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Rust Red Iris - Left Petal Finished

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6 April 2008

Rust Red Iris - Left Petal Finished

I enjoyed doing this petal. I think it worked pretty well. :-)

I've got some comments about the way I do things :

  • When there's a change between two hues of colours that are not 'next' to each other in the colour scheme but I need them to blend- such as from lightest gold suddenly to dark gold.
When this happens, the change stands out a lot if I do it 'normally' with long and short stitch. I've been 'helping' the transition by doing a split stitch on the first line of stitches of the new colour.

The scan after this one, in the bottom left corner, shows the dark orange on top of the light orange *before* the split stitching. Nothing gentle about that blending! Also the angle of a couple of them look wrong, even tho they aren't.

The split stitch has the effect of making the new stitches skinnier, so they don't stand out as much. The next line of the new colour is done just as normal.

The stitches aren't particularly clear in the scan - but see the change from dark orange to light orange? I have no idea whether I should be doing this or not, but it seems to work.

  • Long Curves.
I'm talking about the situation where a colour has a long long way to go on a curve.

I've looked in the instructional parts of Trish Burr but haven't found anything particularly helpful on this, except the mention of using short stitches. Nothing on hiding the joins, which is what I'm going to be describing here. It may be that I'm not approaching curves correctly, but this method seems to work ok.

A curve consists of lots of short lines.

The scan above shows some curving of the light orange and the partially done curving of the cream, finished.

More to the point, you can also see the short stitches that I used to make up the curves for the remainder of the light orange on the bottom right hand side there. These are 'real' stitches that I've placed as guidelines in preparation for adding in the rest of the stitches. They are the longest straight lines I can make, and still get that acute curve.

They can't be too long, or the 'curve' ends up being a series of lines at angles that are too acute and it looks like a 'shoulder' or abrupt change in angle, not a curve.

I've found that I then need to go back over the joins of these lines and insert some random stitches. Otherwise there is a distinct line where the short lines change angle.

I try to vary these short lines a bit, in order to avoid this line - but given you are working on an angle that is only changing slowly, there's a limit to how much you can move the placement of the lines.

On the scan, following the curve of the light orange/gold anti-clockwise, the joins of the straight lines can be seen. I hadn't placed the 'hiding' stitches yet. I had further up the curve, and you can't see the joins.

Random stitches over the top to hide that meeting line seems to be the best way to go - although, like I said, I am doing this only because I've found that it seems to work.

Here's a picture of the actual design.

The curves look like they are all straight stitches, that somehow just ... fit into the curves. The pixellation makes it impossible to see if in fact 2 or 3 shorter lines were used to make a curve, then the joining lines hidden.

  • Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I was a gymnast.
When preparing a routine for a competition, I'd choose a favourite music track.
By the time of the comp, I would hate that music track. I would have heard it so many many many times by then.

I wouldn't say doing an embroidery design is exactly the same. I don't hate the design by any means. But I wouldn't like to work on a design I didn't like in the first place, because there is SO much effort involved, and you spend so many hours just staring at the design, trying to work out how it's done. Loving the design to start with helps *grin*.

I think the "90%" done stage is a frustrating one. So close yet so far.

  • I've found that I work on an area in 3 or 4 stages
The first is the basic laying down of the stitches as I think they should go.

The second is looking back at the original design and making some changes to my work. Making small adjustments here and there - adding extra stitches to change the shape slightly or to emphasize an area of blending, perhaps.

The third is the 'fix up' such as filling in any gaps, hiding joins etc

The fourth is like the second stage again, but it's after I've had some time to go away, and then come back and look at the design again. Or it may be that I've completed an entire petal and want to make a change so it fits together as a whole.

It's a very organic process, I can say that much.

Michael and Mary, I'd love to hear your comments about these methods (and anyone else! :-)

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Blogger Dragonsally said...

OMG it is gorgeous.

GORGEOUS did I say that loud enough?


Erm, have you tried taking photos of it yet, instead of scanning?

By zooming you might be able to get the really close up bits better

I think I might start looking for a really beautiful frame.

Sunday, April 06, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Glad you like it.

I'll photograph when it's been washed and blocked.

Don't forget it's in the middle of a tablecloth centrepiece, edged with lace - pretty big! You might need my ginormous shadow box frame to put it in!

Sunday, April 06, 2008  
Blogger Pam said...

This is one of my favourite designs from Trish Burr's book. I am a long way from getting to the confidence of trying it though.

I have been working on Tanya Berlin's kits recently. She offers online critique on all kits you purchase from her. I have found this most helpful. Her instructions are so good that I am sure they will stand me in good stead when I get to this Iris. It's my ultimate goal.


Monday, April 07, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

I was looking at the Berlin designs yesterday.

Given your experience with Tanya, would you be able to critique my methods and the iris in general?

Monday, April 07, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow This is really coming along! It's very beautiful.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...


Thursday, April 10, 2008  
Blogger Mary Corbet said...


I think it's looking TERRIFIC. Whatever you're doing seems to be working fine. I love the gradual color changes.

I think you're doing a great job!

Keep going!

Friday, April 11, 2008  
Blogger Racaire said...

very lovely!
beautiful colors and shadings!

Sunday, April 13, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Thanks, Racaire! :-)

Sunday, April 13, 2008  

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