Many years ago I tried my hand at crewel work. I enjoyed it, but it was difficult for me to learn because I am left-handed and illustrations and patterns then were all geared to the right-handed. My mother, though an accomplished seamstress and milliner, did not do much hand stitching. Over the years I tried to teach myself embroidery, but it was just 5 years ago when I became interested in crazy quilting that I recommitted to learning to embroider. Thankfully there are now resources for southpaws. Judith Baker Montano has a stitch guide with instructions for lefties and ___ has a whole book devoted to left-handed stitchers. The internet offers many video tutorials as well.
A few years ago I discovered Sharon Boggons' blog and gratefully joined her TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) group. Each week Sharon introduced a new stitch which I practiced and then added to a small crazy quilt that I intended to serve as my "sampler." It was a monochromatic piece using fancy fabrics with all embellishments done in gold. Thanks to Sharon's wonderful instruction, this piece turned out rather well and took a few ribbons at local quilt shows.
Another blog that I follow is Valerie Bothell's The Pink Bunny. Unfortuately, I fell behind on my blog reading and so was late to the party--Valerie's Facebook group, Joyful Embellishments. This is a faster paced endeavor as Valerie presents a new stitch every weekday. I missed all of January, which focused on 20 combinations using feather stitch. So, as I try to keep up with a new stitch a day this month, February being devoted to herringbone combinations, I am also playing catch up with the January stitches.
I've created "stitch pages" which will go into a book for future reference, then, I add each stitch to another crazy quilt "sampler." This time out I've used cottons in a complementary color way for my sampler.
I'm hoping to keep up with the group, which will be easier once I've caught up. So many projects, so little time.