Sunday, 27 February 2011

Applying the cowslip

Time to start adding the flowers!

I should just mention that while the finished panel will be vertical, it's mounted horizontally on the frame, so the flowers in the photos will be sideways on.  I could turn the photos round, of course, but I thought it would be better if you see them them way I'm seeing them as I work.  With most of them it doesn't really matter, but with some of them, it does look obvious.

Such as the cowslip.  Each panel has one in the centre, and it seems to be a good place to start, and then work outwards.  So, using my grid as a guide, I first added the bunch of leaves:

I'd meant to take a photo of each flower head as it went on, but I forgot, so I'm afraid you're going to have to skip the interim stages and go straight to all three having been applied:

It's a start, and applying the flowers is a lot quicker than stitching them in the first place!

For anyone who wasn't reading when I reached this stage with the first panel - don't worry that the cut edge of the linen around the applied pieces looks a bit rough.  Once all the flowers are in place, they'll be edged with gold, and the linen edges will be concealed.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Starting the left panel

Starting to put it together, that is, as the flowers are all embroidered.  They did need to be damp stretched, though.  Here they are, all pinned out ready to be dampened:

Now they're all beautifully flat, I can cut them up.  It almost seems a shame, doesn't it!  It'll be worth it, though, as the finished panel (and Banner, when I get that far) should be more than the sum of its parts.

Back to the second panel, though.  It'll form the left side of the Banner, and should look something like the design here.  As before, I'm applying the flowers by eye, but guided by a marked out grid.

For this to work, I need the grid on both the design and the panel itself.  The panel will be vertical when part of the Banner, but will be mounted horizontally on a frame to work.  To make things as simple as possible for myself, I need the design to be horizontal too.  As it's too long for the full thing to fit on my drawing board sideways on, I cut out the panel I need and taped it to the board (don't worry - I have another, pristine, copy put away!).  I could then draw the grid on in pencil:

Then there was the rather tedious but absolutely vital task of mounting the velvet panel on my biggest embroidery frame.  I'd cut out and lined with linen all the velvet panels previously, when I was starting the first one, so that was one less job to do now.

The grid was already marked out on the linen on the back, so I tacked over it, to transfer it to the front of the fabric:

Now I'm all ready to start adding the flowers!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Second sheet of foxgloves

I've now finished the second (of two) sheet of foxgloves.  So for the usual before-and-after pictures, here's the transfer, ready to be stitched:

And with all the embroidery done:

I like the foxgloves, even though they're fiddly to do - the small flowers at the top are less than a centimetre (under half an inch) across.  I like doing them more than the ferns, for example, and I think that's because they're more interesting.  They're prettier, there's more going on in both the design and the stitching, and they look more natural.

There'll be a couple more of them on the right-hand panel, but for now, that's the last of the embroidery for the left one.  I'm really pleased with this - according to my schedule, I needed to get all the embroidery done by 12 March, so I'm finished three weeks early!  Putting the first panel together took me longer than I'd expected, but now I've made up some time I should still be able to keep on track overall, even if this one take a bit longer than anticipated too.  That's the theory, anyway - time will tell if it works out like that.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The rest of the ferns

I hadn't realised it's been such a long time since my last post - sorry about that.  Time does seem to fly, doesn't it!

Since then, I've finished the rest of the ferns for the second Banner panel.  Here's the transfer for them:

I made these transfers quite a long time ago, and it looks as though while doing them, I realised that I'd been doing too many individual leaves, and after the first one, started doing fewer.  I wish I'd remembered that when I first came to stitch them!

Here they are stitched:

There's just the second foxglove to go now, and I've already made a start on it, so hopefully it shouldn't be too long before you hear from me again!

Thursday, 3 February 2011


The left Banner panel has a cowslip in the centre, the same as the bottom one, which again consists of three flower heads in different sizes, the smallest being about 2.5cm (1") across.  All threads and techniques are the same as before.

Here's the linen with the transfer on it, framed up and ready to go:

I'd traced the flowers as they appear on the design, but I feel that with all the flower heads, it looks a bit heavy and some of the definition is lost, so I'm leaving one out in each case.  These have a pencil cross through them, as a reminder to myself not to go ahead and stitch them in a fit of absent-mindedness.

So, with the little green cups at the base of each individual flower stitched:

Then the flowers themselves:

As with the earlier cowslip, I filled the little gaps between the individual flowers that are too small to cut out with split stitches in a red to match the velvet:

Finally, I worked the leaves, so here's the full thing, completed:

 The embroidery for the second panel is coming along very well - I think I'm slightly ahead of schedule!