Saturday, November 3, 2012

Viceroy Butterfly Progress

Here is my progress on the Viceroy butterfly for my Meadow quilt:


I was worried that these were going to take forever, but actually it is not as slow as I thought. I have done the split stitch outline, and made a good start on the long and short stitch filling.

I am trying to get a satiny effect from the long and short stitch, with no obvious lines or bumps. It takes practice! I intend to get serious use from this quilt, so I am keeping the stitches a little shorter, at about 1/4" to 3/8". It is challenging to the keep the stitch length about the same, yet place them randomly enough that no lines or bumps appear. I think my success is only moderate, especially compared to the photo of the original further down, but it is a quilt, not an art piece, so I think I can get away with it. A good opportunity to practice!

I have read some debate online about whether you should come up through the previous stitching, or go down through it. I believe the theory is that coming up through the stitching makes smaller holes and a smoother effect. I have tried it both ways, and what is best for me, now at least, is to go down through the previous stitches, splitting the previous threads.

For the colours, I am using DMC 742, 740, and 720, light to dark:


They are all more orange than they appear in this photo. 740 especially is quite fluorescent! In the original design Susan O'Connor used Madeira stranded silk thread in a range of mahogany:


Switching to DMC cotton gives me the opportunity to punch up the colours. I have been using this photo as my colour inspiration instead. In this case, I think the brighter colours are also more realistic, although realism is less important to me than pretty! Based on the photo, most of the shading will be in the upper wings rather than the lower. I am just about to start that, I think it will be fun!

13 comments:

  1. Colours are good - sounds like fun. I'm not very good at long and short stitch and find I get more control going down. Happy shading!

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    1. Yes, I think it is the same for me. Maybe with more practice I'll be able to do it both ways.

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  2. I love monarchs. When I was little mum grew one of the plants they like and when they'd cocoon we'd snip the stalks and bring it inside to watch it hatch. I'd love watching after they'd come out as they puff up their wings to full size. Fascinating!

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    1. I thought Monarchs were a N. American butterfly. Did you have them in Australia too?

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    2. Monarchs were first sighted in Australia in 1871 and were seen in New Zealand a bit before that. They are relatively common and called Wanderers in Australia - presumably because they 'wandered' here from North America!

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    3. Yeah we have them too. I'm not sure if they were introduced or if they're supposed to be here though.

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    4. I wonder if there are any Australian butterflies that have "wandered" here? It always seems to be the other way around, doesn't it?

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  3. this is going to be a very pretty butterfly.

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  4. Enjoy stitching your butterfly. It is going to look beautiful when finished. I try and avoid stitching on things that are dark or patterned too much to allow me to trace the design. Are you using non iron vilene (interfacing) or something else.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katherine. I am using Sticky Fabri-Solvy, which I talked about in the first post for this project. I really like it!

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    2. That's a beautiful butterfly Monica. The split stich has always been one of my favourite embroidery stitches. It makes for a vibrant burst of colour, which most butterflies have. The quilt will look fabulous.

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Happy stitching!

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