Thursday, 9 October 2014

Acanthus leaf sample - colours and outlining

With the design transferred and painted, I put it on a frame ready to stitch:



(sorry about the rather harsh lighting in that photo - I'm not sure what happened there).

I'm using three shades of Madeira stranded cotton: nos. 1908, 1910 and 1912.



As the palest shade, 1908, will be the most used of the three, I used that to outline the design in split stitch:



Next time, I'll start to fill it in.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Acanthus leaf sample

After the Apple Tree fire screen, I want to do a couple more small sample pieces using the same techniques, to play about a bit with the shading and see what works.  The first one I'm going to do is a classical acanthus leaf design:



While the fire screen used quite bold colours, I want this to be more subtle, and will be using a 'coffee and cream' colour scheme.

First things first, though.  As previously, I'm working this on gold organza, and will cut the completed embroidery out and apply it to a background.  I traced the design onto the organza (with a pen this time, rather than the almost-invisible pencil I used last time):



And off the design:



I then painted this with diluted acrylic paints:



This is still on the paper so the colours look stronger than they will once it's come off, but it shows the shading I'm aiming for quite nicely.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case - completed

The slip case is now finished - here it is with the book in it, showing the spine:



When I showed it made up but without the book it might have looked the wrong way round, as though the opening was on the wrong side.  In fact, it's that way on purpose, so that when the book is in it the spine is on display while the embroidery forms the front.

Presented a bit more nicely on a stand:



This is the first slip case I've made for a while - I think I should do a few more!

Friday, 26 September 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case - making up the slip case

Time to assemble the slip case itself.  This is a sort of box that the book can slide in and out of, and so needs to fit the book quite snugly.  After some careful measuring, I cut mount board to fit:



These pieces will form the front and back, top and bottom, and the spine.

They all need to be covered in fabric; I have the front, of course, as that's what I've been embroidering, but for the others I've cut more of the same green dupion.  I've also lined it with the same fine linen even though it's not going to be embroidered, to make it the same weight as the front:



These pieces plus the embroidered one were laced onto the cut mount board pieces in the usual way:



The don't look too pretty on the back, though, and so need to be covered.  I have some lovely second-hand silk saris from Catfluff, and one of them - a yellow-orange colour with a printed design of little stylised buildings and plants - was just perfect:



This won't really be seen as it'll be on the inside of the finished slip case, but it's always nice to know it's there.

I cut some yellow felt to size:



Cut some slightly larger pieces of the sari silk and tacked them onto the felt:



Then ladder stitched them onto the back of the covered boards, covering the lacing:



With all the pieces ready, I could start assembling the slip case itself.  I first ladder stitched the front, spine and back together:



And then added the top and bottom:



Finished!

I'll show you how it looks with the book tomorrow.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case - Mowgli (again)

Here's where we left things last time, supposedly with everything finished:



It's not right, though: compared to the palm tree, Mowgli just disappears.  I just worked the figure in outline as it was too small and fiddly for goldwork, but it needs more than that.  So, to make it stand out more, I've filled in the outline with split stitch in a dark gold-coloured stranded cotton, Madeira 2213:



I think that works better, don't you?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case - palm tree branches

I thought this was going to be fiddly, and it was!

The branches themselves were straightforward enough, using lengths of pearl purl:


The leaves were a little trickier.  These are in wire check purl, which is smoother than the bright check purl of the trunk, but not as smooth as the pearl purl of the branches, and so give a nice contrast to both.  As I want the leaves to look passably organic, I didn't measure and cut exact lengths but was deliberately more random.  I'm not sure if that made it easier or harder!

Anyway, here's the first branch, so you can see how it's working:


And all the branches completed:


And some final beads on the turrets that I ought to have done earlier but forgot about:


That ought to be all the embroidery completed, but there's something I'm not happy with.  I've been trying to convince myself that it was fine, but it isn't.  More work needed.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

'Jungle Book' slip case - tree trunk

Onto the palm tree.

Using short lengths of bright check wire (the same as for Mowgli's hair), I added the trunk of the tree as a series of short sections:



The zig-zag finish of the wire gives a nice rough effect to it which I like.

I've also stitched through the design for the rest of the tree, as you can see.  I think it's going to be a bit fiddly!