Embroidery on Silk Finished!

The little birds are complete, and vegetation is next on the stitch list. Rows and rows of straight stitches cross the silk fabric, building up a grassy mound of greenness. I’ve varied size 12 pearl cotton thread colors to make a textural hillock supporting the 3 decorative leaves in the garden.

Again the chain stitch is used to make rows of color inside the leaf shapes. Variegated threads like Lime Frappe and Lettuce give you that luscious color. Top the leaves off with jubilant orange French knots, and the garden is complete.

Flying Home #2 by Laura Wasilowski

The embroidery is stitched to a background fabric of silk to frame the design. For now, I’m setting my small hand embroidery on silk aside to think about the finishing process. It may take years to come up with something!

Flying Home #2 began with a challenge to try the¬†Darling Motif Collection stencils by Christen Brown. And I’m so happy I accepted the challenge. The stencils offered me a different way to design my free-form embroideries and were a delight to use.

How to Stitch Your Bird

The bird shapes from the Darling Motif Collection stencils by Christen Brown are so endearing. But right now the little birds are looking a little vacant. Time to fill them in.

My first step is to use a stem stitch and a size 12 Butter pearl cotton thread to create the interior of the wing. This same color thread makes the beak and tail stripes too.

Next up is the handy chain stitch. The bird shape is filled in with a spiral of chain stitches surrounding the wing. I’m using a size 12 Aquamarine thread. Place a French knot on the head for an eye, add some spindly orange legs, and your bird is complete!

And now on to the grass and leaves.

How to Fill in Embroidery

After tracing stencil shapes (from Christen Brown’s Darling Motif Collection) onto silk fabric, each shape is outlined using my size 12 pearl cotton threads. Size 12 is a fine thread but covers the traced lines nicely. It glides through silk easily, has a bit of a sheen, and sits on top creating a textural surface. Stem or chain stitches work best for outlining.

But why stop there?

I took the opportunity to play with stitch and thread color combinations. My favorite filler stitch is the chain stitch. It makes solid shapes like the birdhouse and sun. French knots add pops of color. And lazy daisy stitches create soft flower petals in our happy garden.

Next, we’ll tackle the lower part of the garden.