Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BFF Month 1.1 Stitching Finished!


Here's my first completed stitchery for Rosalie Quinlan's BOM, Best Friends Forever:


If you are familiar with the pattern, you can see I have made some variations. I am sticking with my Northern Cardinal colouration for the birds. This time I was able to include the brown female as well as the red male. Aren't their coral beaks pretty?

I have also decided to keep those small leaves on the stems open, rather than closing them in with satin stitch. I like the feathery, ferny effect this gives them:


These were back stitched with four strands of floss to balance them with the stems.

For the flowers I stuck with the half pinwheel petals that I showed you previously. This is a crazy quilting stitch that would normally be used as a seam treatment. It is sewn continuously, so it goes quickly:


I also used blanket stitch pinwheels on the round flowers:


I tried at least four variations on this flower before I was happy with it. I am sorry I didn't take photos of the rejects, sometimes it is interesting to see what didn't work too.

Finally, I want to show how I handled all those little crosses. Wretched things! I don't think they add anything to the design, and they're a time consuming pain in the neck. I elected to stitch them all in a very light blue, DMC 828, and try to blend them out as much as possible:


You can see that I couched down the centre of each cross. I'm hoping that this will prevent them from snagging when the quilt is used. It also gave me a little more thread on the back to work with when I tied each and every one of them off. After a while I did get into a rhythm with them. Good thing, because it looks like they appear on almost all the motifs!

So, one down, 31 to go. Hopefully the rest of Month 1 won't be far behind! I'm linking this post up with WIP Wednesday #104 at The Needle and Thread Network. Check out some of the other great blogs there!

22 comments:

  1. Maybe those little blue crosses are supposed to be flying insects? Anyway, your stitchery looks very nice and precise. I agree about leaving the leaves open. Your back stitches are great. Mine never look that good, maybe because in the baskets I am stitching, the directions call for #5 perle cotton. I think it's too clunky and have opted to use #8 whenever I have a close substitution.

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    1. Thanks very much, Mary Ellen! Back stitch is a stinky stitch, but I think I have finally come to terms with it. My breakthrough was to stitch it in two steps - pull all the way through to the bottom, and then all the way through to the top, rather than stitching in one motion from the top. I find it easier to be accurate that way, and you don't have to keep turning the work either, so it may well be faster.

      I wouldn't like to be stitching with perle cotton, I imagine the ends are harder to hide. Good luck with it!

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  2. I really like your embroidery. When I was little and my mom suggested it as a hobby it seemed so old-fashioned. I didn't want to stitch little pictures of Winnie the Pooh! I got into quilting instead. I know, that's not old-fashioned at all! But now it's popping up everywhere, and it's making me re-evaluate embroidery. And I think I'm starting to want to try it myself! Don't tell my mom. :)

    beaniekins84(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks very much! First redwork, and now these multicolour stitcheries, are becoming very trendy these days. I saw a US website put out a call for patterns. Most of them right now are from Australia. I love hand stitching, but I used to think it would be ridiculously slow. Now I prioritize enjoyment over speed.

      I won't tell your mom if you give it a try!

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  3. Your stitching is very pretty! Love the birds and the airy look to the project.:)

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    1. Thank you, Audrey. That's exactly the look I'm going for - cheerful and light!

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  4. I so admire your patient to make such beautiful stitcheries. I love the colours you have used.

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    1. LOL Rachael, I was just writing my reply to Apple Pie Patchwork above when you added your comment! I said that I used to think hand stitching would be ridiculously slow. I also thought that people who did it were bonkers. But it turned out that I really like it. More than sitting at a noisy sewing machine, truth be told, although sometimes it is nice to have a change.

      But really, hand stitching is more indulgence than patience!

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  5. A great series of decisions, Monica (which, being translated, means I agree with them!). Colours are lovely, the openness is great and your treatment of the little blue star things is inspired. These now blend nicely and give a texture rather than embellishment - a bit like spotted voile. I dislike embroidering things like that - such a nuisance to have to finish each one off securely before moving on. You must be so pleased to see the finished article - and all those ideas from your experiments still to use!

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    1. LMAO, Jillian. That's usually what I mean too! I AM pleased to have one done, but I am really looking forward to finishing this first set of four and getting them set into the quilt. That's when I'll get a true sense of how it's going to turn out. May be a while yet, though.

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  6. great block and think it is good that you have personalised it by using alternative stitches

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! For me, personalizing it is the fun part!

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  7. Beautiful, Monica! Love the changes you made.

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  8. That is such a lovely work, in such yummy colours, that I checked whether I could take on another hobby .... Your treatment of the little stars is inspired.

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    1. LOL, thanks, Regina! I understand that you have to draw the line somewhere, but this project is so fun, maybe you will find room!

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  9. Your stitching is lovely and you did a wonderful job on all the back stitching lines. I especially like the orange half pinwheel flowers and how colourful the whole design is. 31 more to go! It's going to look awesome!

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Thank you for your comment! I love to talk with my readers, and I will reply to every comment, either directly via email or, if you are a "no-reply" commenter, right here under your comment.

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Happy stitching!

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