Monday, August 22, 2016

Planning a book review

Planning a book review for Feeling Stitchy

I've been remiss in doing a book review for Feeling Stitchy for a gorgeous book by Kazuko Aoki, The Embroidered Garden. I received the book some time ago from the publisher, and I finally got to work this weekend, gathering materials, and doing some planning and stitching. I chose the "Winter" wreath, which I intend to interpret freely, choosing my own fabrics and threads.

By the way, the book link takes you to Amazon, and contains code for the Feeling Stitchy Amazon account - if you buy a book through that link, we receive money in our account which is used to fund more giveaways and reviews on Feeling Stitchy. If you do buy there, thank you! If not, no worries! :)

Step 1: fabric and hoop

My first step was choosing a fabric - and I was delighted to find a beautiful navy blue linen in my mother's fabric stash. I loved the idea of a strong contrast with the white flowers.

gathering threads

Next, I chose a handful of threads - my goal in this project is to buy nothing new, and use up some of my prodigious thread stash. :)

The final project will be a wedding gift, so I wanted to work in the wedding colors, one of which is gold. I had some beautiful DMC gold thread and gold metallic floss. I also had two skeins of super-shiny DMC rayon floss in a copper and darker brown shade that I wanted to use. Added to that were some off-white shades of 6 strand DMC floss, and some vintage threads I was gifted YEARS ago. :)

pretty texture

I traced the image directly from the photo in the book. I didn't focus on details, but just a general idea, and replaced the large green ivy leaves with circles for white roses.

Next step: using white carbon paper and chalk pencil to transfer

Once I had my finished design, I used white carbon paper to transfer the image. The resulting image was very faint, so I traced over the white lines in a yellow Clover chalk pencil.

re-tracing over pattern

I first stitched the branches with a combination of regular DMC floss, and couched lines of rayon floss, which gave the branches a really pretty sheen in the light.

Interesting vintage thread

I was fascinated by the two Nun's Boilproof skeins I had - they look like a very thin perle cotton, but are SO very soft to the touch. They piqued my curiosity and I found this blog post about them.

After split stitch on large flower

Here it was after at least 12 hours of stitching. The filling for the large white flower was the most time-consuming - tiny split stitch, using 3 strands of floss, but it was worth it - the texture is so nice!

later progress

Next, I added french knots to the center of the large white flower, a large white rose, gold stems for the roses, and couched gold strands throughout the branches.

Here's a sideview of the work so far, which shows off the rayon threads and texture pretty nicely:

detail view of my progress

This project was slow to start, and a little intimidating, but I am enjoying it so far! What do you think?

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