I last posted on this project in November, but the other day I think I saw a Viceroy on our patio, so that brought it to mind again. It is a little early in Toronto to see Monarchs, so I was standing there trying to remember what distinguishes a Viceroy from a Monarch. The difference is that a Viceroy has two rows of white dots around the edge, while a Monarch only has one. I couldn't remember before it flew away, but I did remember that the Viceroy has pointier wings, as you can see here, so I still think that's what it was. The design I'm using actually looks more like a Monarch:
This guy has been through hard times, but I think he is finally on the right track! After my last post I took out all the long and short stitch that was on the left side, so only the split stitch outline was left. Then it sat for months until today while I tried to think of a better approach.
I realized that to get better coverage I would have needed to stitch much more densely than I had been. The embroidery would have become very heavy, possibly fragile, and not what I wanted for a lap quilt. This week I was looking at my copy of Diana Lampe's Embroidered Pansies, and I was surprised to notice that all her pansies were thread painted with two strands of floss in the needle. Two strands! Shocking!
Why not use two strands here? I had been toying with the idea of filling the butterfly with closely worked rows of stem stitch, so that's what I did today, and that's what you see above. I am very pleased with the result! It is fast, easy, covers well, and still maintains the sheen of the thread. Stem stitch keeps most of the thread on the front of the work, which keeps the whole thing light. Plus with two strands I can start each row with a loop knot, which further reduces the bulk and speeds things along.
I am so relieved to have this sorted!
I am linking this post up to WIP Wednesday #96 at The Needle and Thread Network. Three posts in a row this week! I'm on a roll. :D
Related posts: If you haven't looked already, you can see the unsatisfactory long and short stitch in the November 2012 post, and the first post on the project in October 2012.