Silk Stitching: Fields

You have to love the blanket stitch. It’s not just for holding down the edges of fabric shapes applied to another fabrics. It’s also a great decorative stitch. See the furrows in the field above? Blanket stitch.

Using a size 8 Lime Frappe pearl cotton thread, I varied the height of the tines on the blanket stitches to imitate crops growing. This variegated thread also adds movement and variety to the plants.

Notice the running stitch on the right of the blue fabric? That marks where I’ll insert another field.

This field is made with lazy daisy stitches using a size 8 Really Red pearl cotton thread. Rows of this looping stitch are placed vertically across the fabric. But they look a little drab to me.

So I’ve added running stitches crossing over the loops with a size 12 Ocean thread repeating the light blue of the clouds and adding more texture. I may revisit both of these fields later to add more embroidery. One can never have too much embroidery!

Stitching Silk: Where It Begins

My collection of hand-dyed silk is so enticing! I’ve been hoarding boxes of this beautiful fabric for years. And now it’s time to set the beauties free. Many of my silks are 14 momme silk jacquards like these purchased as white fabric from Exotic Silks and then dyed with Procion MX Fiber Reactive dyes.

Other silks are prints from thrift stores that I’ve over-dyed like this green print for the tree trunks. Behind each fabric is Misty Fuse a lightweight fusible web ideal for silk. After I free-cut shapes for the design, I assemble them on wool batting, iron or fuse them into place, and steam set the quilt top to the batting.

Here you see the first hand embroidery stitches applied using my hand-dyed threads. The silk is so easy to stitch with Sizes 12 and 8 pearl cotton threads.

Have you been hoarding silk fabrics too? Maybe it’s time to set them free and create new art. Let them shine!

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.