Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hi, I'm back again.

I have not left the planet.

I am quite definitely still here.

I have been somewhat busy though. So much seems to crowd into my life to take my attention away from the things I would rather be doing. Never mind, "C'est la Vie", as they say.

The last stitch that I used in my picture is the simplest of them all. It is called Straight Stitch; and is just what that - a straight stitch. Just start at one point and move to another to make a straight line. These stitches can be arranged any way you like.

They are a good way to make a simple flower if arranged in a circle; one that looks like a simple representation of a flower such as a Shasta Daisy.

I placed one such flower between my two other larger flowers, and used a Colonial Knot in yellow to make the centre of the flower. I then used Straight Stitches to make simple leaves around the flower.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Hello again. Happy Halloween to all.

The next step in my flower arrangement was to add some leaves. I did this using Satin Stitch. Firstly, I drew some leaves in various places to add balance to the composition. Unfortunately the pencil marks are so faint that you can't really see them. Then I chose a dark green thread and worked the leaves using Satin Stitch, angling the needle to work around the curve of the leaf. On one leaf it was necessary to change direction altogether to work a turn in the leaf.

Once the leaves were completed I finished off the composition with a scattering of lazy daisy flowers and knots. More on that later.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Stems and Flowers

Welcome to a brand new week. Today I continue the story of how to embroider my flower picture. Once I had finished the lily with its long and short stitch and bullion anthers, a picture was beginning to develop. So I decided to continue by adding some stems (using stem stitch) above the two flowers already completed.

What I did next demonstrates another use of Lazy Daisy stitch. I worked lazy daisy stitches alternating from side to side along the stems, rather than working in the normal circle. However, you could just as easily go up one side of the stem and down the other if you prefer. In this way I made leaves and flowers along the stems.

It is only the colours that I chose that determine whether what you see are flowers or leaves. Are the pale blue-grey stitches leaves or flowers? I had originally intended that they should be blue salvia, but I did not have the right shade of blue, so now they look more the the grey-green leaves that we see on some gum trees in Australia. I made the centre stem a sage green colour and added mauve flowers angling the lazy daisy stitches downwards to suggest heather.

Other flowers that could be suggested by the use of these stitches are bluebells, red salvia, or even snowdrops. I am sure you can think of many more. It all depends on what colour thread you choose to use.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bullion Anthers

Hello again. Just where does the time go? I have been away for a few days, so that does not help.

The next step in the growth of my design was to add some stamens and anthers to my lily. To make the stamens, I just stitched three lines of stem stitch, using yellow thread, straight across the back petal of the flower, extending beyond it by a few millimetres. Then with a tan brown thread I made bullion stitches to form the pollen bearing anthers of the flower.

The instructions on how to embroider the bullions are shown in pictorial form above. I have included instructions for both the right and left hands.

I am not on friendly terms with the pollen bearing anthers on lilies. Not only does the pollen stain anything it touches, but it makes me sneeze. So, they represent guaranteed hayfever to me. However, the cloth variety are quite safe and add a nice finish to the flower.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Long and Short Stitch

Today I will show you the second step I took in my floral picture. I wanted to demonstrate the use of long and short stitches. These stitches are a variation of Satin Stitch and are used to good effect in creating shades of colour to give depth and volume to flowers. So I drew a lilly next to my generic apricot coloured flower and began to fill it in with long and short stitches, in several different colours.

Both Satin Stitch and Long and Short Stitches can be wasteful of thread as you pass the needle all the way under the area being filled to come up on the far side. There is another way that does not use as much thread; that is to bring the needle up again as close to where you have taken the needle down without going back through the same hole, take it back over and across the area to be filled and repeat the procedure on the far side.

That is how I filled in the back petal of the lilly. I have shown you the wrong side of the work in the centre picture on the bottom row, so that you can see the difference. On the right side it just looks the same as the other petals, as you can see in the final picture.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hi again. Did you try to do the pattern using only Colonial Knots? It is quite a pretty pattern and with the right choice of colours looks quite effective. Even working with self coloured thread as they do in Candlewicking is very nice to look at. How about doing white knots on a blue background? Or white on pink or red, or whatever colour takes your fancy. Combine pastel colours and see what effects you can create with those. The possibilities are endless.

Anyway, today, I am going to begin to take you through the process that I went through in making that completed work of mine. When I began it, I simply drew a flower shape using a fine pencil (actually a Pacer propelling pencil) directly unto the fabric. That is one way to create a pattern or design on fabric.

Another way to transfer a pattern or design unto fabric is to trace it onto paper, go over the lines with a felt tip pen, place the fabric over it and trace it onto the fabric with a pencil. You may need a lightbox for that; or do what I sometimes do and hold it against a window so that the light shines through. Your arms get a bit tired doing that. You could hold it in place with masking tape while you draw it.

In creating that design, I did not even think about the placement of the first flower. All I wanted to do was demonstrate how to do Satin Stitch. Once I had done that I then decided to add another flower next to it to demonstrate Long and Short Stitch. That is the stitch I will show you next.

So you already have the beginning of the process in my lesson on how to embroider Satin Stitch; and today I am giving you the rest of the pattern to follow along. So, Step 1 is to go back to the lesson on Satin Stitch and start with the large flower on the right hand side as I have demonstrated in that lesson.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Candlewick Pattern

The last time we spoke I showed you how to make Colonial Knots. I also mentioned that Colonial Knots are used extensively in Candlewicking. So today I have a pattern for you that uses only Colonial Knots. So you can see how beautiful even simple knots can be.