Thursday, 26 February 2015

Plantagenet Wreath - broom flowers

The broom flower blossoms next.  No shading, just yellow.

The first fifty:

And the second:

Although the layout is quite formal, all the flowers are slightly different - I didn't want the design to be rigid, and so while the positioning is uniform, I drew each flower freehand.

Here's a close-up of one set, to see them in more detail:

It's coming along - just the roses to embroider.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Plantagenet Wreath - little green caps

The broom flowers are to be filled in next, all one hundred of them, and I'm starting with the little green caps at their bases (I'm sure these have a proper botanical name but I have no idea what it is!).

These are in the lightest shade of green, Madeira stranded cotton no. 1401.  The first fifty worked in satin stitch:

and all hundred:

These are rather small and not that easy to see, so here's a close-up of a set of ten:

I'm really pleased with how it's coming along, and I'm looking forward to doing the flowers themselves next.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Plantagenet Wreath - stems

All the outlining's done, so onto the filling in.

I'm starting with the stems, in the same shade of green, Madeira stranded cotton no. 1410, as used when outlining them.  No shading here, just filling in the full stem in the one colour using long and short stitch.

There are ten sets of stems in total, and here's the first five:

And the rest:

It makes quite a difference!  Onto the broom flowers next.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Plantagenet Wreath - outlining the roses

The last bit of outlining, this time for the roses.

These are quite fiddly, involving three stages and colours:

That pink shade will actually come into its own later; for the outlining I'm using the yellow and off-white, and the darkest of the three shades of green we looked at earlier.

Firstly, the centres of the roses, in a slightly darker yellow than the broom flowers, Madeira stranded cotton no. 0106:

Next, the roses themselves, in no. 2402:

And finally the little green leaves between the rose petals, in no. 1412:

So that's everything outlined - I can start filling in the colour next.  I'm looking forward to it!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Plantagenet Wreath - outlining the flowers

The stems are outlined, and next it's the broom flowers.  These have a small pale green cap at the base, which are going to be worked in the lightest shade of the greens we looked at last time, 1401.

There are 100 broom flowers - that doesn't have any significance, it's just a result of having quite a formal layout for the design.  It does mean I can quite easily keep a mental note of the percentage of flowers completed, though!

The little caps outlined:

The flowers themselves are in a strong yellow, no. 0104:

The flowers themselves outlined:

The layout for the flowers is regular but the flowers themselves are not: they were all drawn separately and are all slightly different sizes and positions, to give a more organic look.  I want the look of this piece to be formal but not rigid.

Just the outline for the roses to go.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Plantagenet Wreath - outlining the stems

Annoyingly, I forgot to take a photo of the fabric off the paper it had been on when it was painted and put onto a frame ready to start, so we'll just have to skip that bit and go straight to it with some stitching on.

I'm not going to be doing much in the way of shading in this project, so while I'll be using three shades of green stranded cotton, it's not with a view to producing any shaded effects with them.

Here they are:

Using the middle shade, no. 1410, I've outlined the stems in split stitch:

I'll outline the broom flowers next.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Plantagenet Wreath

I am something of an amateur history buff.  I'll happily read books or watch TV programmes about just about any historical period, though there's something fascinatingly ghastly about the Middle Ages, and I recently read The Plantagenets by Dan Jones, which I can very much recommend.  I'm also a big Shakespeare fan.  Last autumn, I was lucky enough to see the RSC productions of Henry IV Parts I and II, which were just wonderful, and over the Christmas holidays watched my DVDs of the BBC's marvellous Hollow Crown productions of Richard II to Henry V.  All this has left me wanting to stitch something.

And here that 'something' is:

This is a stylised wreath design, 28cm (11") in diameter, with its underlying structure formed by two overlapping circular sine waves, which will form stems.  The flowers themselves are roses and broom - planta genista - the original emblem of the Plantagenet family and the source of their name.

Traced onto gold organza in colour:

I'm going for a Yorkist version here so the roses are going to be white, but I need to be able to see the outline so I traced them in red as the finished embroidery will be appliquéd onto a dark red velvet.  If I do a companion Lancastrian version then the roses will of course be red.

The traced design without the drawn version behind it:


I'll start the outlining next time.