Well at this rate I might have a happy dance by Christmas 🙂 It’s three weeks since I showed you my silk ribbon and stumpwork flower panel, I’d just finished the panel with a dragonfly on.
I spent another few evening stitching the next panel, an orange tree in a wicker basket…
The first part to stitch was the wicker basket, this was done on a spare piece of cotton, the top edge is a wire oval couched down, it does give a nice firm edge to the basket. The main body of the basket is woven, so I stitched a few long straight stitches and then wove the thread from one side to the other. I used a variegated perle thread which does give a nice effect.
Once stitched I then had to make a small running stitch around the basket and then cut it out close to the gathering stitch and right next to the wired part. It’s meant to be padded with toy stuffing but of course I couldn’t find any in my sewing room so I used a couple of circles of batting scraps instead. I gathered the edges in and then stitched it to the panel with the batting just giving it a gently rounded look.
The trunk and branches were made next. It’s made from several pieces of cake decorating wire twisted together and then fanned out for the branches. The scariest bit was making a hole in the ‘soil’ with my embroidery scissors, big enough to squeeze the trunk through! Once it was overcast to secure it long lengths of thread were then wrapped around to cover it, starting each time at the base and working up to the end of a branch. I used a variegated stranded cotton and a plain DMC one, I find this gives a more gentle variation. The branches are bound to the ends and then overcast at the edges, so it’s only actually attached to the panel at the base of the trunk and the branch tips. It’s fiddly but it does give a nice effect.
Next to make were the oranges. These are made from little beads bound with 2mm or 4 mm ribbon. I had to find some beads which were small enough but had a big enough hole to get several lengths of ribbon through. I managed to find a packet which included orange and red beads, so even if a bit showed it didn’t matter too much. I had a couple of lengths of orange thread and I also dyed a length with silk paints. They were made to finish with two tails of ribbon, these were then threaded through the panel to be secured with later stitching.
The tiny dots (at the opposite end from a stalk, not sure what they’re called!) are made with a knot of thread. The book says to use embroidery silk but I found I got a better knot with perle thread. The knot is trimmed close and then the thread goes through the orange (that was a squeeze!!) into the panel to the back.
I dyed some more ribbon for the leaves, these are mainly lazy-daisy stitch with a few french knots for texture. I must admit having done this project I don’t think I would buy coloured silk ribbon again, I’ll just buy undyed and colour it as I need it, invariably the ones I have I end up overdying anyway as they are not the right shade. With iron set silk paints it’s a two minute job!
The little forget-me-nots are made with a simple ribbon stitch and a french knot in the centre. The flagstone edges are a single strand of embroidery silk couched down. The only think left to do is an optional ceramic bird. I’ve been looking on the internet for one small enough, pretty and (the difficult bit!) facing the right way! I feel it needs to be flying into the tree, not out of the picture. I have sent for one, it was only about £2 so if it doesn’t look right it’s not the end of the world!
There’s quite a few of us taking part in the stitch-a-long now, it’s organised by Avis from Stitching by the Sea, so if you fancy joining us then just drop her a line. We all stitch our own choice of projects so there’s lots of gorgeous stitching to see, why not follow the links and see what everyone else has been stitching. Warm welcome to our newest member Jackie who stitching some beautiful samplers;