I’ve been having a lot of fun with Kelly Fletcher’s Bloomin’ Marvellous flower, which also turned out to be a great opportunity to use the Shades of Africa silks – in fact I’ve printed off half a dozen of the Bloomin’ Marvellous set to stitch with these silks, though not necessarily using the stitches that Kelly Fletcher charted. When I’ve finished this one, and after I’ve done higher priority things like Orpheus, I’d like to try some of the other flowers on the 55ct Kingston linen, or possibly on the blue cotton I’m using for the shisha workshops. They might be just the little projects to take on our family visit to Holland!
Most of the design is stitched in 3 strands, with only the satin and chain stitch in 2 strands. I did actually choose to stitch the right-hand petal using 2 strands as it was getting a bit crowded, partly because I reduced the size of the design. I started with the stem, which is stitched in, uhm, stem stitch. It uses three strands and looks nice and chunky. But it takes only very little thread, so I had plenty left when coming to the satin stitch, which is stitched in 2 strands. Now the instructions (which for the freebies consist of what stitch to use in which shade using how many strands – you have to go to her website for the stitch diagrams) didn’t say anything about outlining the satin stitched parts first, but Mary Corbet always outlines parts that will be done in satin stitch, generally using split stitch. One strand for that, I would have thought. OK, so don’t fasten off but split the three strands into 2 + 1, keep the two out of the way for the time being and use the single strand for split stitch. Split stitch is not my forte, so apologies for the lumpy look. When the outline is finished, go back to the two strands and start the satin stitch.
I’m using slightly different colours as well, as the Chameleon silks of course don’t come in all the DMC shades. Although her combination of dark rose and brown is quite striking, I couldn’t quite make it work in the colours I have, so I picked two shades of rose. I also mixed the two colours up more, instead of working all the petals on the right in one colour and the ones on the left plus the little dot in another. And finally, I used yellow beads to pick up on the yellow lattice rather than beads the colour of the petal. The petals are really interesting to do because almost every one is different; no chance of getting bored! There’s only one to go now. The last petal (well, the middle one, but the last one I’m doing) is worked in up & down blanket stitch, in two rows (I’ve sketched in a central vein to help with placement). I like this stitch with its tied pairs of legs, but I don’t find it particularly intuitive, so I’ve been practising on a scrap of calico; once you get into it it’s a really interesting stitch to work, and you can create quite a variety of shapes depending on the position of the legs and the length of the binding stitch! With a bit of luck I’ll be able to finish the flower tonight – and then it’s on to the next flower! (after I’ve finished Orpheus…)