Thursday, 28 June 2018
I know I showed these to you in my last post but I really love them and had a small smooching session in the studio yesterday, setting them up for a grand photo shoot. Please indulge my madness and bear with me.
Although they are all pretty much made of the same types of stitches; bullion knots, straight stitch, pistil stitch, french knots, fly stitch and feather stitch, with the occasional satin stitch and back stitch; these little pebbles allow me to make use of the tiniest of scraps so none of my stash is wasted. They also let me play with different colour combinations like the mustard and purple selection at the back there. The fabrics still generally inform what stitches go into the piece, I have used the ladybug in the ladybug print fabric and kept him in, going over in satin stitches with french knot spots, and followed the printed yellow flower bud spots in the right hand blue piece.
I end up with quite a few stray lengths of embroidery threads floating around in my various travel boxes, so these are another way of using up those last ends. Sometimes I deliberately change the colour of the bullion knot flowers to create a pretty multi-coloured effect, and sometimes I am forced to change if my thread colour runs out, but it doesn't really bother me. I am just painting with threads and the overall effect is a little pop of colour.
I really love the french knot in these pieces as it works fantastically well to taper them and get smaller as you work up to the top of the pebble. It gives them a more natural look, a bit like Lupins perhaps, and if you can wiggle them so that it isn't a completely straight line, that works for the better.
I tend to work quite systematically through the stitch types, and have to use the back of the hoop as much as the front to make sure I am staying within the lines of the shape. I start by working on the back and creating my long straight stitch stems, then switch to the front and add bullion knots to each stem. Next I will add in the french knots and, if I want to, the pistil stitches/fly stitches/feather stitches. Each one is different and unique but they all kind of start out the same- a little like clones developing a personality.
I've made a few Christmas themed ones as I recently cut up lots more fabrics for my Christmas Hoop decoration kit and had some scraps left over. As it's Christmas I've used some of my DMC metallic threads so these ones have got a little bit of a sparkle to them, although you can keep them out all year round.
I've started some more which I will hopefully be able to finish before next weekend. Having said in my last post that I can fit eight into a 20cm hoop, I have discovered that if I use a square 20cm hoop (yes, a square one! They aren't as good in that the fabric slips a lot more, but you do get more space to work with) I can fit in eleven pebbles which is even better!
It looks a total mess, but there is method to the madness. With the two lines of the pebbles, the outer line is my cut line once the embroidery is complete, and the inner line is the containment for the embroidery. The fabrics on the front will overlap each other as I have squeezed in so many pebbles, but as long as they don't overlap the inner line then it is fine as it all gets cut up anyway.
Depending on my fabric scraps, I usually aim for a half and half overlap for each of the fabrics, why don't you have a go yourself? I warn you now, they are fiddly but addictive!