painting the roses final

I have stitched the last stitch, and Painting The Roses Red will now be put away until I get around to having it framed.

 

Kardinal garden 4

Love-in-a-mist (left), English daisies (right), and Ajuga, or Bugleweed, or Blue Bugle, (front middle) now completed.

On the outline sketch illustrating which flowers are where in the completed embroidery, ajuga is listed, but ajuga is not included in the flower glossary of stitch directions. An internet search gave the alternative name of bugleweed, which is how it’s listed in the glossary. Grrrrr. My knowledge of flower names is minimal at best and without the internet search I would likely have assumed that the ajuga stitch instructions had been omitted entirely!

I have several minor complaints about this otherwise excellent book, one of which is that it would have been so simple to include the relevant stitch directions page next to each flower on the sketch layout page. Instead, a search through the alphabetical glossary is necessary each time a new flower is begun, and without an index at the front or back of the book, much time is spent flipping backwards and forwards between pages.

My own solution was to print a copy of the sketch page and on it I noted the relevant stitch directions page number next to each flower. I then also added a sticky tab (with the flower’s name on it) to the edge of the relevant directions page. When I’ve completed a flower, I move the sticky tab to the top of the page. (I don’t remove them completely in case I want to add a bit more later and need to check the thread colour). Sanity restored.

kardindal-garden-4

Kardinal garden 2

After a session of unpicking and two evenings re-stitching them, I think my flowers are now less daisy-like and more like the roses they should be. The addition of lazy daisy stitch greenery helps too.

kardinal-garden-2

Kardinal garden 1

My latest embroidery piece is Diana Lampe’s Kardinal rose garden, another one from her Embroidery For All Seasons book. This time I’ve reverted to using my old friend calico which is much better at handling tiny stitches than the Autumn Garden polyester/viscose fabric was. I need a miracle to transform what I’ve stitched so far into things that resemble roses but I have little faith in that happening any time soon. The instructions seemed simple enough – “Mark a circle for the rose with a small circle within. Work each petal from the inside circle with three or four buttonhole stitches forming a scallop shape.  Work five petals around the circle then work three or four inner petals to overlap the first.” Believe it or not, I did plenty of fairly satisfactory test roses on a scrap of fabric first but my scallop shapes on the main piece have ended up with points (why?) and the inner petals on the few rose heads I added them to did nothing to convince me that I was actually stitching roses. Lets face it, my roses are pathetic and not rose-like at all. I think I might be I will be unpicking this lot…

kardinal-garden-1

 

a little meadow and some legs

I’ve been working on this little 7″ x 5″ meadow for several weeks just doing a few stitches at a time as it’s impossible to do much more when you need to read sub-titles on the television but I think it’s done now. Calico for the ground fabric as usual. I mixed acrylic paints with medium to turn them into fabric paints but I’m not sure what benefit if any was gained by doing so. I think the calico would have taken the colour just as easily without the addition of the medium.

meadow

I used this excellent free pattern to make a couple of chicks as a start for lots more to use in a future window display and then had a session of just making legs using various wire gauges and construction methods as practice for a much larger bird I had in mind to make. The big bird is not made from fabric and there’s no stitching involved but it’s not quite finished so all you get today is chicks studying the results of the leg making practice.

legs

 

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty and the messenger are off the hoop. I gave the piece a short rinse in cold soapy water and then lightly ironed it from the back before stretching it while still damp but I can see a couple of places where my marker still shows so when I return from Scotland I’ll wash and stretch it once more before taking it to the framers. The original John Tenniel illustration is only ever shown in black and white so the colours of the outfits are my choice. Calico background, DMC cotton embroidery threads, mainly long and short stitch and the messenger’s hat is needlelace.

humpty final

 

a little glimpse

…into what I’m currently embroidering in the evenings – Humpty Dumpty shouting in the messenger’s ear, original illustration by Sir John Tenniel for Alice Through the Looking Glass. I’m working my way down from top to bottom and I although I have done more than you can see here, there’s still a fair amount to stitch.

humpty and the messenger