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!