It’s three weeks since I last showed you my ribbon and stumpwork flower lattice, I’ve actually worked pretty hard on it in that time and (for the first time, I think!) I can say I’ve even impressed myself with my progress. I think the push has been that I felt it was starting to getting grubby, the problem is that if it is tidied away all the time to keep it clean, I’m less likely to pick it up until the reminder comes round for the SAL post. If it’s left out I’m more likely to do 5 minutes here and there, but it gets grubby. So, this is where I was three weeks ago…
My next task was to do all the stems, this did seem to take FOREVER,they are mainly over-stitched with just the top ones wrapped. The arum lilies were much more interesting. The leaves are stitched over felt to give an extra padded look. The instructions called for white felt, but as I had some green in my stash I thought I may as well use that as it must be easier to cover. I’m really pleased with how these turned out, I used a variegated DMC thread and satin stitch, it does make a nice fleshy leaf.
The flowers took a bit more time. The petals are stitched on a spare bit of cotton fabric, I used a soft cotton that I find really nice to embroider on, with hindsight I might have been better with a firmer cotton. The book called for silk thread, a few months back I bought a few cards of silk thread on ebay, this gave me a chance to try it out. It does feel a lot different to sew with, lovely but different! It’s also a lot more glossy which I’m not convinced is petal like, but never mind! The petals are stitched with buttonhole and then long and short stitch.
Once they were stitched I then had to very carefully cut them out as near to the stitching as possible. The stamen is made from a cake decorating stamen. The longest ones I could find weren’t really long enough so I just wrapped a load of DMC thread around the stem to lengthen it. The petals were then wrapped around the stamen and secured. This was the point at which I realised that the back of my stitching would be on full display!! It’s not perfect but it’s not terrible!! The petals still look a bit ‘fluffy’, I thought I might wait til the very end when it’s about to get framed to trim any whiskers off.
The natal lilies to the left are french knots stitched with 4mm ribbon. The stems are meant to be over-stitched wire, but I thought it could end up pretty bulky for a little flower, so I just used straight stitches of perle thread. A few little filler stitches and another diamond was complete…
The next diamond was fuchsias. To be honest this diamond has been a bit of a brick wall since I started this project, probably mainly because it calls for 15mm organza ribbon, by which I think it means silk organza ribbon, I couldn’t find anything anywhere and I’m sure you couldn’t embroider with synthetic organza. I decided to just use silk ribbon. First I had to embroider the leaves and stems…
The instructions call for two threads of a Valdani variegated thread, I’m using DMC with a few extras thrown in. I tried a DMC thread on the first leaf but it look too stripey, so on the next one I tried a ‘special’ variegated one mixed with a plain green DMC, so when it went very light, it still had the back up of a mid green. I think it worked very well. The leaves were outlined in stem stitch first and then satin stitch was used over the stem stitch to raise it a bit. I went back to the first one and over-stitched a few plain green threads and it blended in fine.
The stems were mainly over-stitched wire, with some of them wrapped where they crossed over.
The middle leaf is stumpwork. This was stitched on a quilt weight cotton first, couching a cake decorating wire round the shape before stitching over the wire and leaf with long and short buttonhole stitch, this gives a lovely neat edge to the leaf. It was then filled in with long and short stitch. The vein wire was over-stitched down before the leaf was put on one side whilst I stitched the flowers.
The book called for 15mm ribbon, I just had 12mm in my stash, so that’s what I used. I needed a sort of muddy purple and a tangerine colour. I spent a pleasant half hour dabbling with my silk paints, dying two lengths of ribbon. The purple was pretty straight forward,but the tangerine was too orange to start with, I added more pink and eventually overdyed it with a watered down pink, it’s probably now pinkier than it’s meant to be but it looks fuchsia coloured to me!
The buds are stitched with a lazy-daisy stitch, the flowers are just in basic ribbon stitch, my main problem was trying not to catch the tails of one petal in the stitch of another. The base of the flowers and the buds is made with a grab stitch. I used a strand of DMC to shape the flowers a little more.
The stamens of the fuschias were meant to be made from cake decoration stamens dyed tangerine with the stems overstitched in green. I tried dying some with my silk paints without success so I decided to use stem stitch and chunky french knots. I’m happy with the results.
The final task of this diamond was to trim (very gingerly!) around my leaf and then wrap the wire with thread before attaching the end to the embroidery.
So I’ve actually managed to stitch two diamonds in three weeks! There’s just four to go so I’m nearly there..starting to plan my next SAL project!
There’s quite a few of us taking part in the stitch-a-long now, so please follow the links to see what everyone else is stitching, there are some amazing projects;
Everyone is in different time scales, so if there isn’t a post when you first look, check later in the day. If you fancy joining us for the SAL, just send a message to Avis.