Recently we’ve been having a bit of Bruce overload, I’m afraid. Time for a break from Bruce – only a short one, what with the finishing line so close, but a break nonetheless. Time for daisies, gemstones and oranges!
A little over a week ago I mentioned a birthday card I’d stitched for a friend, and said it might become a freebie. If you occasionally glance at Mabel’s Facebook page you may already have seen this, but indeed, Daisy & Ladybird can now be downloaded from the Freebies page. Enjoy having a play with it, and do send us pictures of your handiwork – remember, just because I chose to use crewel wool and filled in the whole thing doesn’t mean you have to do the same. You could stitch only the outline of the flower in perle cotton stem stitch and solidly fill the ladybird for contrast; you could work the petals in silk and the flower centre in bright gold chipping; you could use ribbons; it’s completely up to you.
Last Monday was an exciting day – with the easing of lockdown restrictions the weekly Embroidery Circle I’ve been attending for years was allowed to meet again! There were only six of us rather than the usual twelve, but it was lovely to sit there and chat and stitch together. As I rather expected there would be a fair amount of chatting, I needed a project that didn’t take too much concentration. I took two, just to have a bit of choice, but stitched just the one: a sample cloth for Llandrindod. You may remember I couldn’t quite make up my mind about the stitch direction in the facets of the central gem, and I couldn’t remember why I had rejected the option which initially looked the most obvious. Time to try both.
Now my first idea had been the one on the left, with the stitches in the facets going around the centre. Then for some reason I decided it would be better to use satin stitch at right angles to the central facet, radiating outwards, as in the sample on the right. But as you can see, this makes the individual facets indistinguishable. This is not quite as much of a problem as it seems, as I will be outlining the facets in very fine metallic thread anyway, but even so it looked rather too homogenous. The final verdict: temporary brain fog when deciding to switch. Back to the original plan.
The other project I took to Embroidery Group (but neglected) was Sarah Homfray’s orange tree, a companion to the apple tree I did a while ago. All the browns and greens are done, and I’m down to the oranges, in both senses of the word. As these are circles, I thought I’d go with split stitch filling – after all, I’ve had lots of practice doing split stitch circles with Hengest.
The only difference with these circles was the shading. I worked two of them from the outside in, and then one from the inside out (not quite finished, as you can see). And they look nice. But there are nine oranges in total, and even the excitement of working one of these three in the opposite direction couldn’t disguise the fact that doing nine of them in circular split stitch was going to be rather samey for a project that is meant to be a bit of fun. A little more variety is needed to spice things up.
Conveniently, the oranges are arranged in three clusters of three, so it’s easy enough to simply switch to a different stitch when moving to the next cluster. For now I’m thinking of woven wheels with the centre off-centre (I hope that makes sense) and long & short stitch working from the perimeter inwards; with the latter it may be a bit tricky getting three shades into these small shapes, but it will definitely keep stitching them interesting. I’ll let you know how these other oranges work out (remind me if I forget)!