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Elmsley Rose

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Elmsley Rose

31 December 2010

Embroidery Finished

Yay! I just spent two afternoons working hard, and I’ve finished the embroidery.
Regarding the empty space, I filled it with leaves from both sides.
Thankyou so much for all of the advice :-)
I ended up leaving that long rose leaf, because it was broken up by having some pansy leaves being placed on top of it.
I liked the suggestion of inserting a butterfly (and thanks Yvette for the suggestion of the use of organza for it’s wings), and embroidered one on one side.
It ended up being a bit close to a rosebud – if only I’d put the body 3 or 4 mm further down.
It’s antennae are made of this strange thread I had. The best I can describe it is being coated with iridescent purple foil. I think it’s used in scrapbooking – it was just something I had lying around. If anyone knows what it is called, I’d be interested. It’d be handy to have in some different colours for some odd jobs like this.
The purple iridecence works well to bring out the general purple-ness of the piece.
The antennae aren’t very well coiled because I couldn’t find my tweezers for the life of me, so I could only use my fingernails.
I got the pattern for the butterfly from the a piece at Fan Photos from Di Van Niekirk’s Silk Ribbon Embroidery,!/photo.php?fbid=133343796726806&set=o.356318074718
Now to take it off the frame and back it…….

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28 December 2010

Silver Paillettes

This is directly from Jane's Chilly Hollow Point Adventures, but I thought I'd put it here as well - Kreinik is now doing silver paillettes "of real metal". (I wonder what that means)

To quote

"Now available: Kreinik Paillettes, which are real-metal sequins, in gold (sizes #7, 12, and 14) and silver (size #7). A paillette (pronounced pie- yette) is basically a flat disc that can be couched onto needlework. They are commonly used in needlepoint, crewel, samplers, costume, historical reproductions, ecclesiastical vestments and other surface embroidery. They add a supreme elegance and unique accent to any project, ranging from ornaments to large tapestries. Paillettes are sold by the gram; amount per gram depends on the size of the paillette. Contact Kreinik."

I've never heard of silver pailletes being available before. Is it just that I'm blind?

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22 December 2010

Design Question for Y’All

Finally, some decent photos!
If you feel like I've suddenly taken a leap since you last saw photos of the piece - I actually posted an entry earlier today, that had been sitting in my Drafts folder for a few days. That's about adding the stems back in, and a few adjustments I made.

I have a question that I’d like advice on/

I’ve been busy adding pansy leaves, and the final copper pansy today, and the piece has advanced quite a lot.

There is an empty space running down in a diagonal line at the top there……
Do you think it needs filling?
What with? More leaves? A curlique (with the green silk with 3 french knots, and the couched memory thread?)
I think I’ve got enough flowers…..
A close up of the area in question :-
The bottom of the design will be finished with another pansy bud on the opposite side to the existing one but a bit further down, and a couple of bunches of pansy leaves.
The bottom is much lighter weight than the top, with that curlique that is currently unattached being the end of the design.
All advice much appreciated!

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Some Adjustments

I had a basic design problem with Roses and Pansies that was bothering me.
This is how the piece looked the last time I blogged about it – I’d just removed the 3 major light green stems and calyxes (deciding they didn’t go with the olive leaves), removed some of the olive variegated leaves to decrease the ‘visual noise’, and inserted a copper spiderweb rose.
My problem was that the red and blue pansy fully overlaid the stem running up to the Vintage Ruffled Rose, so the stem looked like it was attached to the pansy, not the rose.
I’ve put an arrow against the relevant stem, as well as against the offending pansy.
The answer? Remove the pansy, obviously, to give the stem a clear run up to the base of the rose.
So here’s the piece, with the stems re-done in a dark green, and that stem clearly runs to the base of the Vintage Ruffled Rose. (Sorry about the colour contrast – it’s a grey day out there. I have fiddled with the settings without much luck)
I did a few other things while I was at it :
  • added another couple of buds in the centre (taking it up to 5 buds), to fill up the space a bit more.
  • inserted tiny stitches into the layers of the Vintage Ruffled Rose, to make to spread out a bit and lay a bit flatter. I think it looks better this way, if you compare it in the above two photos.
  • inserted tiny stitches into some of the pansy petals, to get them to sit better.
  • added padded calyxes to the roses and the rosebud, with the exception of the copper spiderweb rose. It didn’t look like it needed one.
  • added the calyx back to the pansy bud, this time in the right green.
  • added a French knot to the base of each major stem, to make it more obvious that that was the base point of each of these stems. (see photo above)
  • made and inserted the first pansy leaf. In the wrong green tho– it’s too emerald. (Hey, it was 10pm by then and I’d been working for hours!) I have a more olive French Wired ribbon to hand, and I’ll simply replace it.
It’s there on the left, peeking out from under the pink and green/copper pansy.
There are going to be a lot more of these pansy leaves to act as filler, without giving the eye more to work on.
I’ve also taken a dislike to that elongated rose leaf (in variegated olive green) that the buds hang from, just below the Vintage Ruffled Rose. I might shorten it and switch it around so it’s coming from the copper spiderweb rose, and put some pansy leaves next to the pink and red pansy.
My favourite bit is this pansy bud – it’s so delicate!
I’m also happy with the way the colour variegation for the 5 buds in the interior worked out.
My plan now is to
  • fix the colour of that pansy leaf
  • fix the ‘long rose leaf’ situation, and
  • work anti-clockwise from the purple/yellow pansy at the top, and add in extra pansies, (including a copper one to balance the copper colours already in the piece), pansy leaves, pansy buds and an extra rose bud, down around to the space below the Vintage Ruffled Rose. It’ll be mostly foliage as there are already lots of different colours.
  • Then I’ll work on the bottom half of the piece, which is much sparser, consisting mostly of pansy leaves.
Do you get the impression that this is a bit of a ‘trial and play’ piece at all? Not having done much ribbon embroidery before (certainly nothing this big), not having worked with variegated colours before…..I’m really enjoying it. I’m pleased with the way it’s coming out.

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19 December 2010

Donna’s Christmas Rose Finished

Here’s the finished rose, out of it’s hoop. With a wacking great hoop mark around it.
I decided to follow Ruth O’Leary of Textile Art’s instructions on damp stretching and lacing the piece. Her instructions are wonderfully clear, with photos to match. I’ve missed a lot of detail that are there in the instructions, so do give them a read if you are interested in learning more about this finishing technique.
First, I went to
to follow her instructions in glueing batting to the back of the embroidery, then pinning it to a piece of board.
After spraying it with water and letting it dry overnight, it looked like this :
The circular hoop mark was gone, but it was hardly ideally smooth.
I think it’s because of the board I used. It was thick corrugated cardboard with a smooth top, but it wasn’t a VERY smooth top, as you can see below :
(This was after I took the embroidery off).
Not to worry – 30 seconds with a cool iron, and it was perfectly smooth. (I forgot to take a photo). If I hadn’t damp stretched it first, I would have been fighting to get out those marks and risked scorching, but as it was, it was really easy.
I then continued on, as per the instructions, to pin down the mitred corners
…and then sew them down……I used a long single thread and crossed between each corner
“This helps pull the corners in and hold the fabric in position enough for me to take the drawing pins out,” (from Ruth’s blog)
Then I laced. I needed 2 or 3 lengths of thread for each side – the thought of Ruth doing her big Spirograph using a single thread – no wonder she had thread tangling problems! It must have been yards long!
You’ll notice the right side has a kind of bunched look, where I was picking up a couple of mm of fabric with my needle. (A mistake). I didn’t do it on the left, for some reason.
It didn’t make any difference in the end, especially since it was going to be covered over.
Moving onto for backing instructions, I cut some matched velvet to size, and sewed it down to cover the lacing.
I started with a curved needle, as Ruth advises, but my only curved needles are tiny ones for beading, and it was really fiddly.
I swopped to a straight needle and it was much easier. I was able to get away with bending the cardboard a tiny bit to allow me to slip the stitches in.
If I had used a harder board that I couldn’t bend a bit I would have had to have used a curved needle (note for the future, since Roses and Pansies will probably be on board)
And here’s the finished piece! :-)
Note the nice padded appearance to it.
I debated adding trim to the edges, but Donna is a plain sort of person, so I left it.
I’ll take this opportunity to show off the gorgeous pincushion that SilkLover/Julie made me.
I use it for my needles, and another one that I made for my pins. You would not *believe* how many pins you need for pinning down a piece for damp stretching. I had to scrape up every pin I had for this piece, and will need to buy an extra packet or two for when it comes to do Roses and Pansies.
Julie’s Quaker pincushion, at it’s home sitting on the back of the couch :
Thankyou Ruth - I couldn't have done it without your wonderful instructions!

Now, back onto Roses and Pansies!

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17 December 2010

SRE Christmas Cards

Well, everyone seems to have received their Christmas Cards, so now is the time to show them on the blog.
These are what has been keeping me busy for the last month or so, when I’ve been able to stitch.
Apart from giving cards that are a little special to some friends, they have been projects that are quick to do and relatively easy - just what I needed as I recover from the viral/bacterial bronchitis and gastritis I've had recently (I'm still pretty unwell). I'm burning to get back to my Historical Sampler, but still have several Ribbon Embroidery projects ahead of me, and healthwise, that works out quite well.

Notice the heavy use of Spider Web roses – easy, quick and pretty.
For the professional embroiderers I was sending cards to, I did extra-special ones.
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I’ve still got one to finish – a Waratah. (destination Australia, so I still have some time)
The very last card, in 'clown colours’ was for a 3 year old (her Mum, my friend, received the Red Ribbon Rose at the top.) Caitlin was apparently rapt to get her very own Christmas card, just for her!
Another was most well received because the friend was in hospital at the time, and it ‘gave her a real lift’. What more could you hope to achieve? *smile*
Many Thanks to Rachel of Virturosew Adventures for suggesting that I pad the embroideries – they definitely look more ‘finished’ that way. (I used 0.5mm batting), then double sided tape to tape the 3 fold cards together to hide the embroidery backing. I found two stripes of the tape necessary on each side to hold the embroidery down to it's backing side of the card.

Next post :- I finished Donna’s SRE Christmas rose today, including lacing onto cardboard, and putting on backing. It’s the first time I’ve done this. Lots of photos and where I learnt how to do it….coming up!

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13 December 2010

Christmas Rose for Donna

My friend Donna and her husband are hosting me on Christmas Day.
So instead of an embroidered card (I will show the cards after Christmas, when the overseas recipients have had a chance to receive theirs), I’m working on an entire piece for her.
It’s a simple piece.
About 2/3 of the way through, it occurred to me how much it resembled the Asparagus Tree design that Kathy of The UnBroken Thread had done in several variations.
My inspiration was actually based on a photo from Di Van Niekirk’s FaceBook photopage. For some reason, LiveWriter isn’t letting me insert the photo. It’s of two roses, with fly stitch branches and a couple of buds, anyway.
Mine is done on some beautiful forest green Dupion that I got from Pearsalls (I’m getting some more forest green Dupion from Ebay and shall compare the quality).
A simple Spider Web Ribbon Rose with a Twirled Ribbon rose centre. The centre is in a plain copper Hannah dyed ribbon, the petals are of a variegated olive/copper Hannah dyed ribbon.
The colours don’t look quite right – there’s more blue in the stem than there should be – but that’s the computer/camera.
The stem is Whipped Running Stitch in 7mm River Silk Ribbon in Olive.
Then there are 3 levels of branches, done in 3 different olive/forest greens. The 2 largest types of branches are done in stem stitch, and the smallest branches (“fronds”) done in fly stitch.
I’ve almost finished – just some more fly stitch to go on the left hand side.
Then I’ll pad it (as per Rachel Wright’s excellent advice), and lace it, using Ruth O’Leary’s instructions from her website, onto a piece of cardboard, and then back that.
I’m waiting for that other Ebay Dupion to arrive, (from America, and I only ordered it yesterday) upon which I can start Vince’s sunflower and Ricky’s daisies. In the interim, I have Sally’s Roses and Pansies to finish.
If there is any extra time while waiting for the Dupion, I’ll start on SilkLover’s piece.
This will be a very special piece, and after all this ribbon embroidery (I’ve done 9 ribbon embroidery cards) it’s a relief/nice change to get back to some more traditional methods.
Heather Castles is a Canadian illustrator.
She’s given me permission to use this drawing upon which to base SilkLover’s embroidery :
In return, I’ll give Heather a high resolution picture of the embroidery to use as she wishes.
The thick veins will be heavily padded, then covered in satin stitch in gold Jap or passing thread.
The inserts will be done in sections of different jewel coloured silks, with the veins done in a single strand of matching silk thread.
I shall use various wires to do the various antennae.
The body will probably just be padded satin stitch.
I don’t know if I’ll keep the dots, or use sequins of various sizes. We’ll see when we get there.
I’m looking forward to doing this project – it feels more true to my roots than SRE, tho SRE is very handy for quick and pretty presents.

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