Monday, January 31, 2011

Decorative Pattern on Doily---Experimenting with Long-and-Short Shading

I would like to thank Megan of for helping me take a strong decision to discontinue working on doily no. 1 and start doily no. 2.

This is my progress on the decorative pattern so far.

I am working with long-and-short shading instead of chain stitch filling.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Two of My Unfinished Projects

I was down with fever yesterday, so I was not able to do anything related to embroidery or sewing yesterday and today. However, I thought of sharing with you the photos of my unfinished embroideries on two satin doilies---the first is a basket of flowers (I don't remember from where I got this design) and the second is a decorative pattern (I got this design from the book "The Embroidery of Roses" by Ondori publishers and modified the round border according to the size of the doily; In the book, this pattern is titled "Decorative pattern from India and Persia")

I started embroidering these doilies five years ago. When we shifted to a new house, I thought I almost lost them. But one day when I was cleaning the closets I found the doilies in good condition. You know how happy I was then. However, as I was busy working on some custom orders, I was not able to concentrate on these doilies. I didn't forget to pack these doilies with my other embroidery materials when I came to my hubby's home two years before.

At the start of this new year I decided to complete all my UFOs, and the first items that struck my mind were these doilies.

Five years before, I used to draw designs directly on the fabric with a pencil or pen.  Also at that time I didn't use long-and-short stitch as I use now to fill in large areas such as flower petals. My choice at that time was either chain stitch or stem stitch. So now I think I can use long-and short stitch for the remaining parts of the designs.

However, I am not quite happy with the embroidery on the first doily. The satin fabric looks shrunk, as the stitches in the border around as well as in the center design are too tight. This is what I learned after stitching this piece: "You should be extra careful when you embroider on silk and satin. Do not pull your stitches too tight. It will not be easy to unpick the stitches from these fabrics." Now I have decided not to continue embroidering this doily, because I feel even if I did use other stitches and make sure that the stitches are not taut, the doily won't look any better. The second doily looks fine, so I think I can start progressing.

Can I get suggestions from you all as to whether I should continue to embroider the first doily?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spring Bouquet---Done

I have finished the spring bouquet project.

The stitches used in this project are: stem, fly, bullion and French knot.

The book has lot of simple yet elegant designs like this one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spring Bouquet

Today I started a small embroidery project on a handkerchief. The design is a bouquet of spring flowers. I took the design from one of the Ondori books "A New Look for Needlework." It's a lovely design. I have almost finished it.

Here are some photos of the project.

I will post the remaining photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review---Beginner’s Guide to Silk Shading by Clare Hanham

When I was searching for books that teach long-and-short embroidery I came across the book “Beginner’s Guide to Silk Shading” written by Clare Hanham and published by Search Press.

This is a short book (48 pages only), but the information it contains is great.

Clare teaches silk shading with four lovely projects---Climbing Leaves, Tulip, Butterfly, and Dog Roses.  Each project is described in detail with step-by-step color photographs. The book starts with the Materials section, followed by Techniques, How to Start, and then the projects.

Clare also gives ideas on what ways we could use these projects. For example, you could see the photos of the butterfly silk shading done on a trinket box, framed as a wall hanging, or sewn into a denim bag.

I planned to do the Dog Roses or the Butterfly project when I bought the book. Hope I find some time to do it.

The only drawback of this book is, there are only four projects. There should have been more for beginners to practice.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bullion Roses

I embroidered these bullion roses yesterday. I took the roses design from a pattern book and added the leaves on my own. I am going to sew this piece into a pocket on my little one's A-line dress which I am planning to sew next week or I will make this into a little purse. I will show you when it is done.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Am Excited!

I am excited to receive a comment from one of the masters of embroidery, Trish Burr, in one of my posts.

Thanks, Trish! Your words are very encouraging.

I recently bought Trish Burr's another book "Redoute's Finest Flowers in Embroidery," which has nice flower projects. I have planned to do some of these projects on hankies and bags.

I hope 2011 has started well for all of you. This new year, I have plans to do a lot of projects, but with a resolution not to take up more than three projects at a same time and not to increase my count of unfinished projects. You will see a lot of activities coming forth on my blog---book giveaways, book reviews, tutorials, and much more.

In the photos below you will see the completed long-and-short Chinese lotus embroidery. I had strongly decided to take up another project only after completing this. I have also decided to take a short break from long-and-short embroidery and would like to try my hands on other forms of embroidery. Therefore I will take up a new project in a day or two.

Before signing off, I like to wish (though it is belated) you all "A Happy New Year!"