Another update on my progress with Big Sis’s wip. Not much more to do now.
Wild Strawberries now completed but I’m not happy with this piece. I don’t like the way the flower petals turned out and I’m not too keen on the berries either. These were both second attempts.
I knew that the berries would be the biggest challenge of this project and I didn’t have red coton a broder as specified in the book. My two local sewing supplies shops don’t stock it since there is little demand for it and I didn’t want to order just one skein online and then have to wait several days for it to be delivered so I improvised.
I found a skein of coton a broder in a sort of golden brown colour so dyed one length with poster paint and another with fabric paint. Both lengths took the paint colour quite well but the poster paint rubbed off on my fingers when dry so that was useless. The fabric paint didn’t rub off but the thread was now stiff so that wasn’t much use either. In the end I just used 4 strands of regular DMC embroidery floss but I found the needlelace particularly difficult to work on the padded felt and the sheen of the floss made it awkward to see which particular stitch I should be placing the needle into.
I’m not happy with the flower petals either. I used DMC Blanc as per the book but my petals look a tad grey compared to the book photo in which they appear much whiter.My leaf colours also seem to be different colours to those in the book photo but again, I used the colours listed. I could rip out the berries and petals and try again for a third time but I think it’s time to move on to the next one – Chilli Pepper, with more needlelace but this time done on a flat surface with a cordonnet which should be easier. I am nothing if not hopeful…
One wired leaf and three wired petals in this one. The single stranded buttonhole stitch around the outside edge of each was time-consuming but worth the effort. For all that I’ve been dabbling in embroidery for more years than I care to remember, this is the first time I’ve ever done colour shading to this extent and I did a practice petal first of all. I think perhaps the petals should be flat rather than bent but that’s easily rectified.
Viola will be next, and then Flax, with more colour shading in each and when I checked my stash against the colours listed, I was yet again short of quite a few. I spent a couple of hours looking online for DMC equivalents in Anchor but that then involved searching through my embroidery floss boxes and checking lots of labels. My collection is sorted by colour, not brand or number and it was proving to be a difficult task so I gave up and went to my local sewing crafts shop to buy the nine shades I didn’t have – along with several others. Well, I mean, the shop has every colour of DMC and of Anchor threads and lots of them are just soooooo yummy and totally irresistable and I wanted them all but I took a deep breath, stepped back and settled for just the twenty I had in my hand. This time.