Tuesday 16 May 2017

Crewelwork Dragonfly and Butterfly

Embroidered Dragonfly
With summer coming soon the insects are flying by again. Many of the bugs are very beautiful when looked at closely. They are a popular subject in embroidery. Many books have been written just about designs and techniques used to recreate the look of these fascinating creatures. Quite a few artists worked almost solely on this subject.
Embroidered Butterfly

The Dragonfly is made with Appleton's Crewel wool light Olive Green and two shades of Marine Blue. The body and the antenna of the butterfly are a Dark Olive green. The wings are two shades of Mauve and a Dull rose pink for the spots. I used these pieces as the motifs for the sampler in the third lesson of the Crewel Embroidery Course.

The body of the butterfly is worked first in herringbone stitch then surrounded in outline stitch. Then the antenna were added in split stitch with a french knot on each end.

Butterfly Wings Split StitchButterfly Body Herringbone Stitch
Butterfly wingtips Satin Stitch
For the wings on the butterfly I split stitched around each segment. Then satin stitched over top. The spots where worked first so that I could keep a more uniform shape when I stitched around them. The light Mauve is workup up and down and the darker wing tips are worked side to side.

Dragonfly Body Satin StitchThe body of the Dragonfly is made the same as the wing segments in the butterfly.
By split stitching around and doing the satin stitch over top.

Dragonfly Wings Split StitchDragonfly tail French KnotThe tail is a row of French Knots made with two strands of wool to make the knots larger. The antenna and the outline of the wings are made in split stitch. The veins of the wings are worked in Feather Stitch. Starting from just inside the outer edge of the wing towards the body.

Monday 1 May 2017

Planting Sampler

I’ve been planning my garden and this planting sampler for a few weeks now. I used some of the spring vegetables that I worked earlier in the year. 
I wanted to focus on supplies I would be using in the spring like tools and seeds. 

I drew many different garden tools and a few different styles of seed packages. I cut all the pieces out into blocks and placed them around until I came up with a design that worked. I had more pieces than in the picture many of them didn’t get chosen for this project. I practiced drawing it out a couple times experimenting with different tools and styles of seed packages. Once I settled on where to place all the pieces. I drew it out on the fabric with a water soluble marker pen.

I was unsure which stitches to use to embroider it so I decided to stitch up a monochromatic outline. Working the design in monochrome first helps to see flaws left in the design. I started with areas that I was sure on how I wanted to work them. This gives me longer to think about how to lay out the stitches in other sections. I used outline stitch for most of the fine lines and started with the seed packages. I’ve seen Chain Stitch used for making small block style letters before and wanted to try it out here. 

The shovel and fork I did next with a combination of the outline and the stem stitch. I used different numbers of strands to make the lines thicker or thinner. I started working on the vegetables next. Most of them were quick to work because I had tried them before. I wasn’t going to get all the vegetables finished in time to write the blog. So I stopped after making two rows of fly stitch to embellish the seed packages on the bottom row. 

I will post a picture of this piece once it is finished. I want to make a final version later that will be done in color. I am just picking out colors now as I finish the blue version off. Afterwards the design will be made into a pattern.

I have finished a pattern for the turtle and I am offering free samples in hopes of getting some feedback. The pattern is small and fast to complete if you are interested in one email me at abrownsdesigns@gmail.com and I will send you a copy. The pattern can be viewed on a computer or printed out.