Tuesday, August 30, 2016
After all the chalk marks on my navy blue linen faded, I decided to try stitching on tracing paper.
I was curious to see how much I'd departed from the original - I'd just been eyeballing everything as I stitched...
Looks like I make things bigger when eyeballing the pattern... I didn't stress, because I'm not aiming for an exact reproduction.
I stitched over the tracing paper on a big french knot dandelion - I was inspired by this great tutorial by Mary Corbet on Needle n Thread. By the way, I'm really enjoying stitching with that Nun's Boilproof vintage floss.
Next I couched the dandelion stems, using more Nun's Boilproof vintage floss.
Here's the finished Dandelion - the tracing paper did help me stitch those knots more carefully. The only drawback was of course, when I removed the tracing paper, several knots were pulled.
I think I'll do a combination of tracing paper and just eyeballing for the rest of the dandelions.
I tried some Pearlescent Effects floss on the French knots in the center of that large white flower. The texture is really rough, and it's not French-knot friendly, but it has a nice icy, iridescent look:
Next, I added a line of gold metallic DMC floss, couched around the flower center:
Here's all my progress so far - I'm still deciding if I'll add the berries.
Any thoughts on the tracing paper or Pearlescent floss? I'm curious if any of you have tried either!
Friday, August 26, 2016
I'm having a great time progressing on this project - I'm embroidering a version of The Winter Wreath from Kazuko Aoki's book, The Embroidered Garden.
Up above is a closeup of one of the large white flowers. It's all done in split stitch, which is very-time consuming, but I do like the texture. Oh, and tons of little french knots in the center. The stems are two strands of vintage Nun's Boilproof floss, couched with a thin white sewing thread.
Here's a small woven wheel rose, and the round flowers made up of french knots - shall we call them dandelions? I'm least confident about my stitching on those, but we'll see how it progresses...
Another large white flower and a large woven wheel rose. The rose stems are couched gold DMC embroidery floss.
I took this project outside and was delighted by how much better it looks in the light - it really captures the detail more.
I opened an Instagram account of my own this week - follow me @nyfloresita if you like! I also post on the Feeling Stitchy account to promote Feeling Stitchy blog posts, and Amy posts on Fridays.
Monday, August 22, 2016
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! :)
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
This project was slow to start, and a little intimidating, but I am enjoying it so far! What do you think?
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
As much as I love my fancy camera (what I call my Canon DSLR) I struggle when taking photos of embroidery. My first love was point-and-shoot cameras, and I long for them whenever I have a detailed embroidery photo to take.
The photos above and below were taken with my phone camera, which I've found works better for me at times than my DSLR.
I recently did a review of Coloris floss for Feeling Stitchy, and the biggest challenge was photographing the beautiful rainbow of shades in the flosses. My DSLR is capable of so much more than a phone camera, but you really have to know what you're doing. It's frustrating not to be able to pop it in "Auto" mode like a point-and-shoot and get lots of crisp, detailed, bright shots without any effort.
Here is a photo from my DSLR - it has all the detail I want, but it took so much work - I had to put the camera in Manual mode, carefully light the scene, then color-correct in Photoshop, and I'll admit I'm still not 100% happy with it. I feel like it's just... missing something.
Here's another from my DSLR:
And one more from the phone camera:
Does anybody else struggle with photographing their embroidery?