Delectable Morsels – Summer flowers
After completing my last RSN Certificate piece, and moving back to Australia, I’ve finally had time to have a play with a couple of the ‘Delectable Morsels’ packs from Alison Cole Embroidery. The first one I sat down with was ‘summer flowers’ – with quite a bit of bling!
Time to play – with the Delectable Morsels club!
I have been ‘collecting’ the packs Alison sends out for the Delectable Morsels ‘club’ for quite a few packs. Despite only wanting to create quite small pieces with them, I never seemed to really find the chance to sit down and use them. But with a lack of supplies on returning to Australia, I finally had no excuses to get back into them!
What is the Delectable Morsels ‘Club’?
The Delectable Morsels ‘club’ is a subscription pack Alison puts together once every two months. One of the things that appealed to me was that she puts together a range of different materials which I have never used before (often never heard of!).
Each pack is themed, and Alison gives you suggestions on how to use the individual materials – and how to break the ‘rules’ on how they should be used.
Also included is a sketch of a design idea. But, she encourages you to use your own imagination and design ideas to come up with you own unique piece. There is also no ‘obligation’ to use the theme of the pack in your design. It is simply a starting point!
I do find it is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – you just don’t know what the picture is, when designing the piece. Trying to use all the different materials is at times a challenge. But I guess that is part of the point!
Summer Flowers – Smoke and Mirrors
This was a really fun pack! And one I seemed to be able to come up with a design idea for quite easily.
Included in this pack were:
- Silk/Metallic Organza
- Waterlillies silk by ‘Caron‘
- Cascade House Filament Silk
- Swarovski Crystal Treasure
- Gold Stretch Wire Bracelet
- 3 Ply Twist (in purple)
- Bead Caps
- Gilt 11’s Plate
- Gilt Spangles and Gilt Smooth Purl
- Cake decorating wire
And what was the smoke and mirrors about? It was all about doing some elements that required time, and some quick elements (such as the crystal, bead caps, spangles), that look great, but take next to no time to apply.
My design for this one is not really ‘summer flowers’ as such, but more a ‘sweet’ design incorporating flowers, beads, and a butterfly. I’d never used the plate before, so that required a bit of trial and error to work out how to use it in the piece.
The bracelet is essentially a big ring of pearl purl. But, I found it incredibly difficult to cut. I would have liked to have used more, but it was such a drama to cut it I just gave up! I used a couple and that was that! If I ever remember to pick myself up some wire cutters, I might revisit it, as it is a really unique material.
Since stumpwork flowers seemed to be an ‘essential element’ in my mind, it was time to revisit my approach to them. Forever ago, in the last Delectable Morsels pack I started (but as yet, still not finished!), I was really struggling with the petals. I was getting these horrible ‘holes’ between the silk shading and the wire.
So I decided to change my approach, and thankfully, I no longer have those horrible holes! I know ‘my way’ isn’t the ‘right’ way, but hey, it works for me!
Instead of stitching down the wire, and buttonholing it, before filling in the inside of each petal, I simply reversed it! The inside first, and the wire second. This resulted in a much better result. Not only no holes, but also more consistently shaped petals.
Using the materials
Now that I had my flower petals, it was time to put them into action.
I used vandyke stitch for some leaves around my flowers, and outlined them in the twist thread.
The organza was the ‘base’ of my made up flower. I ‘created’ petals by stitching running stitch in a wave like pattern across a strip I cut about five centimetres wide. I then gathered it up and couched it into place. One seemed to work better than the other!
I then made my stumpwork flowers on top of this, and gave them a centre with a spangle.
‘Smoke and Mirrors’
The remainder of the piece really was a smoke and mirrors effect. Attaching the glitz and glamor, and after wrestling with the bracelet, couching them in place.
I had a play with the broadplate, and my first attempt wasn’t particularly successful. I’m sure the current ones are done correctly either, but I seemed to manage to bend it back in the right place to create my giant bee like creatures. Once I’d worked out how to apply it, they really did work up quickly!
And yes, I did do a couple of bullion knot roses on there. I know some people will think of them as anything but ‘quick and easy’, but I actually enjoy stitching them!
Summer Flowers – Smoke and Mirrors
And here it is! A lovely quick project, which I didn’t struggle to work out how to incorporate the various materials. I really enjoyed this little project, and think some of the individual elements would work well by themselves on a small decorative piece.
Are you interested in ‘the club’?
I’m not sure how much longer Alison will be doing these packs for. It was initially for six packs, but as she received such good feedback, she extended it for a further six. We have just received our third in the second six I believe, so you could still join in. You can get more information on the pack from Alison here. And if you would like more information from me on the packs, do let me know!