought might work with the fabric.
I drew two rectangles (for the body) and two circles (for the head) onto the fabric and outlined each shape with beaded back stitch. Then, following the advice given in Robin’s book, I chose a bead that appealed to me and stitched in onto the body and just kept selecting beads and stitching them on until I thought I was done.
I drew Donna’s face onto fabric with coloured pens. I should have guessed that the ink would bleed but I thought that this happy accident gave her a more quirky look.
I added the hair after I had assembled and stuffed the head and body.
And finally, I added the arms and legs.
My Donna is more ‘Disco’ than ‘Fairy’, but then so am I!
You can see all the Disco Donna Fairies that came to our Christmas party here.