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Design and Framing The Ground

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16 September 2010

Design and Framing The Ground

For the design, I selected a free design from Di Van Niekirk’s free design page
http://www.dicraft.co.za/freed.php
It’s not there now – she must have changed them.
Here it is – with my scribblings all over it – the poor thing :
misty_modified
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 :
IMGP0177
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.
http://nostalgicneedleart.blogspot.com/2007/09/vintage-ribbon-roses.html
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 :-
IMGP0175
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 :-
IMGP0176
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.
IMGP0178
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 :
IMGP0179
Note that you can see the curving of the grain in the above photo.
Placing the Vintage Vogue Ruffled Ribbon Rose on the ground ……
IMGP0180
(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.

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4 Comments:

Blogger oregonpatchworks said...

I should be thanking YOU for the patterns which are so awesome. I get so excited when I start stitching a new one! I love the scale and the details in the patterns, and I agree with you.....

Thursday, September 16, 2010  
Anonymous Rachel said...

You might find that if you put the frame a different way up you won't get the colour shift..

I'm not sure about the bowing, as I've never seen it happen before. It sounds as though there will be relatively little stitching through the fabric so you might get away with it, but I think you need a comment from someone who's actually done ribbon embroidery, and I haven't!

Friday, September 17, 2010  
Blogger SilkLover said...

Can't help you with the technical problems as I haven't done any SRE. Only admired it for a while:)

The pattern is wonderful, and I do like the purple silk1 Yumm.

Friday, September 17, 2010  
Blogger Jane said...

Mmm, yes I think you should re-lace the ground if you can bear it. Otherwise once the work comes off the frame it might warp the completed piece.
Is it just the weft threads which are bowing? If so undo the ends, fold the end of the fabric so it is absolutely straight to the grain of the fabric, tack a straight line across both ends making sure it's straight to the grain. Then when you lace it work to those tacked lines, work it in bits, lace one end but don't pull it completely tight, then do the other end the same, turn it round again tighten it some more, turn it round again ... (you get the idea). This way if it starts to bow you'll be able to correct it as you go.
If you could bear re-lacing the whole thing, sew the long edges (are these your selve edges?) directly to the tape attached to the frame, then wind the bars to get the tension. This act of winding the fabric round the bars will hold it tight.
We do this type of lacing and winding on our Japanese embroidery frames, it takes a long time, but it's worth it.
Loving the colour of this piece by the way.

Saturday, September 18, 2010  

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