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Historical Sampler – The final Strawberry and Mixed Purl Leaves

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15 November 2008

Historical Sampler – The final Strawberry and Mixed Purl Leaves

First – the last strawberry.

I was going to do it in Trellis Stitch, but knew I’d go through hell trying to do the wraps, as I explained in my last post.

So – sweet and simple – Vandyke Stitch sepals, Satin Stitch fruit and a Pearl Purl outline :


Now …. onto something that I was scared of, but found was actually quite easy, if a bit fiddly.

I wanted to do a couple of leaves using two different kinds of Purl laid together – I just love the images I’ve seen of it done (Tanya Berlin has a lot on her site, linked from her Purl supplies)

First – the felt :


I was working from Country Bumpkin’s A-Z of Gold Embroidery (that wonderful book!) and it showed 3 layers of felt in the construction of these leaves.

I only did one layer. These leaves would stand out enough with all this gold, without making them really high.

The first leaf was Smooth Purl and Pearl Purl, used alternately.

My choice was dictated in part by what Purls I had. Mary Corbet very very kindly sent me a sampler of various Purls, and these are what I was using for this.



The second leaf (the bottom one) was in Bright Check Purl and Pearl Purl.

I wasn’t certain the combination worked at first, but I do like the look of it.



If you look at the edges, you can see that they aren’t perfect.

Perfection would be

: cutting the lengths so they are perfectly staggered

: cutting the right place on the purl itself, so you don’t have a bit sticking up towards you and deflecting/reflecting light differently.  With pearl purl – to have the coil turning downwards at the cut point, so it looks neat.

and also, of course, cutting the purl to the correct length.

The book says to cut the lengths all at once at the beginning but I found it easier to cut them as I went along. I just didn’t think I could cope with multiple small/tiny lengths floating around the place.

I did find the Cutting Mat from Tanya Berlin very useful when doing the cutting. It makes the purl stay in place.

I did throw my Smooth Purl down on the quilt in front of me at one point – and ruined most of it.

It caught at several places to the quilt, and stretched out as I tried to remove it.

I tried using a not-too-badly stretched part, but then it stretched out further when my needle and thread was inserted through the middle of it.

The purl should definitely live on the Berlin Cutting Mat unless in hand or in it’s bag. Next time I use Purl I think I’ll cut it into 5” lengths first. Better to have a miscellaneous piece at the end than catch the end of a long piece somewhere (and it does catch easily!) and ruin heaps of it.

The killer quilt :


Here’s the sampler so far :


It only took me about 3 hours to do the two leaves, which is probably very slow. I was surprised at how little time it took.

The placement of the two butterflies, outlined in Royal Blue but on opposite sides of the sampler, can be seen here too.

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Blogger Dragonsally said...

sweet and simple. You crack me up girl. The sampler is looking great.

Saturday, November 15, 2008  
Blogger Jeanne said...

It's looking great, Megan! I agree that it's very hard to cut all the lengths of gold up-front. You'd have to be either really lucky or have a VERY good eye to get all of the lengths right and not have lots of leftover little bits.

Saturday, November 15, 2008  
Blogger Mary Corbet said...

Wow! Terrific job on the purl leaves! They look really good, Megan - and three hours isn't bad!

Keep it up!

Sunday, November 16, 2008  
Blogger Paula Hewitt said...

I agree with the others - this is looking great - and I lke the leaves, especially the lower one.

Sunday, November 16, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Thanks everyone.

I am very impressed with the effect- and I thought it'd be a lot harder to do. :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Thanks everyone.

I am very impressed with the effect- and I thought it'd be a lot harder to do. :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008  
Blogger Gina-B said...

This is really stunning, Ilove watching your progress

Monday, November 17, 2008  
Blogger JoWynn Johns said...

I'm really surprised at the progress you've made. It looks terrific. And I'm also surprised at the good results you got with the purls. I assume this is the first time you've worked with them, and it is pretty impressive that you could make such pretty leaves. Feeling smug, are you?
You go, Girl!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

No - not smug.
Relieved that I didn't bugger it up.

It really was easier to do than I thought - just fiddly!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008  
Blogger Plays with Needles said...

What a great post, Megan! First of all, the bundle of berries just leaps off the page -- and then, those two goldwork leaves are a stunner. This piece is becoming more extraordinary by the stitch.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008  

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