Tuesday, 23 December 2014

White snowdrop sample - cutting out and making up

Happy holidays everyone!

I'd wanted to get this finished before the festivities and have just made it, so here we go.

You know the drill by now: I painted the back of the stitches with diluted PVA glue, and after leaving it to dry overnight, could start to cut it out:

And fully cut out, including the fiddly bits in the middle:

I think it looks pretty good against the black background, but the idea here was white-on-white, so I stitched it to a piece of white silk satin.  Pinned into position:

And stitched:

I backed this with some dove grey satin, just to neaten it up.  The finished piece:

I'm not 100% happy with how this has turned out.  The stitching gives a textured appearance which usually I like, but I think something smoother would have worked better in this case: if I was doing it again I would use satin stitch instead.  Still, that's the whole point of doing these sample pieces, to experiment and find out what works and what doesn't, so that next time I can do it better.

Maybe I should make 'try and do it better' into my resolution for 2015.  See you in the New Year!

Friday, 19 December 2014

White snowdrop sample - filling in

Quite a lot of stitching but none of it very interesting, so I'll cover it all in the one post.  Still using the same colour, I've filled in the entire design in what's supposed to be long and short stitch but I suspect has really turned into split stitch.  No shading, just white.

Here's some of it:

A bit more:

And a flower:

And the other flowers:


Cutting out and making up next.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

White snowdrop sample - outline

For this I'm only using one colour: white:

That's Madeira stranded cotton no. 2401.

Part of the outline in split stitch (against a black background so you can see it):

And the rest:

I'll start to fill it in next.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

White snowdrop sample

Same design, slightly different approach.  This time, I want to see how it works in white-on-white.  I'll be using the same cut-out-and-apply technique so it's not proper whitework, of course, but I'm interested to see how convincing - or otherwise! - it is.

So starting out the same as before, tracing the design onto silver organza with a light blue ultra-fine Sharpie pen:

The traced design taken off the drawn image that was beneath it in the first photo:

Painted white, and still on the paper:

Off the paper, onto a frame and ready to stitch:

It's a bit faint, but it's still easy enough to see, so I shouldn't struggle to stitch over the lines.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Silver snowdrop sample - completed

With the snowdrop cut out, I needed to stitch it to a background fabric, but as this is an experiment, I decided to try a completely different fabric to usual: net.

Pinned to a square of white net:

The pins all go over the stitching, not into it, and are enough to hold it in place.

I stitched it down with the same stranded cotton used for the satin stitch, with the stitches going right over the stitched parts (outlines and leaves) rather than into the stitching, in the hope that it wouldn't be visible when I was finished:

I think that works well, I'm pleased, though to make it stand out a bit better and feel a bit more robust, I stitched the net to a square of white silk satin:

They're just held together with a line of zig-zag machine stitching along the top - the snowdrop isn't stitched to the satin background at all.

All in all, I'm pleased with how this has turned out.  I think perhaps this technique would work better with a design with larger areas for the Italian tubular mesh wire ribbon to show through, but as a proof of concept it's turned out well.

And I do like that snowdrop...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Silver snowdrop sample - cutting out

And now the bit I've really not been looking forward to: cutting it out.  It's quite a fiddly design with quite a few skinny bits, so the potential for disaster is quite high.

No photo of this bit, but as is now becoming routine, I painted over the back of the stitching with watered-down PVA glue.  I only painted over the stitching, not the unstitched areas of the mesh in the centre of the larger parts of the design, as I didn't want anything coming through the the front where it might be visible.

Once that had dried properly (I always leave it overnight, to make sure), I started cutting it out - first around the edge:

I didn't notice that the snowdrop on the left had got tucked under the central one until it was far too late to retake the photo, but never mind.  You might also be able to see what looks like fluff on the paper it's resting on - this is actually little bits of wire from the mesh, which frayed everywhere from the offcuts, but - thankfully - not the side that had been overstitched.  I'd been a bit worried that it might all just unravel, but happily it didn't.

The unwanted areas in the middle cut away - the really scary bit!

Success!  That's a relief.  Stitching it to a background fabric should be plain sailing.