Details Count Felt Improv #3

Don’t you love how hand embroidery defines shapes and adds detail? Take the house above for example. Without the hand stitching, you’d never know that the residents love a blue door and a tile roof. The roof, by the way, is stitched with Fly Stitches joined together to make the tile shapes.

And then there is the stitching that turns the surrounding felt shapes into a tree and shrubbery. A few stabs of the needle and a plant is born! The tree shape is embellished with Back Stitches for the trunk and Couching for the branches. The jovial shrubs are made with Stem Stitches and lots of Lazy Daisy Stitches for leaves. Finer threads like size 12 pearl cotton work best for this detailed work.

I’m not sure what the next steps will be for this improvisational piece. But it gives me something to think about as I mix dye and hand dye even more thread this week. A stitcher’s work is never done!

What’s Easy is First: Felt Improv #2

My small composition (6″ x 6″) made from odd felt shapes is stitch-tacked into place. The running and cross stitches secure elements to the large background felt so I don’t have to use hazardous straight pins. Later, I’ll remove the stitch-tacking as I add the decorative embroidery stitches.

I’m also thinking of trimming the 2 round green shapes. They look peculiar to me.

The first embroidery stitches ideas come quickly. The sky and sides of the house are stitched with Blanket Stitches using a size 12 thread. And the top of the bridge is done using a size 8 thread. For the other shapes, I’ll need time to think up more interesting stitchery. Rome was not stitched in a day!

While I daydream about how to embellish the design, I fill in the bridge shape. Horizontal curving rows of Blanket Stitches are placed right next to each other to make boxes. When combined they resemble the brickwork on a bridge and create a wonderful texture at the same time. At long last, my desire to be a bricklayer is fulfilled!

Pretty Spool: Thread and Background

Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Great! We are almost done with the hand embroidery on our Pretty Spool project and soon the train shall enter the station. (Not that I’ve been on a train lately as life is a little off track. Ha! I love railroad humor!)

Please note: Directions are first given here on the blog, then added to the Pretty Spool Tutorial page as we go.

Step #14

  • Stitch French Knots around the outside edges of the spool top next to the blanket stitches.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton thread like Oranges.

Step #15

  • Stitch straight stitches across the thread passing through the needle and surrounding the spool.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton thread like Oranges.

Step #16

  • Stitch running stitches in curves, arcs, and spirals on the background fabric surrounding the spool.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton in a thread color like Degas Blue for the lower part of the background.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton in a thread color like Oranges for the center part of the background.
  • Use a size 12 pearl cotton in a thread color like Butter for the top part of the background.