The New Year, and a new decade. Happy New Year to everyone!
For you and for your stitching friends, here is the deal. Read this blog, make a comment, and you will receive a code that will allow you to download my ebook on Hand Stitch Recognizable Spring Flowers for half price. To help you decide that this is essential/desirable information, here is a peek at the contents of the book.
Framed by Indalo of Fergus, Ontario. Gone to a new home as a gift.
As well as discovering how to stitch 23 different spring flowers, trees and bushes, the book includes basic stitching information that I have seldom, or never, found in other books. Which is why I have included it in my books. Not everyone is born knowing how to embroider; some of us have to learn.
Preparation, is vitally important. Good stitching skills do not achieve excellent results without the basic essentials being correct. You will find fabric preparation, choosing and mounting it on a frame, choosing the right needle size, threading it, starting and ending threads. All the flowers, bushes and trees are stitched using four stitches and variations. They are – Straight, Detached Chain, Buttonhole and French Knots.
It is amazing what can created by using simplicity — creatively!
It is all here in this book and none of it is difficult. Read this book, get out your imagination and stitch. Or, read this book and use it to create a garden of your choice. This is how most stitchers use the information.
First, A Review.
I can thoroughly recommend Ann Bernard’s Stitching Idyllic for Spring Flowers. Ann brings her training at the Royal School of Needlework to the fore by devising a whole new way of embroidering spring flowers with ordinary cotton floss.
Her method of combining different hues of 4 or 6 strands at a time for flower stems and flower heads results in lovely raised effects which make the effort of stranding (which I originally thought tedious) very worthwhile, and gives the impression of many stitches whereas your one bold and stranded stitch is fully expressive by itself. This technique for the flowers and stems – which aims for true colours in nature – at once gives a wonderful shaded and depth effect.
I’ve been an embroiderer for many decades and I was delighted with the results I achieved just doing a practice piece. Using only her techniques, I then embarked on an embroidery, of my own composition of spring flowers. Her directions ‘take you by the hand’ and lead you through flower sizes, growing habit, and colour to make them quite realistic. I completed my own piece of work without my usual agonies as a result, and I was very pleased to produce recognizable flowers. The directions are thorough and the diagrams very descriptive.
I would recommend this book for any stitcher whether novice or experienced, as there is much to learn for very pleasing results.
Sincerely, Edna Mumford
An excerpt from the book.
Threads: Stranding (Stripping), Mixing, and Saving:
The thread used is DMC Six Stranded Floss. Using the correctly coloured thread for the flowers and leaves in your final garden is vital. This conveys the identity of the plant and flower to the viewer. Form and perspective can be distorted but the colour has to be correct. This requires a large number of different threads but, except for the greens, very little is used of most of them. While experimenting on your sampler, any yellow will suffice to try out the technique for daffodil blooms. There is a Thread Conversion list at the end of this book.
Further Prevention of Tangles:
To pull a length of thread from a skein of DMC thread, hold the skein at the wrapper that has no colour number. One pull will give you about 12″ of thread, which is a convenient length for stitching on your sampler. Two pulls will give you a length that is relevant for stitching your final garden. The leaves and stalks use up a lot of thread.
Refer to the photograph below, noting that:
- The end that you pull and thread looks like a a piece of frayed rope as in the photo below. This is the end you pull from the skein and thread into the eye of the needle, i.e. the ‘old’ end. (Green)
- This end is the other end of that thread which has a blunt and compact look. Do not thread it.
- The third end is a newly cut version of thread end you will thread into your needle. (Purple)
- Tap the new end and it will separate and become like the first ‘old’ end. (Purple)
It can be difficult when you have your thread wound onto a card but this should help you decide which end is which. Thread is made of two strands twisted together. It can be hard to impossible to thread a needle against the twist. If all else fails, try threading the other end. Self threading needles are available. A Needle Threader is a useful tool but do use the finest needle you can thread for stitching. The quality of your work will be higher.
STRAND, or STRIP, YOUR THREAD. They are the same thing no matter where you live.
This is of profound importance and is a wise habit to develop. It creates a stitching thread that is untwisted and maximizes fabric coverage. It will achieve a much improved finished product and may decrease the number of stitches you need to make.
How to stitch one of the 23 flowers included in this book.
The bright yellow of King Alfred Daffodils makes them the most familiar variety of the daffodils. As our goal is to create plants and flowers that are instantly recognizable, we will stitch bright yellow daffodils. Note that a daffodil has long straight leaves and stalks, and that the flowers have six petals and a trumpet. We will stitch them frontal view for now. Later, we will return to daffodils and add curved and bent leaves and the flowers in side view.
Green: 320, 987, 989, 895. Yellow: 444, or 307, or 973. Gold: 972.
Leaves and Stalks (fig. 1 below): Use 2 threads each of 320 and 987 and 1 thread each of 989 and 895. These 6 threads of green are now stranded and mixed and make a blend of greens more like daffodil leaves and stalks than any one of them would be if used on its own. Stitch a few Straight stitches to indicate some stalks. The stalks need to be in proportion to the flowers and are about 1″ long in the sample pictured below. Start in the centre and stitch stalks first towards one side and then stitch the other side. Take the short cut between the stalks on the reverse of the fabric as in the diagram (this is the procedure for all the stalks for every plant). Store that thread by bringing it to the front of the fabric a short distance away.
Flowers: Four threads of any of the yellow threads, stranded but unmixed, to stitch the flowers.
Triangle Stitch: Stitch the inside triangle first with stitches about ¼” long (Fig. 2). Add the second and third triangles outside the first one (Fig. 3). Overstitch a Reverse Triangle the same size as the last triangle (Fig. 4). Note that the points of the reverse triangles are midway along the sides of the first triangles. Increase or decrease the number of the triangles to alter the size of the flower.
(Overstitch – stitch on top of previous stitching). Stitch a few flowers at the top of the stalks (Fig. 7). Store that thread and retrieve the green one. Add some more stalks to your plant or group of plants. Then, retrieve the yellow thread and add more flowers. Continue until you have enough flowers to please you. Using the same green thread, add more Straight stitches to fill out the plant with leaves. The leaves of daffodils grow taller than the flowers. Add a few short Straight stitches above the flowers to indicate this. Add more Straight stitches to fill out the plant with leaves.
These diagrams make stitching Daffodils look difficult. It is not. Just place Straight stitches as indicated and you will have no problem. It does take a little practice to make the flower the size and shape you wish, but that is why you have tried them first on your sampler.
Centres: Gold 972 using 1 or 2 threads. Overstitch a small reverse triangle in gold thread for the trumpet of the daffodil (Fig. 5). Your sampler does not have to be a completed work of art. Stitch enough of each plant and flower so that you know how the stitches work, the length of stalks and leaves, how the flowers are created, and how their size can be altered. Once you know this flower, move on to the next plant, Narcissi.
Stitched size is 1 3/4″ wide x 1 3/4″ high.
If you have started reading this book here at Daffodils, you have cheated yourself out of a wealth of information. The earlier sections include the ‘tricks of the trade’. This is a short cut to being an experienced stitcher without spending years to actually become one.
Write a comment on Spring Flowers and I will send you the Code for one half price, copy of this ebook. It will be available for a limited time only.