All the “bits” are attached to the base fabric of “Victorian Elegance” designed by Alison Cole. There will be some finessing going on as I still need to add some ribbon embroidery. Playing with the shapes to get the piece to look nice will be fun…I am not sure why but I guess manipulating the pieces to a nice arrangement is fun to me. I am already seeing some areas I need to snip some fuzzies off of..!! The ribbon embroidery should be added in the next few days hopefully… The background fabric color in the photo really does not do the piece justice…it looks more blue/purple and the photo seems to punch it towards a brown. You can kind of tell that the empty spaces will be filled with ribbon embroidery and there are also some paillettes ( like gold sequins only metal) to be attached to add more bling. Excited about being almost finished. Have started looking for a frame to mount it in! Flowers are so beautiful!
All the “pieces” are stitched and cut out! Putting the whole thing together is next! I have attached the “rose petals” to the foundation. Interestingly, I found because of the “long and short” stitching that the individual petal stitches would twist and look loose. However, when one played with the wire edging you could bring the stitching back in line and have it look very nice. It is a bit hard to describe. I thought for a second that I might of had a mess on my hands. All in all they came out very nice.
Next the gilt rough pearl #6 was used for the centers. Put a lot more in then I thought I would need to cover the centers. I admit it was fun to cut the small pieces and then stitch them down to make loops with waxed thread.
Enjoying putting the bits together.. Up next are the rose leaves.
The back of a stumpwork piece can be fairly important! When stitching these petals for the “Victorian Elegance” piece by Allison Cole …I decided that I would “try” to pay more attention to my process of stitching with the hope that I would get a more finished back that resembled the front. For me a bit daunting as at times I was surprised myself in the past with some great looking backs! So this said, with the stumpwork pieces these really need to be neat as they might be seen from the front! They can get twisted and out of sorts just like me! Soooo…..I am “trying” and that is the operative word!
Here is the front of two of these petals…and below is the back. So I still have a long way to go to get nice backs. There are 15 of these things. So I am thinking maybe, just maybe, I will have a few really nice ones that will be used in the most relevant places when finally assembled. I am working on a plan of stitching to have consistence and if I find one I hope after doing 15 of these things the process will be “cemented” in my brain! Since I have done some stumpwork but still definitely in need of more experience I am enjoying the challenge!
I love accidents when your stitching and a light bulb goes off then it’s…. “Now why did I not see that before and boy it is a nice way to do this!” Accidentally tracing some of the elements for Alison Coles “Victorian Elegance” …upside down… the wires were reaching out to the center of the hoop which caused no end of frustration. Yes, I tried the twisting around the pencil and covering them and that was just fine…But…then purely by accident “of course” they would get caught on my “needle minder”. Just so much magnetism! This usually happened as I was starting the wire wrap around the shape then to be couched down. Just as I was about to do my twist with the pencil I realized I could just send the wire up to the “needle minder” and “voila” it stayed there with all the magnetic glory and out of the way “in the middle of the hoop”! I am thrilled to find another way to keep the wires out of the way! Sure I will use any method depending on the element to keep those pesky wires out of the way. Happy to have found another “idea” to help and another way to use the “needle minder” ! If I ever do another “Stumpwork” piece I hope I will remember this trick and maybe..just maybe… I will trace all my elements upside down!!!! Love it!!!
You can see the twisted wire here in this photo and the element traced with the wire towards the outside of the hoop.
This photo has the wires all just attached “magnetically” to the Needle Minder! Worked great! I do try to keep all of my stitching covered as I work so therefore all the “ Glad Press n Seal”.
When one is working on a stumpwork project wires go haywire. You are using them for shaping a leaf or other wonderful objects to add to your embroidery. The ends are long! Remember these wires will be pulled to the back later on..Whilst stitching a number of objects for stumpwork these wires catch the thread, then fray and basically drive one nuts because it stops the lovely thread from sliding through the fabric with ease. (Made me think of the scene in “Sleeping Beauty” where the Prince is hacking through the thorns!) Now here are my two solutions to the problem. (By the way knots happen too!) I am sure there are many other solutions out there but so far this works!
First take a pencil or other round object and wrap the wire around it like so….
Next press it flat gently near the object one is working on.
Then you can either place a piece of “Glad Press and Seal” over the the wire or you can use “Painters Tape”..just to hold it in place and keep any thread you use from catching whilst one is working. Ahhh…blessed relief! Mainly I use the “Press n Seal” when I have a whole bunch done and want to protect the stitching and then the painters tape when I am working on one so now “that dag nabit” wire is no longer in the way. Now I can move onto the next object! As for leaving any kind of residue since you trim these out your good to go. I have used “Painters Tape” for many years and have yet to have it cause any problems for me. I still am careful where I use it so my go to is still the “Glad Press n Seal”. These products are just tacky enough and have found there to be no pulling on any of the stitching that I do. What is nice though it will just grab the “hairs” that might get on ones project and also some of the bits of loose threads left behind.
I’ve been accused of thinking to much…well sometimes I am glad I do!
Sad news which can always make one reflect… a very wonderful friend passed on suddenly and stitching time has stood still for a couple of weeks. Tam commented on this blog quite often and we had many laughs together as I knew her personally through my sewing journeys which encompasses about 20 years. Her humor just made me lose it (it went both ways!) Will miss her wonderful spirit!
To share a bit also to move on…next week I have the opportunity to sit and stitch with “Alison Cole” from Australia. I will share as the class goes on if I can. It is a two day class and we will be learning about how she approaches “stumpwork. I thoroughly enjoy seeing others approach to a technique. I have done some but am always up for learning and seeing how others do their stitching as we all glean from their insights and then apply to our stitching what works for us!
Lots of “padded satin stitching”. The challenge is to keep the satin stitching all going in the same direction. The first part was the padded center of the flower which was nice to do. What the photo shows below is that even though there are “5” different “split stitch” lines of color around the center I needed to add more. We all stitch different so when I got to the outside part I had to add a extra line or so to fill in the area. Maybe my tension is to tight or I am just a “small stitch stitcher”!
Next is the finished portion ..again I am pleased how this one turned out. I still think I need better glasses!
And now for a picture of all that I have finished so far! The month of July has been a bit hectic for me and it has been sooooo…relaxing when I have had some moments to sit and stitch.
It is years ago now that I purchased a “bunch” of Jenny McWhinney‘s Mini Kits…I am in the process of finishing up all of them. only two left… after ” The Little Goat, Wash Day. Here is what I have stitched so far…great kit for a quick project and some listening to music or watching an “old movie”! I started these over 5 years ago…sooooo…that is a long time now…Most if not all are still available on her website. You can click on her name above and it will take you right to her “new store” and “website”.
Love the fuzzy front leg! Now for the ones I have finished…the pictures are below…of course it is hard to believe I did them all and enjoyed stitching everyone of them…I was only disappointed at one point after I received my first kit..I found out that Jenny had come to our area “after the fact” and I missed it!!! I heard she was very interesting!!! This was a number of years ago now and hopefully we will have her back again sometime. Her kits are a bit unusual…I had to do a bit of deciphering…depended on the photo “a lot”. There are “scans” of the individual areas to be worked on. Also the tracing is definitely not the same as her picture of the embroidery on the front of the package. One thing though is Jenny says “that you do not have to match sitich for stitch when doing shading as long as you use the color guide and color areas approximately the same.” The affect achieved is similar.
Little Duckling, Swimming Lessons
Little Hedgehog, Wrong Way
Little Piglet, Farmers Garden
Little Fish, Under the Lily Pad
Little Red Hen, Hatching Time
Little Tree Frog, Tropical Flowers
Little Squirrel, Collecting Berries
Little Kitten, Hattie’s Cat
Just as a quick note…”Fire Pinks”grow wild in my backyard during the summer months and I have always been drawn to them because of their growing in the heat of the season. They are not a clumpy flower just usually one stem and a few buds and flowers. I think the cultivated ones have more together in a clump. It is always been nice to take a walk in our woods and spot one of these in bloom!
Today is the day to work on finding the ribbon I want to use for this project. The plan is to stay with some red/pink color variations…with deep green for stems and yellows for the centers. Not a real happy camper so far.. Tested some of my ideas and they were a “bust” in my opinion…(no pictures) Need to feel pleased about the choices. Understanding now that it will take me some time to truly decide how to proceed with this project. I need to sleep on it some more.
So on the next day I tested some “varigated” 4mm silk ribbon …the answer is a maybe “yes”. I like the look but will definitely have to tweak it as the ribbon is applied. Sooo here is what I did for a petal as a test with some pink varigated ribbon…am hoping to find some “hot redish pink” colored 4mm ribbon because I want to do this in a deeper redish also…below is a partial picture of Nicola Jarvis’s petal…then a photo of my idea with the 4mm ribbon. I am already thinking I might decide to hand dye some of my white 4mm ribbon to the colors I want…(psst..I get to play…!) I know all things will take time but I am enjoying the process. I am looking forward to doing some ribbon embroidery and I think this flower will lend itself nicely to this medium. Since I was testing for style and the piece of ribbon used was a remnant I didn’t press the creases out so just ignore that..
It has been a few years now, but when I was in Williamsburg, Virginia at a class with “Nicola Jarvis” I got up the nerve to ask her if she would draw a picture of “Fire Pinks” a native flower that grows on the property where I live. Explaining why I adore this flower is hard. It is a simple flower very bright red/pink. They also have been cultivated as they can be a pale pink to other shades of pink also. I would like to do this flower in red/pink as well as in the pale pink which is the way Nicola drew it for me…my thanks will never be enough for the drawing! I just want to do it justice in the creation!
First off…I can (in my head) see what it looks like in all detail but it will not translate to my hands. Over the years I have tried but just do not have the capability to draw what I see and that means just about anything! Below is just a hint of the wonderful drawing Nicola did for me. She asked about it a month ago or so …so I decided I needed to get my brain moving to stitch this flower…it is really pretty to me and I am excited to try my hand at taking a drawing and then to interpret it in thread or other fiber media (maybe silk ribbon). So here is a beginning…just a hint…