Now for the interesting bit….below is the picture with a spool of sulky metallic thread next to the finished wall…Shows you how small it really is ! This will be my last post on this for awhile as I want to take a break and finish another project and start a new one….
The bee sparkles….like dew when you look at it from a distance…we have quite a few where I live and have seen them in the clover wet with dew and heavy with nectar..lovely sight. A very fine YLI gold metallic thread was used for the wings. The stitch is a buttonhole stitch that is elongated to meet the body of the bee. The body, thorax and head of the bee is made with “two” strands of “Au Papillon fil d’Or deluxe” thread (what a mouthful). Beautiful thread… the stitches used for this part are back stitch to outline the body and then using a trellis stitch for the filling….the thorax is a couple of satin stitches with a colonial knot finish for the head. The antennae and legs are your basic small backstitch using a Au Ver a Soie Antique Metallic ….dark antique gold.
I was very pleased with the hand of these threads. They were extremely nice to work with compared to some other metallics I have used for machine sewing. Not sure if this would hold up in a sewing machine setting maybe someday will try it…
Gee…this is small…the first thing is to “pad” the outside basket shape with two different sizes of teeny tiny cut felt the smaller of which is below the larger one. Below shows the padding attached with stab stitches to hold them in place the same was done with the smaller one.
The basket itself called for “three” different stitches…the first one is “Woven Filling Stitch”which went over the padding and inside the upper basket. The instructions for this stitch are not in the book so I took to the internet and there is a nice video on one. Just type in the stitch you want and up it came…basically it is just vertical lines stitched first then the typical over under stitched horizontally…A tad hard in this small space..plus your going over a bump!
The second stitch is called “Portuguese Knotted Stem Stitch”. The instructions for this are in the back of the book with really nice photos..(whew!) This stitch is used for the upper basket outline around the top.The stitch is a basic stem stitch with an added two wraps of wool before you take the next stitch.
The third stitch is (ta da!) the “Whipped Chain Stitch”. This stitch is a simple chain stitch and then taking the wool back and weaving it through the chains to give it a fuller/thicker look…Used here for the bottom of the basket and for the handles.
The last thing to do is fill the basket with the oranges which are really nice Mill Hill seed beads…I did like the fact green floss was used to stitch these down …thought it added to the defintion of the orange. Sooooo the basket is now done!
Finished the orange tree on the back wall of the workbox. It sparkles! When the end of the directions were read it calls for a metallic thread to be stitched in each one of the leaves to give them some sparkle or maybe to make the leaves look a little dewey…As usual there might be some tweaks here and there. Next is a basket…but I am planning on putting this aside for a few days to work on my other project which has been lanquishing in solitude for to long. I think the choice of the perle for the oranges looks fine when you see the whole picture. I forgot to think about the color of the fabric I chose could make a difference in the way the colors would show up on the piece. I like my green silk a lot…so hopefully will not have to adjust to many other colors. But the original color for the oranges still seemed pretty drab to me…anyway. That’s a mighty big rabbit for this tree..gives it a fantasy effect and makes me smile..what a hoot!
Changing the type and color of a stitch from what the designer has written in their instructions makes one sometimes feel like you are taking their hard work and putting it aside..Myself for one truly understands all the work that goes into the design from the concept, sketching, decisions on what stitches to use then each individual color/thread that is used for all the different areas of a design. Boggles my mind! So when changing a designers idea to what works for me I still get a twinge of “but it should have done it their way” guilt.
After having stitched for so many years whether handwork or machine embroidery….then with all the wonderful and fantastic teachers who have “encouraged” to take a chance and change a color or type of stitch because it makes us as students to step outside the box… Sooooo….below is a photo of the change of color chosen for the oranges. Much happier with the color..the thread used is a DMC perle cotton #5 varigated… and then using a light padding underneath then covering with a satin stitch. I like the effect the tiny cross stitch gives the bottom of the orange.
The leaves use a fly stitch ….same as on the front…one thing that gets very tiring at times is “leaves”so many of them! Enough said! We will see the full effect of the new colors when the tree is finished!
Ahhh…finally some cooler weather especially in the morning….The tree trunk and branches are finished. The stitching went pretty quick . That was nice. As you can see in the photo I stitched the next item which is an orange. I already took it out once and still am thinking about redoing it another way . The color is a little different than the original in the previous post (the picture from the book). I am thinking about changing the method of stitching which is an elongated “crosstitch”. I need to bring my smocking skills to the forefront so I can lay the three strands of silk floss next to one another …or even better find a perle thread that would look nice instead…hopefully I will take a few minutes and look for something today..I think the oranges need more color…the color supplied with the kit is a little on the drab side for and orange…not fall color enough for me…I like that we as stitchers can change things up!
Better later than never…It has just been to muggy and hot to do much of anything…The title at least makes me feel Autumn is coming…Yes…I finally picked up the part of the back of the workbox and started to embroider the trunk of the tree with a stranded wool called” Gloriana Lorikeet”..I am pretty sure I have mentioned before that using all these different types of embroidery threads is a wonderful treat…now whether I like them or not…at least I have tried them..This crewel wool is “fine” and for the trunk of the tree you use two strands for the bigger part and then use one strand for the smaller branches. The wool is varigated and adds some very nice contrast to the trunk…The picture below shows just the main trunk and where I started again with the crewel wool (boy that just sounds hot!) . I separated the two strands so the difference can be seen.
The stitches used here are the “stem stitch and the outline stitch” alternating the two in rows…Are they precisely done?..Not sure…to much fuzzy going on…Trying to remember how to do these “supposedly” simple stitches has always been a challenge…For me I finally decided this was the best way “outline” means “O”ver and then stem is under. Now Over for me means above but I like the fact I can use the “O” in outline to remind me how it works! Pretty slick for my memory!
This is the backside picture from the instructions in the book “Home Sweet Home” Embroidered Workbox by Carolyn Pearce …”Autumn Orange”…Remember this is a small box …One day I will show just how small it is.
Just a quick update…I have been taking a brief break from stitching…I did work for a little while on the “Trevelyon Cap” and hopefully will show some progress on that shortly… My mind keeps saying ” I need to finish…I need to finish..let the fingers go stitching! My body says “cool, stay cool, I want to stick my head in the refrigerator”. As you can tell August is definitely not a favorite month of the year!
The rest of the ground stitching included detached chain stitch, colonial knots, stem stitch and some granito stitches. Finally after doing “more” of the colonial knots they have become okay to do…mainly need to remember to keep the floss above the needle at the beginning as it helps remind one how to make the figure 8 twist around the needle…The granito stitch is just a simple stacked stitch..it also can be used for a technique called candlewicking..each stitch is a series of straight stitches put up on top of one another by using the same hole. Depending on the thread you are using will determine how many times you do this and also how you want the granito to look… Below the blue flowers use the granito stitch and you can see that even though using the same hole each time for 3 times the floss makes a nice full looking petal…
Now that the first panel of this workbox is finished I will get the next one set up… plan on doing that today at some point. Below is the finished front piece. Definitely have to glue down those “charms” with EE6000 glue. I also am considering clipping off the eyelet on the potted plant..looks weird. Need to get some “housework” done…my neverending job is calling …..drat….!
Started out doing the “Raised Cross-stitch” ..interesting stitch…it is basically a cross-stitch that you weave around each spoke to get a “flower”. The instructions called for two strands of silk called SOIE CRISTALE by Caron that is a 12 ply silk floss instead of the usual 6 ply you find in the DMC cotton and others. I had never used this silk floss before and I will say I liked it very much…surprisingly the floss was snag free on these old hands! The center knot is my favorite “colonial knot”.. NOT! They frustrate me…I always have to look them up to remind me how to do them…one has to wrap them in a figure eight around the needle and inevitably makes me cross-eyed trying to get it right…Practice make perfect though and I do believe with this project I will be doing a lot of “Colonial Knots”….soooo…maybe just maybe I will finally have them glued in my brain! There should be room for this stitch as I know there is lots of sticky stuff up there! The odd thing about the colonial knots in these flowers is that you really are unable to see them because they are “black”! What a waste…I could have just done a french knot and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference…! My plan today (after three weeks of family visiting) is to “chill” in this hot weather and finish up this panel! If you look you can also see the grasses have been stitched below …just have some cute small flowers and buds to finish…along with some stems!
Following directions for the front door wasn’t working for me. It was supposed to be a variant on the “Cretan Stitch”. Looking at the instructions…even with pictures was just to much at this point in time. Soooo….I just did a plain old Cretan Stitch..and then I used some extra wool to “kind of stuff” behind the stitching to give it a slighly raised effect…It came out pretty neat… I know the door knob is a little big, however, at least you can see it!! I do like the way the door looks like a heavy old fashioned wood door. I am excited about getting the ground finished…I will share later on my “huge” problem because I read the directions wrong..but that affects the putting together of the actual workbox….
In the first photo I am showing the process I used to mark my door for the Cretan Stitch. Air erasable marker to the rescue…You can see how it has disappeared in the photos…Even a crooked line gets straightened out in the end…the last photo is the door “done and dusted”! Just as an interesting aside you were supposed to use some waste canvas and do the Cretan Stitching on it…then pull threads and leave it on the fabric…however I decided to just directly stitch on the fabric…less confusion on my part…