Over the last week I’ve managed to complete another diamond on my ribbon embroidery and stumpwork flower lattice, this is where I was three weeks ago at the last stitch-a-long…
The next diamond was foxgloves, rain daises, wild dagga and rock roses, together with a very dainty dragonfly.
The first to be stitched was the foxglove. I didn’t have quite the right shade of green for the leaves so I overdyed a pale green ribbon, it came out a bit uneven but I really like that effect, a bit more realistic! The foxgloves were just stitched with a simple ribbon stitch so they were fairly quick to do.
I’ve never heard of Wild Dagga so I had to google it to see what it looked like, it’s a bit of a funny looking plant and the links for legal highs was a bit disconcerting! The instructions said to use one long straight stitch of 4mm wide ribbon for the stem, the picture shows it lying flat, when I’d finished it I felt it looked too wide and dominant, so I put a little stitch in top and bottom just to narrow it a bit, I think it looks much better. The flowers are made with silk ribbon using green french knots for the centre and orange pistil stitch for the flowers, pistil stitch is basically a french knot on a stalk! The smaller wild dagga was meant to have stems of ribbon too, but I felt they would be too bulky so I used a soft perle thread which looks fine. The flowers are in a silk thread. I’m beginning to think the silk thread I bought off ebay is completely different to the silk thread the designer uses. Mine is very very fine, the instructions called for straight stitches in one strand of silk thread, well you wouldn’t be able to see them if I used a single strand, for these I actually used the whole thread, so all six strands.
Rain daisies are osteospermums (I learn all sorts with sewing!) Again the instructions called for bullion knots using a single strand of silk, well the weedy one on the left is using a single strand, the rest have three strands and about 6 wraps. The lazy daisy stitched after in pale blue around each bullion just finish them off, it’s very effective.
The little rock roses are stitched with little ribbon straight stitches with french knots on top.
The last thing for me to embroider was the dragonfly. The wings were stitched on organza by couching over shaped wire laid on the organza. I bound my embroidery hoop with seam binding to help it hold the organza firmly. The instructions called for disolvable fabric under the organza. This would then be melted away afterwards. I must admit I skipped this bit as I was concerned it would leave the stitches a bit loose. I also changed how I stitched the wings a bit too. The instructions had you making each wing separately, the wires are then poked through to the back of the fabric. Two sets is four wings, each with a wire from each end, so that would be eight wires to get through the fabric. I felt this was rather a lot of wire so I made mine in a figure of eight and crossed my fingers that it would work!
There’s a butterfly to stitch in a few weeks too, so I decided to embroider all the wings at the same time. Having couched round each wing and added a few embroidered veins, I very gingerly cut round each wing, cut the wires to about an inch long, made a hole with the biggest needle and could find and poked the wires through…to my relief they sat nicely on the fabric.
The tail is embroidered with stranded cotton, just couched over three long stitches. I managed to secure the wires at the same time underneath.I decided to use a gorgeous thick thread from my embroidery box for the body, it’s too think to actually stitch with so I folded it in half, secured it at the top of the tail with a single stitch of thread through the loop, made some cross-stitches across the thorax and then (keeping my fingers croosed again that it would work!) I simply tied it in a reef knot to create the head. I trimmed it close and then secured it with a couple more stitches. The antenna are stitched with a single silk thread.
I’m now three-quarters of my way through this project, having stitched nine out of the twelve diamonds. Next up is the orange tree, I’ve got my beads ready to bind in ribbon!
There’s quite a few of us taking part in the stitch-a-long now, everyone is stitching their own project, so please follow the links to see their progress, there’s some gorgeous embroideries to see.
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.