Free-Form Stitching or "stitching without a net"
When I first started stitching, I never followed a pattern. I just wanted to learn the stitches. So I just practiced doing free-form stitching. I didn't trace lines, I just stitched until I thought I was done.
Since then, I've gotten away from free-form, really just in order to create my own patterns. It's hard to replicate the meandering of a free-form for a pattern in my opinion. But sometimes I feel like when I'm "trying" to create a pattern, it comes off contrived... or it doesn't "look like me". Which is why I started this piece a couple weeks ago. Free-form stitching brings out my creativity. I just wanted to do my own thing, and not be concerned about creating a pattern for it. So I just started stitching with the goal of filling up an 8" square. You can see it's filled with all kinds of different stitches.
Another nice thing about free-form, is you don't really have to be good at drawing to come up with pretty designs. Stitching, unlike using a pen, obviously goes slow. You can see where the line is curving before you get to it and discern where it needs to go.
I've gotten to the point in this piece, where I've started taking out my embroidery books to see what stitches I'm over looking, or which I haven't learned yet. I'll continue to incorporate more and more for different affects and to see what I can learn. It will give the piece a really rich texture, I'm hoping.
The bottom line? I'm hoping that you won't be afraid to "stitch without a net" and go for some free-form of your own.
Be sure to let me know how it goes and upload your photos to the We Love French Knots flicker group.