I am proud to say that Step #5 is finished and in the mail for judging! Here is the finished piece, washed and blocked but not yet laced. The shadow is from the fabric hanging with a tiny bit of undulation to it. Once I get it laced, that will go away and I'll get a better photo:
I must say it came out better than I expected. It's not my favorite style of embroidery, but it is pretty, and has grown on my a bit. I'm proud of the design, as intensive as it was to come up with! I think I like doing designs from scratch, but I'm not totally sure. It brings a whole new dynamic to the art of embroidery. It's one thing to plan stitches and colors to complete a design in front of you. It's an entirely different thing indeed to have to come up with the design first!
Now, of course, I am worrying about all the things that the judges might not like. My biggest concern is my color scheme, which is not one that fits neatly into a defined scheme of "complimentary", "split complimentary", "analogous" etc. but I chose to approach it more as a woman of the time might, using threads she may have had on hand from home dyeing. I doubt Elizabethan women had color wheels! My use of the Renaissance Dye wools which are historically accurate colors will hopefully support that decision.
Waiting is so nerve wracking. I'm so close to the end of the journey, and if I pass this step, I can begin designing (yes -- an original design is required again!) the final step. If I can do that now, I think I can have something finished by next April's judging deadline (they only judge twice a year -- April 1 and October 1.) If I have to re-work this one first, it may take me longer.
At the moment, though, I am trying not to worry, and keeping busy doing an easy project from the last EGA Chapter Meeting, and will hopefully finish Mom's last piece soon.
Wish me luck and successful judging!