Monday 17 April 2017

Easter Egg Sampler

This sampler is made in the shape of an egg to resemble a decorated Easter egg. This is a simple classic pattern that is a great way to learn and practice new stitches. The egg is about 2 and half by 3 and half inches. I outlined the egg shape with the stem stitch first. Then I started in the center with a medium border stitch. I used the Guilloche Stitch which is a combination stitch. Either side is outlined with the stem stitch. Between them rows of straight stitches are evenly spaced. Threads are laced under the straight stitches making a looped edge on either side. Last a French knot is placed between the rows of straight stitches in the center.

The next rows are made one above and the same row below. This way the top and the bottom of the egg will look the same. The second row is an isolated stitch the reverse fly stitch. It is made by putting one fly stitches facing towards the center then another on top facing the outer edge. It is important to make each stitch the same and mark them out so they will be evenly spaced.

The third row is a line stitch called the feathered chain stitch. It is made of long tail chain stitches leaning towards each other in a zigzag pattern. I tried the first line without marking it out but it looks much better when the stitches were measured out first.
The fourth row is an isolated stitch the cross and twist stitch. It starts with a cross stitch with a knotted stitch on top.
There was plenty of room on the bottom for another row but I was running out of room on top. So I used a row of small simple French knot stitches for the final row. This one is all in purple I would like to try a few more in a combination of light Easter colors.

Sunday 2 April 2017

Daffodil Brooch

Embroidered Daffodil
I saw a flower brooch in a magazine done in machine embroidery. I wanted to try making one in hand embroidery. The brooch is about 3 inches across and took about eight hours to make. The inside of the flower went fairly quickly. It took quite awhile to do the edging. I used cotton embroidery cotton, thick metallic thread, a fine weave cotton cloth, a piece of felt, and a brass pin.

I adapted a picture of a stylized flower that I found online. I sketched one out then traced it on to the fabric with a water soluble marker pen. I had to adapt the picture a little more as I went along.

Daffodil SketchSketch Water Soluable

I started in the center with a small satin stitch circle. I used the brightest orange color that I had picked out. Next I outlined it with the metallic thread. I couched the metallic thread on with the bright orange thread. I went around the center three times.

Satin Stitch CenterCenter Goldwork

I did the next round in Satin Stitch. After looking at a book about Chinese embroidery I decided to divide the center into pie shapes and fill in each one.

Pie shaped Satin StitchSatin Stitch Circle

 I built the design up more by making small loops around the center with the open chain stitch in the orange color. It helps to add several layers of stitches to thicken the piece so it will hold it's shape later when pinned on. Then I put a straight stitch in orange between each piece of the pie shape. This covered up the seam left between the pieces. I put another row of couched gold thread around the edge.

Open Chain Stitch LoopsGold Center Outline

I went around the center one more time with a row of buttonhole scallops. These are what really made it look like a daffodil. I made these in the same bright yellow color that I used on the edge. The petals were done after in long slanting stitches in a lighter yellow color.

Buttonhole ScallopsSlanted Satin Petals

I couched down swirls made with the metallic thread. While I was couching the lines down I held the swirls in place with the needle. These held down the Slanting Satin Stitches since they are so long. They also help hold the petals out and when it's finished can be used to bend and shape them a little.

At this point I pinned the embroidery to a piece of felt so that the edging would hold the two layers together. I carefully cut out the flower a little bit at a time before working the edges. I stayed a little ways ahead of myself so I had room to move the needle from one side to the other.

I did the edging in a buttonhole stitch so that the top line of the stitch made an outline for the Satin Stitches and wrapped all the way around the edge. I cut off pieces while going around as they got in the way. The felt back was nicely edged and I added a brass pin afterwards.