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Historical Sampler – A Googly Eyed Bug and a Leaf

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5 September 2008

Historical Sampler – A Googly Eyed Bug and a Leaf


Here’s the googly eyed bug and a detached buttonhole leaf.

The bug

I detached buttonholed his wings in silver Au Ver A Soie silk thread, and outlined them using some vintage artificial silk (from Sally- thanks Sally!), angling the needle to go partially under the buttonholing to get a thin a line as possible.

Without the outlining, I didn’t think his wings stood out enough.

The eyes were done with three stitches each, then circled in chain stitch. This is a kind of backwards way to do it, but with so few stiches there was ‘stepping’ in the height of the stitches and this way I could adjust where the chain stitch went, and get a clear circular outline, rather than doing it the other way around and partially covering the chain stitch.

French knots for pupils.

I do wonder if there is a better stitch I could have used for his eyes.

I didn’t have much room to use the pattern from the body of that V&A bug I showed in the last post – just two lines of red and one of blue.

I think he looks sufficiently goofy.

The Detached Buttonhole Leaf

This was done in olive green YLI silk. And then three strands of yellow YLI in stem stitch down the middle.

I’m becoming more comfortable with detached buttonhole stitch. I’m finding that the hardest things are

* finding the next loop from the row above to knot around. Often it’s a blind search with the needle to find where the needle will next go through easily.

I have been known to go back and insert extra stitches to cover a missed loop but I’ve found it’s a good idea to do it after finishing the whole piece. Inserting extra stitches means inserting the needle through the ground (so it can come up and around the two threads) and this ties the net to the ground. This means that the net  isn’t free to do it’s little bit of stretching when it’s attached to the bottom row.

* NOT getting knots in the thread because if the thread knots and then is pulled tight into the ‘buttonhole knot’, well, insert swear words here. (I went back with the needle and put a stitch through the knot to sew it down to the backing so it wouldn’t stick up. Hardly ideal, but I couldn’t see any other way out of it).

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Blogger Dragonsally said...

googly bug is gorgeous.
I found some silver metallic thread yesterday in the stash...want it?

Friday, September 05, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the bug - i cant think of a better way to do the eyes - tin seed beads perhaps? I have been meaning to try detached buttonhole - it looks so fiddly though.....maybe one day.

Friday, September 05, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

- you keep the silver thread. I already have quite a bit, and you might find a use for it. :-) :-)

- Detached Buttonhole isn't that fiddly. Well, it is when you are using a single thread on a tiny motif, but using a whole thread it's pretty easy coz you can see what you are doing! The sort of scale of things you do, I can see you using a whole thread.

The Thistle Thread instructions (from Plymouth Embroiderers' Site) are the best I've seen

Saturday, September 06, 2008  
Blogger Constance said...

I love the bug :-) very cute. I'm going to try and do some bugs on mine when i get up the courage.

Have posted a picture of the nearly finished flower on my blog. Not sure what to do with the center of the flower. Any suggestions

Saturday, September 06, 2008  
Blogger JoWynn Johns said...

Looks like you're having fun with this sampler. Just letting you know I'm watching!

Sunday, September 07, 2008  

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