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1 June 2011


Where I last left you I’d outlined the big front wing in purple DMC and was going to add a second outline – of the knitted gold thread.

That’s the front wing finished. :-)
The small back wing was still in the small frame that I had used for it when filling the wing in with split stitches and purple ‘wing pads’ in the same design as the front wing.
The colours in the various photos below look different practically every time, but this is pretty accurate – a bit pink on the copper split stitching…..IMGP0259
I was going to make this small back wing a detached piece. With an extra trick – because this back wing would stick up from the main forest green ground with the big front wing, it’s underside would be visible. I needed a neat backing on the back wing.
I’ve never read of anyone putting a separate backing on a detached wired piece, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway.
This is what I finished up with :
The ‘plunging wires’ of the back wing aren’t plunged through the main ground yet – my finger is just holding the back wing in place. This photo shows where I end up at the end of this post. The rest of the text talks about how I got there.
I used two pieces of florist’s wire instead of just one to wire the back wing, because they were of a fairly light gauge, and they had to support two layers of material, (the split stitched front and the backing fabric).
Below, the wiring is part attached to the edge of the wing. I used the darkest copper DMC thread to attach the wire using a simple oversew stitch. (Buttonhole stitching that wire was yet to come)
I attached the wires counter clockwise around the wing because I’m LH.
You can see that I began at the front tip of the wing, where it would be attached to the main ground. And yes, that DMC thread on the needle IS copper, even if it looks purple! Really!
And here it is, finished. I put a bit of a bend near the end for fun when photographing it. IMGP0275
I could have used any suitable piece of material as the backing, but I noticed that the purple ground I’d been split stitching on went well with the forest green main ground the front wing was on, so I thought I’d simply use the unused part of the material that was in the small frame.
I took the piece out of the frame, and doubled the material over. I pinned it in place to make sure the back covered the front, and cut along the folded edge along the bottom to give me a front of the back wing and a backing piece, in two separate pieces. I couldn’t just sew along the bottom fold, because the bottom of the back wing has small curves in it.
I then addressed the issue of the wires extruding from the front split stitched piece. I needed them coming out from the back of the backing, in order to be eventually plunged down into the main ground to attach the back wing to the main piece.
So I plunged the wires through the backing piece. Just a hole with a large needle and hand feeding the wires through one by one – no loop required.
I sewed a buttonhole wheel where the wires emerged on the backing piece to keep things neat, and strengthen that hole.
I also removed the paper from the wire to avoid any problems with the paper ‘gathering up’ when I plunged it through the main ground. Taking it through the backing piece has loosed the paper, as you can see in the photo.
I then buttonholed right around the edge of the wing from the front in order to hold the front and the backing pieces together :

After some judicious Fray Stopping, I cut the wing out.
Because I’d stitched the front and back together with dark copper thread, the copper stitches showed very obviously on the plain purple back. So I couched down some smooth purl to cover the copper stitching on the purple backing.
I added some of that thick gold knitted material to the very edge of the wing. (So – around the wing for the fourth time!)
On the back, I pinched the purl covering the red stitching on the back together with the knitted wire on the edge with my fingernails, so the back had the two rows of gold metal thread touching as much as possible. In some places, (bottom front, mainly) they were too far apart for this.
The purple of that DMC thread that I used to outline the big front wing and the purple material used for the backing of the back wing matched! Serendipity! There was still a bit of a border of purple fabric that I’d left when cutting the detached wing out, and I left that there when I attached the gold knitted thread, so it looks like the back wing has been edged in purple thread in the same way the big front wing has. The width of the purple fabric edge varies slightly, but I was unable to get too fussy with it, without the risk of cutting into the split stitches of the wing itself.
The couching of the thick knitted metal thread to the edge of the back wing isn’t very good. I was fighting my way past purl on the back and pushing into the buttonhole stitching on the front that I’d used to attach the front and the back of the back wing together, and I was tired at the time.
The stitches are at an angle, instead of being perpendicular to the couched thread. Oops. The gold couching thread needed to travel over the purple border, because the purl is behind the purple border on the backing.
I haven’t plunged the wire of the back wing onto the main ground containing the front wing yet.
Taken from the side, this shows how I shaped the back wing a little, for interest.
This photo also has quite accurate colours.
Next…..antennae, legs, and the butterfly body! Then the attachment of the back wing, and I’ll be finished! (except for the finishing).

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Anonymous Rachel said...

This is coming together so well, and I'm so impressed with all the attention to detail. That's what lifts an "ordinary" project to becoming a real work of art - and craft, in the true sense.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011  
Blogger The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Very clever construction! I agree with Rachel--the attention to detail is making this a real masterpiece. I am eager to see the final butterfly put together now.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011  
Anonymous Faith said...

It's coming along beautifully! It's much larger than I realized at first, too.

Thursday, June 02, 2011  
Blogger Juels said...

Hi Megan, the work you have put into this is amazing. Once you put the 2 wing pieces together I Ohh'd and Ahh'd. It is beautiful! And so much bigger than I thought it would be. Thank you for putting so much thought and work into such I lovely piece. I knew it would be a treaure.

I changed my moniker from SilkLover to Juels, which is my nickname.

Thursday, June 02, 2011  
Blogger Ruth O'Leary said...

Very effective - it's really coming along!

Thursday, June 02, 2011  
Anonymous Romilly said...

I love the idea of putting a backing on the wing! It's absolutely brilliant!

And the project is gorgeous. :)

Friday, June 03, 2011  
Blogger Tanya said...

Ooh - it looks like a big flutterby

Saturday, June 04, 2011  
Blogger Tanya said...

It looks likes its going to be a big flutterby

Saturday, June 04, 2011  
Anonymous MOMO 1000 Tablet PC said...
MOMO 1000 Tablet PC

Wednesday, December 21, 2011  

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