Hand-smocking has been a part of my life for over 28 years! I began smocking when my first child, a daughter, was born, and I have never grown tired of it. For me, smocking is very relaxing and I enjoy having something to keep my hands busy while the TV is on. There is almost always a piece of smocking sitting on my end table or tucked just inside the drawer.
I also keep several spools of my favorite colors of DMC Pearl Cotton #8, close at hand. I love the look of pearl cotton for smocking - it gives such a pretty dimension to the smocking stitches. I also love it because I don't have to separate the floss - just one strand will do! It also never loses it's sheen as you work down an entire row. A word of caution tho, pearl cotton should only be used for geometric smocking and not for picture smocking. For picture smocking you really need the floss to lay flat, so that the stitches will fill the figure in properly.
I think what I love most about smocking is that it has so many different types of techniques within it's own art! You can create endless designs by color, fabric, types of floss, stitches and texture. Adding beading and ribbon can also create a whole different look to smocking. Often times the ideas can be endless in what you can do with smocking. I guess that's really why I love it so much - it never gets boring!
I am a member of the Smocking Arts Guild of America, and thru SAGA, I have learned many unique techniques, not just in smocking, but other needle arts too. I think it's very important to preserve and foster the art to share with future generations, so that it doesn't become a lost art. I'm glad that thru the internet I am able to share my knowledge of smocking and sewing to help others. I created a link on my sidebar so that you can easily reach all my YouTube tutorials - please join my channel, so that you will know when new tutorials are posted.
Next week I will try to work up a smocking tutorial for you - anything special you would like to learn? If so, please leave a comment!