The Next Delectable Morsels Package
A couple of months ago, Alison sent out the next ‘Delectable Morsel’s’ package. This time with a ‘bouquet’ theme. We don’t have to use the theme Alison provides. It is merely inspiration for the threads and other goodies she has supplied us with. But as soon as I saw what was in the box, I knew exactly what I wanted to do! Sadly, it is one very slow moving project, and there is still not a lot to show you. However, I have made some improvements with my stitching, which I wanted to share with you.
The goodies we received
Like our first package, this one was also beautifully presented. It really looked like a box of chocolate – my hubby thought I was hiding chocolate from him!
We received a beautiful silk, some stumpwork wire, a few ‘beetle wings’ and various threads. Again, I didn’t take a photo. Maybe next time.
So, what is my idea?
This is something to get me out of my comfort zone! I have decided to make a bouquet of flowers that is completely free standing. With a lot of stumpwork flowers, the flower is attached to the main fabric, with one or two petals being stitched directly onto the background fabric. I thought for quite a while on how I could change this to a complete freestanding work, and I think I have it worked out. Time will tell, but first, there are a lot of petals to stitch!
Oh, so many petals!
I have decided I will make four flowers of five petals each. One of the reasons I’m struggling to get to the end of all those petals is the monotony of it all! I had originally thought I’d be able to make this piece up in a couple of days. But there have been times when I really haven’t done much as I’m just not that excited by doing another petal. One thing the RSN Certificate has taught me (especially in the canvaswork piece), is that perseverance does pay off. The other motivating factor is the improvement I can see from the first petals, to the most recently stitched ones.
Techniques tried in stitching the petals
It has been a while since I have done any stumpwork embroidery. One of the problems I have always had are the ‘holes’ I create between the buttonhole edge around the wire, and the stitching on the inside of the shape.
For the first few petals, I used the same technique I always have. Not surprisingly, those ‘holes’ appeared. This method is to buttonhole stitch around the wire, and then fill the inner petal.
I then had a flashback to the stumpwork day class I attended a while ago, and remembered there was a step I was missing! Here, Rachel taught us to overstitch the wire to the fabric, and the very last step (after she had cut it out), was the buttonhole stitch. I also attended a class on stumpwork with Lizzy Lansberry. She did almost the same thing, but added the buttonhole stitch before it was cut out.
After remembering these points, I thought it would be a good idea to look up the RSN’s guide on stumpwork, and see what it had to say. This book is available from a number of retailers, including Amazon, The Book Depository, Abe Books (for second hand copies) and the RSN itself. After a quick read, there was one additional point I was forgetting – a split stitch around the inside of the petal, next to the overstitch. The long and short stitch is then worked. So a lot more like traditional long and short stitch, just with a bit of wire! Through a few different attempts, it appears the best way to fill the petal, is to stitch the long and short stitch into the overstitch a little. This could of course be completely wrong, but it does seem to be an effective way in reducing the number of ‘holes’ on the finished petal.
What’s next with all these petals?
I have decided to take a slightly different approach to the last few petals, in what I hope to be an exercise in efficiency. The first step is to complete the overstitching and split stitch on all the remaining petals. Then, complete the long and short stitch. I’m not sure if I will do the buttonhole on a petal by petal basis, or leave it all to the end. I’m thinking at this stage to do it on a petal by petal basis, as it does hurt the fingers a little!
I also want to find out what happens if I couch down some of the metallic threads between the wire and long and short stitch. Part of the approach I’m taking with these delectable morsels packs is to experiment and try a few new things. So whilst the couching idea might hide some of those holes, I also want to try it just to see if it works.
The next step will be ‘constructing’ this bouquet. My plan for this is to use felt as the centre, cross my fingers, and hope that it makes a flower!