Sunday, February 07, 2016

In Which I Stitched a Flower...

I'm going to skip with a usual opening its been a while, as it is fairly obvious with the last post being back in October. I'll simply say I took a step back and let myself get on with other things. To be truthful I am not entirely sure if I'll ever get back to regularly blogging and making again, but I'm not going to let myself get caught up in feeling any guilt. It's funny how not doing any of these things can leave you with that sense of...'what if' or 'if I don't do anything people will forget...' in a nutshell, this has only ever done to keep me happy, and if your not happy with what your doing why let the guilt bog you down? Not worth it.

Anyway, enough of the introspection...I've actually made myself do some stitching, and it's been rather nice to do. What the hell I am going to do with the thing I've done, I'm not entirely sure, suggestions on a postcard??

Where did I begin?

As with most things I make, I started with a doodle. This one was inspired by a rather snazzy calendar I picked up during a visit to the States last year from Paper Source (WHEN WILL YOU EVER COME TO THE UK??). I think it was a Rifle Press design, but bugger me if I can find the makers mark on it. Anyway, a doodle and a play about with colours. I began the process of turning it into a piece of embroidery...cue some soft swearing and a 'why am I doing this' moment(s).

Looks so organised...stays like that for about ten minutes before each project.

I started with a single thread of floss, and split stitched around the outside of the shape, or in this case petals. Note, I didn't separate each of the petals, this was for a reason...well I had an idea and just went ahead with it. Once the split stitching was complete, I marked the order of the petals with some thought (ish). 

Each petal was then padded out in the middle with long stitches using two /three threads of cotton stranded. Now I know what your thinking, cream padding when your going to do satin stitch in bright pink over it?? Yes, I am a nutter, has been said many a time. I did because I had loads of cream thread, I wanted a challenge and lastly, I knew I cover of it (so modest).

By the way, that shiny thing at the top of the picture is my stainless steel mellor, or laying tool, normally I use it for gold work but it works a treat for threads using it so that they lay flat. Also it's shiny...*_* I have a sterling silver one too.

With each petal I used a different number of padding layers, between 3 - 5 to give it a bit of a my realistic finish. By the fifth petal I had hit my my stride, which is typical.

So shiny...I do love a spot of silk thread.

Time for the middle section, I started it one way and then started it again. Yeah, I had thought to use chain stitch padding for the middle but when I tried it out it wasn't giving me the height and frankly it looked rubbish. So well over an hour later, with copious amounts of swearing, I unpicked the chain stitch.

Once calm again, I opted for a simple approach...couching the padding, using around 12 threads of cotton thread, in a long length I couched it round and round the middle, so it looked like a doughnut. Once I was happy with the height and the filling, I started to satin stitch over the top.

Then the question of what to do next? I had a small idea that the flower needed stamens, and after a brief reminder how to do it, I used a thicker weight yellow silk thread, and pistol stitched the stamens.

And now it's complete....

Now do I add more flowers, leave it be...make it up into something.

I have some pondering to do!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Meet Snow Bee..

I had a sudden realisation yesterday that I hadn't designed my now annual Christmas bee bauble! For Since 2012, I've been coming up with a seasonal bee design...and I almost forgot!!

A quick doodle and the Snow Bee was born....

Isn't it cute?? 

Can't decide if its the carrot nose or the little coal buttons (antique glass beads) I love more. I even found a use for my white Swarovski crystals, which I hadn't got round to using.

Snow Bee baubles are made to order and come with its own calico pouch to keep out the dust when in storage. The are priced at £15 + Postage.

Past Christmas Bee bauble designs include:

Merry Santa Bee - 2012

Royal Bee - 2013

I still have a few of last year's design available to purchase (originally £15 each, now £7.50 plus free postage within the UK).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Little Dragon

Taking a break from the quilt project I started over the summer, though its not far away (on the table behind me...) I have started on a small embroidery project. Now some time I go I did doodle a design of a medieval inspired piece of a dragon, looking at illuminated manuscripts, but I never finished it largely because I didn't like where it was going. Now move forward several months, I find myself doodling another dragon. This one I am pleased to say showed early signs of potential and thus it will get finished!

As with anything it started with a little spot of preparation, in the form of little satin spikes, and several layers of felt padding.  

Over top of which I then placed a layer of silk dupion, without any soft/ light-weight vilene I had to settle for bondaweb (wasn't about to stop and wait till I could get some...I wanted to get on with it!). With that stab stitch down, I then set about cutting out the head with the help of the bondaweb again, now this was the third attempt as I kept drawing the head in the wrong direction. Got the reverse wrong....

A spot of silver passing couched down...

With the body couching down I heat applied the head to the body, you can't really see in this shot but one of the dragon's ears was stitched, as was the chain stitched tongue, before I properly applied the head, which was then stabbed stitch down. 

I toyed with leaving the teeth as they were, just green silk but I opted to do a spot of padded satin stitch instead, and I am rather happy with the outcome.

Once all the teeth are complete, there will be further work to do...including working out how I am going to do his eye. Now, I have an idea involving a Swarosvki crystal, and some stitching...but you'll have to wait and see the outcome!