This page has moved to a new address.

Elmsley Rose

blockquote { font-style:normal; padding:0 32px; line-height:1.6; margin:0 0 .6em 0; } p {margin:0;padding:0}; abbr, acronym { cursor:help; font-style:normal; } code {font:12px monospace;white-space:normal;color:#666;} hr {display:none;} img {border:0;} /* Link styles */ a:link {color:#473624;text-decoration:underline;} a:visited {color:#716E6C;text-decoration:underline;} a:hover {color:#956839;text-decoration:underline;} a:active {color:#956839;} /* Layout ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #wrap { background-color:#473624; border-left:1px solid #332A24; border-right:1px solid #332A24; width:700px; margin:0 auto; padding:8px; text-align:center; } #main-top { width:700px; height:49px; background:#FFF3DB url("") no-repeat top left; margin:0;padding:0; display:block; } #main-bot { width:700px; height:81px; background:#FFF3DB url("") no-repeat top left; margin:0; padding:0; display:block; } #main-content { width:700px; background:#FFF3DB url("") repeat-y; margin:0; text-align:left; display:block; } } @media handheld { #wrap { width:90%; } #main-top { width:100%; background:#FFF3DB; } #main-bot { width:100%; background:#FFF3DB; } #main-content { width:100%; background:#FFF3DB; } } #inner-wrap { padding:0 50px; } #blog-header { margin-bottom:12px; } #blog-header h1 { margin:0; padding:0 0 6px 0; font-family:italic; font-size:225%; font-weight:normal; color:#612E00; } #blog-header h1 a:link { text-decoration:none; } #blog-header h1 a:visited { text-decoration:none; } #blog-header h1 a:hover { border:0; text-decoration:none; } #blog-header p { margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } div.clearer { clear:left; line-height:0; height:10px; margin-bottom:12px; _margin-top:-4px; /* IE Windows target */ background:url("") no-repeat bottom left; } @media all { #main { width:430px; float:right; padding:8px 0; margin:0; } #sidebar { width:150px; float:left; padding:8px 0; margin:0; } } @media handheld { #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } #footer { clear:both; background:url("") no-repeat top left; padding-top:10px; _padding-top:6px; /* IE Windows target */ } #footer p { margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } /* Typography :: Main entry ----------------------------------------------- */ { font-weight:normal; text-transform:uppercase; margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } .post { margin:8px 0 24px 0; line-height:1.5em; } { font-family:italic; font-weight:normal; font-size:200%; color:#8B0000; margin:0; padding:0; } .post-body p { margin:0 0 .6em 0; font-family: italic; font-size:150%; } .post-footer { color:#211104; font-size:74%; border-top:1px solid #BFB186; padding-top:6px; font-style:italic; } .post ul { margin:0; padding:0; font-family:italic; } .post li { font-family:italic; line-height:1.5em; list-style:none; background:url("") no-repeat 0px .3em; vertical-align:top; padding: 0 0 .6em 17px; margin:0; } /* Typography :: Sidebar ----------------------------------------------- */ h2.sidebar-title { font-weight:normal; font-size:120%; margin:0; padding:0; color:#211104; font-family:italic; } h2.sidebar-title img { margin-bottom:-4px; } #sidebar ul { font-family:italic; font-size:86%; margin:6px 0 12px 0; padding:0; } #sidebar ul li { list-style: none; padding-bottom:6px; margin:0; } #sidebar p { font-family:italic; font-size:86%; margin:0 0 .6em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments {} #comments h4 { font-weight:normal; font-family:italic; font-size:120%; color:#29303B; margin:0; padding:0; } #comments-block { line-height:1.5em; font-family:italic; } .comment-poster { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .35em; margin:.5em 0 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; font-weight:bold; font-family:italic; } .comment-body { margin:0; padding:0 0 0 20px; font-family:italic; } .comment-body p { font-size:100%; margin:0 0 .2em 0; font-family:italic; } .comment-timestamp { font-family:Verdana, sans-serif; color:#29303B; font-size:74%; margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#473624; text-decoration:underline; } .comment-timestamp a:visited { color:#716E6C; text-decoration:underline; } .comment-timestamp a:hover { color:#956839; text-decoration:underline; } .comment-timestamp a:active { color:#956839; text-decoration:none; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .comment-link { margin-left:.6em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ #profile-container { margin-top:12px; padding-top:12px; height:auto; background:url("") no-repeat top left; } .profile-datablock { margin:0 0 4px 0; } .profile-data { display:inline; margin:0; padding:0 8px 0 0; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; font-size:90%; color:#211104; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 8px 0 0; border:1px solid #A2907D; padding:2px; } .profile-textblock { font-family:Verdana, sans-serif;font-size:86%;margin:0;padding:0; } .profile-link { margin-top:5px; font-family:Verdana,sans-serif; font-size:86%; } /* Post photos ----------------------------------------------- */ { border:1px solid #A2907D; padding:4px; }

Elmsley Rose

16 September 2010

Design and Framing The Ground

For the design, I selected a free design from Di Van Niekirk’s free design page
It’s not there now – she must have changed them.
Here it is – with my scribblings all over it – the poor thing :
I haven’t an unmarked copy of the original “Misty”, unfortunately.
Misty was intended to be embroidered with daisies – and I wanted 2 big roses and the rest of the flowers to be pansies, so I had some modifying to do there.
It involved a bit of weight adjustment in the design, having 2 bigger flowers instead of having the flowers all the same size.
Also, I found that I needed to ‘put my own stamp’ on the design. There’s something in me that isn’t very good at just following along.
The very first thing I did was make my Vintage Vogue Rose I’ve never done Ribbbon Embroidery before. I didn’t know how big my Vintage Rose would turn out to be, having never done ribbon embroidery in my life. It is the centrepiece and biggest flower in the design.
So I decided to make it first, then adjust the design to fit.
After making the Rose, I blew up the design to fit it and then traced some components of the design onto an A3 sheet of tracing paper and re-drew other flowers, buds and leaves.
This is what I ended up with :
To give a brief idea of what I’ll be embroidering :
The funny wobbly-line flower up the middle/top is the Vintage Vogue Vintage Rose.
There’s the second rose a few inches below that.(drawn with more wobbly circles). It will be from A-Z Ribbon Embroidery – a Folded Rose/Spider Rose Combination.
The Pansies are a pattern from Vintage Vogue as well. There’s a similar design in A-Z Ribbon Embroidery.
I’m doing stuffed rosebuds (from Vintage Vogue designs, also covered in A-Z Ribbon Embroidery), and pansy buds – for which I’m using the Cherry Blossom bud design from A-Z Embroidery.
There are 4 sizes of leaves – I’m doing a different type of leaf design for each size.
There is the main stem (It’s thicker, and marked with lines across it, running down the centre of the design), two minor stems, then bud and leaf stems, ‘flies’ (which end in the 3 dots) and tendrils.
The 3 stems will be done in 4mm ribbon in two different stitches.
The bud and leaf stems will be done in DMC thread.
The ‘flies’ (that’s just what I’m calling them – flying threads) will be done in a few strands of DMC thread and then end in French knots.
I plan to do the tendrils (for example, the curly one right at the bottom of the design) in wire – probably buttonholed over with thread to make it the correct green – I’ll have to experiment a bit with that.
Framing Up
The ground is some Thai silk. It’s purple with tiny blue slubs in it, and also woven through with an orange/red thread (which you can see in the one of the photos below – of the back of the frame). It’s more of a Royal Purple IRL – the photo is a bit washed out, and the shine isn’t being picked up.
The silk is at least 40 years old, and a present for use on special project/s, from my dear friend Kit *wave to Kit*.
Di Van Niekirk advised me to use backing material of the same weight as the ground, so I simply used a second piece of the silk. (Thankyou, Di)
I found the design was too big to fit into my second Ever-Tite frame. (My big one has my historical sampler in it)
I’ve only ever used Ever-Tites and hoops before. I didn’t have a hoop big enough for this project.
I do have a couple of big ‘normal’ rectangular frames, so I grabbed one of those.
I also grabbed Shelagh Amor’s book on Crewel Embroidery, which had instructions on how to lace a ground into a frame (I could have chosen several books, but I happened to grab that one, and the instructions were good and clear)
I made several mistakes/changes in the lacing
  • The iron wet a corner of the material when I was ironing it. I think I should have waited until it dried before framing up, but I didn’t. I don’t know if this will effect the embroidery or not. (The wet material might have stretched more than if it were dry?)
  • The book said to mark the centres on the frame and the centres of the design. I used a different method because I wanted the design to cover a fault in the material.
  • The book said to attach twill to the material and then the twill to the twill that is attached permanently to the long edges of the frame. I didn’t have any twill, so I doubled over the two layers of satin, to give 4 layers. I reckon that’ll be strong enough to hold the tacking and lacing.
  • I ended up with the silk ground showing a ‘dip’ in the grain after I laced it. This is the biggest thing I’m worried about. The book mentions that the grain needs to be straight.
It’s tacked straight at the long sides, but the lacing on the short ends of the rectangular frame pulls it tighter at the corners of the frame than in the middle, so you can see the grain curving up, dipping down in the middle, then curving up again at the opposite corner.
I’m not sure what this will do to my stitching once the piece is released from the frame’s tension. It’s not a big dip – but it’s there.
The photo below shows the silk and it’s ground pinned to the twill on the long sides of the frame :-
You can see the grain here – it’s straight. (As well as the wet patch where the iron leaked).
The back of the frame, showing the doubled over material (2 layers of silk) and the red thread ends :-
I forgot to take a photo after doing the lacing but there’s one below that shows it.
Tracing the Design
My next step was to trace the main stem, the 2 minor stems and the outliers onto a second piece of tracing paper.
By ‘outliers’ I mean the design elements that were at the outermost edges. For example, the rosebud on the top leftmost side. These helped me place the design onto the ground. The main stem gave me the right bottom ‘limit’.
I wanted the design to be a bit off to the left and down from the centre of the frame because there is a white spot, which seems intrinsic in the silk, but looks like damage – and it really shows against the purple. I wanted to ensure that it was covered by an element of the design.
That’s why I used the ‘outliers’ instead of using centering marks on the frame and ground.
I then layered the frame, some white dressmaker’s carbon, and the skeletal tracing, pinning the two pieces of paper down to the ground in the frame.
Putting a hardback book underneath and using a biro, I traced the 3 stems.
I’m thinking that just having the 3 stems marked onto the ground is enough.
I can build the flowers, leaves etc around the stems.
I’m used to the type of embroidery where you draw the design onto the ground and you embroider straight onto it.
In ribbon embroidery, you fold/gather/ruffle various widths of ribbon and there’s less control over the final size, especially if you haven’t done any ribbon embroidery before!
I didn’t want to draw the flowers, leaves etc and therefore commit myself to exact placement of those motifs. Who says the size of the leaf I’ve drawn will be the same as the leaf I actually make?
I’ll make each element to be as close in size to the drawn design as possible – but I don’t want to end up with having to shift design elements to fit together as I go and getting confused because of a marked design (never mind any design marks left showing at the end).
I ended up with this :
Note that you can see the curving of the grain in the above photo.
Placing the Vintage Vogue Ruffled Ribbon Rose on the ground ……
(why, oh why did I have to get a colour shift in this photograph?). The rose is purple-red, and complements the ground colour nicely. It’s not pink as it appears above, although it does have those white lines on the edges.
I have yet to attach the Vintage Vogue Rose to chiffon and then attach it properly – and get a better coloured photo!
That’ll be the next post.
If you think I should re-lace the ground because of the bowing, please do tell me. – And how to avoid the bowing.

Labels: , ,

14 September 2010

Some Beautiful Examples of Goldwork

These are some really cool photos of embroidery, taken by a digital photographer called Tearsspring, on the DeviantArt site.

embroidery_IV_by_Tearsspring has some lovely embroidered pieces, including some goldwork :
Definitely worth a look through her gallery!

Labels: ,

5 September 2010

Learning the Technique, and the Colour Scheme

Ok, I’m a bad bad blogger. Slap my paws! I’ve done quite a bit on Sally’s Ribbon Embroidery Project, and have several entries I need to write up – so watch this space in upcoming days as I catch up!
To save typing, SRE = Silk Ribbon Embroidery
REP = Ribbon Embroidery Project.
This is my very first REP, made for my friend Sally as a b’day present.
She specified that whatever I made, it was to be in purple, royal blue and maroon.
The Colour Scheme
I found this neat tool on the internet.
It shows a colour wheel
You click on a colour from the wheel and it will show a monochromatic colour scheme for that colour on the right hand side.
You also have the choice of showing complementary, triadic, tetradic, analogic and accented analogic colour schemes based on your selected colour.
I choose a Royal Blue, and clicked through the schemes.
I found a maroon and purple on a single one of the scheme : (I forget which one)
I’ve annotated (with a neat image tool that I’ll blog about) the colours that I want to use.
Sally didn’t want pinks, so I avoided them and the peach colours.
And another type of scheme gave me the right sort of greens, for the leaves of the flowers (I did mention I’m doing her a bunch of flowers, right?)
It was then a simple matter of colour matching on the screen from these palettes against screen displays of variegated/ombre ribbons I could buy.
I did pretty well. I didn’t end up with as much blue as I’d like, but I sure have plenty left for another project in a similar but not quite the same scheme *grin*
This colour scheme tool was useful to me because, although I can *mix* paints to achieve a certain colour, my experience with colour in embroidery to date has been working with an established colour scheme. I don’t know how to put colours *together*, apart from the obvious. (Another skill to learn :-). I know I could do much of it by hand if I had a colour wheel that included teriary colours.
I used Kathy’s great idea/instructions for handmade rolled felt bobbins to roll my ribbon onto :
Thanks Kathy!
(OK, I’m yet to iron the ribbons and wind them onto the bobbins I’ve made so far…., and need to buy more white felt.)
Learning about Ribbon Embroidery
There were a number of sources that I found invaluable.
In no particular order :
Carol Daisy’s website :-
(scroll down for the labels on the right hand side)
Carol Daisy shows step by step instructions and photographs for a number of SRE stitches and an amazing number of flowers. Highly recommended!
Vintage Vogue :
Vintage Vogue has a number of unusual patterns for flowers and leaves in her blog that I have not seen elsewhere.
Her wired Vintage Rose is the ‘feature’ rose in my design.(I’ve already made it, and I love it). I will also be doing some wired Ruffled Leaves, and trying out a Ruffled Pansy or two.
Her shop sells French Wired Ribbon. I got these
at 5/8”, for the feature Vintage Rose, and the Ruffled Leaves.
She also sells sepals. (Tho I’m going to use sequins or French knots instead).
The Artful Ribbon – Candace Kling
This book is chock full of great ideas.
There’s a whole page of suggestions of what to use for stems.
There is a lovely picture showing what variations you can get using one variegated ribbon orientated in various directions, to achieve different looks for a pansy, given it has two top ‘faces’ (petal), two side ‘faces’ and a bottom ‘face’.
However, her instructions are of the “a few words and a black and white diagram or two”, which don’t happen to suit me. I’m a ‘step by step’ person.
I hope to master (understand, even) “Man in His Kimono ~ Long Lapels’, “Man in His Kimono ~ Budded Centre”, “Man Overlapping His Coat ~ Calyx with Stem” and many others – all of which are leaves, one day. I look forward to it, because they look great! Many more variations than I’ve seen elsewhere (so far)
I think this is a book worth having, although a lot of it is a bit hard for beginners. (Me, anyway)
A page from the book, picked totally at random :
A-Z of Ribbon Embroidery
Ok, I like step by step instructions with pictures, and that’s what this book has.
However, I’m a bit disappointed in it, after loving Country Bumpkin’s A-Z Goldwork so much.
There is a basic number of stitches and very simple flowers(and some more instructions hidden in the projects, later in the book) and then the projects.
I don’t actually like a lot of the projects. Some seem a bit clunky, a bit predictable. Some are lovely, of course. And this is absolutely IMHO of course. SRE teddybears I do not like.
I will be referring to the book, however, for the clarity of the stitch instructions (although Carol Daisy’s are just as clear they are not all the same stitches).
A page from the book, picked totally at random :
A Perfect World in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork - Di Van Niekirk
I emailed Di, as she has two similar books – both on SRE and Stumpwork as part of her range of books on SRE.
The one that isn’t “A Perfect World” is simpler. She advised, given my experience in stumpwork, that I go with the more “A Perfect World”, so I’d say most people reading this would be suited to that book as well. If you can make a detached buttonholed leaf, you’ll be fine.
Both books are based on a panel made up of diamonds, each diamond being a different ‘scene’ of flowers. You can buy the panel, which is pre-printed with watercolour-ish background colours that fit in and under your work, or simply use the instructions to make the all or any of the flowers from a panel on your choice of ground.
She has a website at
The Freebies pulldown is well worth checking out. The Hints and Tips are great, and there are stitch instructions and lots of free patterns.
I’m using one of the patterns (slightly modified) for my project.
She also sells ribbons that she has hand dyed herself, and a range of specialist SRE needles (it’s really really hard to find a size 16 Chenille ribbon, used to sew with the wider ribbons – none in Australia that I could find)
She also has information about the pre-printed panels, her kits, books and DVDs.
She also has a Facebook page that is full of pictures of SRE pieces done by herself and other people.!/divanniekerkfanpage?v=wall&ref=search , a stitch gallery (single drawings), and some stitch instruction videos.(9 videos)
There are a whole lot more stitch instruction videos by Di on YouTube.
Her use of stumpwork really makes the work comes alive, and she is definitely my favourite SRE artist.
An image of a clover flower (from her facebook photo album, from the “Fairies” book)
I think the randomly picked pages give a good representation of the sorts of designs in each book.
My pile of ribbons for the project :
That gleaming olive ombre ribbon to the left is the Vintage Vogue wired green ribbon – the colours of those ribbons are really intense.
The others are Hanah hand dyed ribbon, which appear a bit washed out in the photo, giving the pile a more pastel appearance than it really is. There’s a little YLI ribbon in there as well.. (It’s about impossible to choose colours of YLI ribbons from the screen – the little colour palettes are just tiny). And some of Di Van Niekirk’s hand dyed ribbons.
Next post – the design!

Labels: , ,