September flower 2

Here’s another free-motion machine-embroidered flower for September, based on the knapweed flower. As a practice piece after testing different machine settings and stitches, it was extremely useful. One layer of thin poly-cotton fabric was backed with medium weight iron-on dressmaker’s interfacing and then hooped before stitching.  Unfortunately, the wrinkles and puckers worsened as I increased the length of the stems and added a couple of leaves so I unpicked the leaves and shortened the stems but it didn’t satisfactorily cure the puckers. It could have been the stitch length or tension or the direction of the fabric weave or stitches, too thin a fabric, or a multitude of other reasons. Time to consult a book or two.

another flower

pink daisies

Pink daisies, embroidered over the last three evenings. I just liked the simplicity of the design. It’s obviously intended as a border for something like a tray cloth but you won’t find any tray cloths in this household. So, what to do with it? I could turn it into a book marker but mine are now generally of the electronic variety so that’s a no.  If I repeated the pattern several times on either side I could have a large enough piece of embroidered fabric with which to make yet another tissue cover… Any better ideas out there?

pink daisies

 

Meet Beryl

I’ve had a hankering to do some stumpwork portrait-type pieces for a while now.  After spending a couple of hours on the internet this morning in the hope of finding additional tutorials but only finding images of finished pieces, I bit the bullet and just had a go based on Barbara and Roy Hirst’s book Raised Embroidery which I bought at an exhibition at the NEC Birmingham 18 years ago but which I have always backed out of using for a specific project.

Beryl was the first name that came to my mind for this first ever stumpwork portrait but it seems to suit. Her nose isn’t quite right but I believe stumpwork noses are often difficult to do. Barbara Hirst only gives noses a faint suggestion in her book and Beryl is the very first stumpwork portrait I’ve ever done so I think it’s ok. With practice, hopefully I’ll improve my technique. I intend to put Beryl in a little picture frame but as there are other head shapes on my hoop at the moment, she’ll have to wait until they’ve been given some character too. Beryl is 3.5cm across the shoulders and 3cm from the top of her hat (excluding feather) to the base of her wrap.

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The last one

Pennyroyal is the last of nineteen projects from Sachiko Morimoto’s book Stumpwork Flowers that I’ve been stitching my way through for the past seven weeks. The remaining projects are just variations on some of the nineteen to make things that I have no use for, so I’m done with plants and flowers and herbs and weeds of a stitchy kind. I could have a rest from sewing this evening but embroidering stops me from dozing off in front of the television so I might even make a start on something completely different.

 

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out of thyme

Well, that’s Golden Thyme stitched. I don’t like the whip stitch around the leaves – it looks like I did it with my eyes shut but the book illustration leaves look much the same so perhaps I achieved what Shachiko intended in her design. Watercress is next, with seeds in a pod. Should be interesting!

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leaves and more leaves

Normally I’d work through one piece of embroidery from start to finish but after I made all seven stumpwork leaves for Golden Thyme on Saturday, I wanted a rest from using the magnifying light so I stitched the appliquéd French knot slips for Apple Mint and then returned to Turkey knotting in Santolina. Yesterday I sewed for hours looking through the magnifying lamp while I made the two-colour stumpwork leaves for Apple Mint and was so pleased with how they turned out I just kept going until the whole piece was finished. Once again, even though I had the same DMC thread numbers that the book lists, they didn’t look the same so I chose my own colour palette which I think looks minty enough to be acceptable.DSCF3074

 

Pokeweed

This is Pokeweed, my latest piece from Sachiko’s book. I don’t like this one as much as the others I’ve done, probably because I had to re-stitch almost every part of it. Several times I mis-read which stitch I should have been using and a couple of times I had finished something then realised I’d used the wrong colour. Anyway, it’s finished now and I never need to look at it again if I don’t want to. On to something else after a much needed cup of tea.

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