Saturday, 6 August 2016

Mad About French Knots

It seems I have spent the last couple of days madly stitching French knots. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them!! They are lovely versatile little stitches, if you clump them together they create bushes, trees, patches of moss, stones, flower centres.... If they are on their own you can create insects, polka dots, raindrops or flowers.They can be big or small depending on how many times you wind the thread around the needle, or how many strands of floss you use to start with, and I just think they're great! (You might have guessed?)

I realised that I haven't shown you my finished Sunset Stitchscape piece. I'm still not entirely sure whether the large cluster of French and Bullion knots is a tree or a cactus, I'll let you decide on that one but I like the effect of silhouettes, especially on my little silhouette mountain with the single spike trees. It was in this piece that I started playing with changing the colours of the French knots to the colours of the fabric on both sides of the stitched lines in an attempt to create splashes of light on the tops of shapes, blending and merging them together.

I think the effect I most loved creating was with the waves of fabric making up the sky, each highlighted in some way with embroidery, leading down into deeper, darker colours.

Of course, now the French knot bug has taken hold, as soon as one piece was finished, another idea started to root in my little creative brain and I started exploring a seaside theme....

I think this might be my favourite piece so far!! Especially my cute little Barnacles perched atop their rocks. These were created with a French knot in the centre, with Bullion knots curving around it. There are many layers to these rocks as I kept adding stitches in different directions, some of which didn't quite work as I'd hoped. Underneath the layer of brown stem stitch there is a lighter coloured blanket stitch which was gone over again as the rocks were getting lost in the whiteness of the sea spray. If you look closely at the fabric in the bottom layer you can see that it is actually printed with a clock pattern.

I tried to create the impression of a sandy beach leading to a grassy knoll with my yellow and green spotty fabric. Had I left it all as a yellow sandy beach I think this piece would look a lot flatter and have less dimension to it so I'm pleased I added the green. It also then let me add my favourite style of Bullion knot reed flowers in a dusky purple, beautifully contrasting with the yellow.

Can you see the white horses in my sea spray?  I'd taken the idea from my Sunset Stitchscape to use coloured threads in the two fabric colours that were next to each other to try and create a blending; the sand merging into the sea. Now I have to think what 'scape' I want to do next!!

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