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A Gift, The Blue Leaf and a Troublesome Trefoil

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13 April 2009

A Gift, The Blue Leaf and a Troublesome Trefoil

Firstly, Paula Hewitt of The Beauty of Life (http://paulahewitt.wordpress.com/) sent me a gift the other day.
fabulous
Designs by Lesley Turpin-Delport and published by Inspirations.
Some of these insects are just *perfect* for filling in some odd small spaces I have on the sampler. (eg the butterflies).
Thankyou Paula!!
The Blue Leaf
Remember the base of the blue leaf that I described in a recent entry? It’s embroidered in satin stitch onto the ground.
blue_base
Here’s the working of the top, detached layer, in a separate small frame :
IMGP0039
The edge are a mess – but that’s why you put buttonhole stitching around the edge.
I don’t know why there are white threads around the right edge.
IMGP0040
It looks much better now, huh, except for a piece of thread sitting in the middle. (oops – but I wasn’t that worried because the stem was going to cover it).
I hadn’t yet trimmed the loose dark blue thread ends when I took this photo so it looks a little messy.
While I was buttonholing, I incorporated florists’s wire 2/3 of the way around (it isn’t there for most of the dark blue side.)
I’ll sew down the dark blue part, and let the rest “fly in the air”. Because of the wire, I’ll be able to manipulate the shape to stick up from the leaf below it (which is exactly the same).
I could have wired right the way around, but I thought it’d be easier to sew to the ground if I didn’t have to sew over wire.
The finished blue leaf (with the loose threads trimmed):
IMGP0041
It’ll now be cut from the ground, and go into the envelope with my detached layer for the Dusty Pink Rose, to be added to the sampler later on (or else my thread will endlessly catch on it).
The Troublesome Trefoil
I said that I drew the trefoil directly on the canvas without practicing first. I drew the wrong shape. This is what I meant to draw :
trefoil
This is from the Plimouth Project. Of course there are lots of variances in shapes of trefoils, very popular in Elizabethan times, but the shape I drew just isn’t right.
I did learn a couple of things :
  • In handling the individual shape formed by a colour (a rectangle with a point at each end) I learnt to fill in each of the points just far enough down so that I could get a horizontal line across from one point to the other.
I then buttonholed right across the trefoil, using the bottom edges of the points as the starting and finishing points, until I reached the edges of the trefoil, as shown below :
IMGP0047
(Note that my points are much wider and bigger than Plimouth’s)
  • I finally, finally “listened” to the Thistle Thread instructions and did my Reverse Chain stitches over 3 threads.
To date, I’ve always done them over 2 threads. This leads to a very dense coverage, where you can’t really see the stitch, as shown in the photo of the borage below :
IMGP0048
I am Not Happy with this trefoil.
1: It just looks wrong.
2: As a result of me playing with shape, it *touches* the blue leaf. Motifs in Elizabethan embroidery didn’t touch, unless it was the occasional leaf against a vine. It was bad enough chopping off the end of one of the points so it wouldn’t hit the bird.
3: the buttonholing in the light green looks just terrible (after 2 attempts each). You can see the diagonal lines formed in the dark green. And the mess in the light green.
I don’t know whether to blame my tools. The light green was one strand of YLI. The dark green and the yellow were 1 strand of DMC. It seems strange that I was successful with the DMC and not with the YLI, without blaming the thread.
I’ve used YLI in detached buttonhole heaps of times before – but I was doing it so much more densely.
IMGP0050
I’m inclined to frog the whole thing and do it again (without YLI). But not yet – I want a break doing another motif or two before I come back to it, or I’ll strangle it.
Any suggestions on fixes/revisions are Most Welcome.
Maybe if I did a floating leaf over the top (like the blue one) at least the chopped off point won’t be so obvious (it’ll be up in the air so won’t hit the bird).
The colour layering looks wrong. An extra green? More of the yellow at the top, coming further down? Alter the shape where the top ‘triangle’ (yellow, light green, dark green) comes in at too acute an angle into the light green further down?
Here’s the sampler so far :
IMGP0051
I was going to teach myself spiral trellis stitch and do those two circles to either side of the big Pearl/Purl rose (they are holding me up from doing a heap more vinework) but I think that I need some fun, so I'm going to do a pomegranate next instead.

I’m going to have to start photographing it in two sections – it’s just getting too big!

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2 Comments:

OpenID paulahewitt said...

the blue leaf looks good. to me (and it could just be the colour on my monitor) the yellow on the trefoil leaf just doesnt seem to go with the greens - it looks too bright, or the greens look too olive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009  
Anonymous Jyotsna said...

This is beautiful. i am just working on embroidered book covers when I discovered your site. It is so informative.Will be coming back often.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009  

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