Thursday, February 13, 2014

First Embroidery for L'Herbier


I spent a challenging but rewarding day yesterday working the first embroidery for my new L'Herbier embroidered wall quilt. Yesterday I wrote at length about my process for preparing the applique circle prior to starting the embroidery. "The final test," I said, "will be the embroidery." I am so glad that I didn't go ahead with all the circles before starting the embroidery!

It was brutal. The muslin is far too tightly woven for ribbon embroidery. I dug out my grippy rubber thimbles, and you can see I managed, but I can't do all 16 embroideries that way. Live and learn! I will have to find something else with a looser weave for the backing.


But otherwise, everything else worked perfectly! With the two layers appliqued together, there was no problem at all with them shifting around. It was easy to hold, stable, and stayed flat. I did not use a hoop at all, as it turned out.

This was my very first time doing ribbon embroidery. Maybe it will be better with a different backing, but it is not as fast or fun to stitch as I expected. I do have to admit, though, that the ribbons are pretty. They pick up other colours from their surroundings, which gives them a lot of depth. The flowers are made with 7 mm ribbon and a single-wrap French knot. Then you go back and squish it down with a bead. Simple but effective!

The stems are worked with fine wool and embroidery floss held together. I was interested to learn that in French, all the small stems are called "ramifications." It's a good visual for the meaning of the English word too!


The main stem is 8 strands of thread held in a chenille needle. I thought that was hard to stitch, but the ribbons proved to be far, far worse. The last two stitches on the stem are done twice to give some extra thickness to the base. It is a nice effect that I will remember for other projects!

I am very pleased with how the leaves turned out. Aren't they elegant? They are just ribbon stitch with the 4 mm green ribbon, and angled blanket stitch for the burgundy veins. The designer, Nathalie Méance, has such creative ideas! Looking ahead, I can see many interesting combinations in the other embroideries too. Soon, I hope!

10 comments:

  1. Wow! That is gorgeous work! Hope you vsn find your loose weave backing to replace the muslin in the others.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Audrey! My thinking cap is on. I know a better solution will come along!

      Delete
  2. That is lovely ribbon embroidery and it will be worth all the effort. Its been many years since I did a ribbon embroidered cushion but I remember it being so easy to pull the ribbons through the fabric I used which as a soft silky shantung or similar. I worked mine in a hoop and backed it after stitching. Not sure if that will work for you better. It should do as when you quilt it you would also be fixing the muslin in place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katherine! Mary Ellen suggested silk too, so I may look into that.

      Delete
  3. Omg, that is so beautiful!! The ribbons create such great effects. It's a shame your muslin technique didn't work, hopefully the next thing you try will work better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Rachael! I like the look of the ribbons too. And, today the memory of the pain is already fading... I'll see how the next one goes before I change it up too much. :D

      Delete
  4. This looks really lovely - and I agree, the leaves are elegant- impressive. I have not been attracted to ribbon embroidery but this might make me think again. Hope you find a backing that makes it easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Jillian! I think it is just a matter of the right equipment. We'll see how the next one goes. :)

      Delete
  5. Monica this is truly delightful, beautifully done. Like Jillian I have not done any ribbon work

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Margaret! I think it will be more fun once I work out the kinks. Like any new technique, I guess!

      Delete

Thanks for your comment! If you are a "do not reply" blogger, I will usually post a reply under your comment. Otherwise, I reply directly. Happy stitching!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...