It is almost Easter weekend when I, and many other people in our northern climate, think that Spring really should be here or, appear very soon. The Spring Equinox has happened and we hope that Mother Nature will cooperate.
To help you feel ‘springlike’, here are the instructions for stitching daffodils. They are easy to stitch and make a good card insert. It is important to have the colours exactly right so that the eye identifies them as daffodils. The DMC thread numbers are included with the instructions. You can use Clarks or Finca instead but go to a Thread Conversion Chart to get the equivalent colour numbers. The Charts are available online.
You will also notice that ‘Take a Peek Inside’ is now available, or will be in a few days, for the ebooks – Hand Stitch Recognizable Spring Flowers and Hand Stitch Recognizable Summer Flowers. I always like to leaf through a book I am interested in before adding it to my library.
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. See Basic stitches for stitching techniques.
Green: 320, 987, 989, 895. Yellow: 444, or 307, or 973.
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. (to strand threads, separate them into single threads and then put them together again). 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 center 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. 6). 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. The plant does not look correct unless you do 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). You can stitch them as diagrammed here or look at the flowers on the cover photo for an alternative.
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.
Specially for our friends in Australia, the next posting will be Purple Cone flowers. I hope that they grow in your area and that they are in bloom right now.
Wishing all readers, a very Happy Easter.