Showing posts with label Butterflies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Butterflies. Show all posts

Monday, June 24, 2013

Butterfly Catchers

Every spring I used to worry that I was suddenly losing my eyesight, but now I know that it is just my allergies, and if I wait it out it will get better again! Today I was finally able to see well enough to put the finishing touches on the next section of my Août sampler:

These two are spending their August vacation catching butterflies!

While all my even weave projects have been on the shelf, I've been making good progress on the Lima Beans, which are stitched on 18 ct aida. I'm in the home stretch now, so I hope to show you that soon. The next section of the Summer Sampler is almost ready too.

Riviera Star, unfortunately, has ground to a halt. I still have to cut the fabric for the next section. That's always a hurdle, isn't it? The sewing is the fun part. But the weather forecast is for a hot and humid week, so I don't think I'll be ironing and cutting any time soon. More hand sewing to come!

In the meantime, here's Août so far:

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!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Project - Meadow

As I mentioned on Monday, once Clara was finished I allowed myself to start a new project. In fact, in the past week I have started three. They are all projects that have been waiting in the wings for quite some time.

"Meadow" is going to be an embroidered quilt. It will be built from these massive 3" (6" across) hexagons:

After all the small English Paper Piecing I've been doing, it is a fun change of pace to work with these big ones. That is three days of basting that you are looking at. I had no idea it would take so long! But now they're going to be packed away while I start on the embroidery.

I am adapting a Susan O'Connor pattern from the Country Bumpkin book Beautiful Embroidered Quilts (2006). The pattern is "For the Love of Butterflies." Susan has embroidered oversized butterflies in Madeira stranded silk on a patchwork of Liberty lawn. There are patterns for 23 butterflies, but I think I will aim for five to ten. Her quilt is huge, mine is destined to be a lap quilt. Plus, her butterflies tend to get lost in all the floral fabrics. My position is that if I am going to spend weeks or months embroidering butterflies, you are darn well going to see them on the finished quilt. Hence all the simple green fabrics.

None of my usual stores stock Madeira stranded silk, so I have defaulted to DMC stranded cotton floss. And now that I've started, I think I will get a better range of colour with the DMC.

I've also tried a new product to transfer the design:

This is Sticky Fabri-Solvy, which comes in sheets that you can run through the printer. I already love it! You can see that this pattern would have been a nightmare to trace, so it was a blessing to be able to photocopy it onto the stabilizer. I was able to fit six butterflies on the page. Then I just cut it out, peeled off the backing, and carefully stuck it to the right side of my well-ironed fabric. I have basted it down just to be safe, because I will be handling the piece a lot. It is a little crisp, but not gummy. It feels like light Pellon. It is very easy to sew through, and provides good support for the dense long and short stitch I'm using.

Speaking of long and short stitch, this is only the second time I've used it in a project. It's going much better than the first time! I'm glad that I decided to start these butterflies before the needlepainting project that I also have in the wings, because it will give me a chance to work out the bumps in my technique.

The Fabri-Solvy also stands up well to unpicking, by the way! So this should keep me busy for quite a while. :)
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