Archive for primrose

And Then There Were Two

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework with tags , , , , , , on May 1, 2014 by suetortoise

Violet and Primrose finished
Just a quick post to show you the finished violet and primrose pictures. I wanted the violets finished by the end of April, and the last stitch went in yesterday, so I actually made my deadline!

Here’s a close-up of the violet:

Violet in Silk, 5 - complete mini
I’d like to do a third spring flower, but which one to choose? I’m thinking I might do a daisy – they are so glorious at this time of year and the size is about right. What do you think?

And For My Next Trick…

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2014 by suetortoise

Primrose in Silk complete

The Primrose in Silk  has been finished for some time. (This is not a very good photo, but it’s surprisingly hard to photograph – I’ve had several attempts.) It’s not a flawless piece of embroidery – but I’ve learnt a lot in the stitching of it. I enjoyed the process and I’m quite pleased with the finished result. In fact I enjoyed this silk work so much that I have just started a companion piece – with violets.

I couldn’t find a suitable design, so I made my own drawing. (It’s largely based on Mabel E Step’s illustration in Wayside and Woodland Blossoms Series I  by Edward Step, published in 1905, but I also used photos and other references.) It’s roughly the same size as the primrose and I’m using the same fine silk dupion and fine silk threads from Devere Yarns as well as some very old Gütermann silk buttonhole twist (divided into three strands). I am going to enjoy translating it into stitches. I hope I can make use of all the lessons I learnt from working the primrose, and I hope that I’ll learn some more skills in the process.

Violets in Silk, 1 - a start

I’ve been asked to list the various stitches used on the primrose, so here goes. The petals are in long and short stitch with an outline of stem stitch worked afterwards, the flower centre is a coiled bullion knot and the calyx is a mixture of fly stitch and stem stitch. The stems are filled with an under layer of diagonal satin stitches, covered with feather stitch and edged with stem stitch. Rather a long and loose stem stitch makes the midrib and veins of the leaves. The leaves are filled with French knots and outlined with stem stitch. The underside of the leaves and the main root are in chain stitch, with stem stitch again for the small roots. I think that’s all except for various odd stitches here and there to fill in gaps.

 

 

Dots, Stripes and Good News

Posted in Embroidery, everyday life, Family and Friends with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2014 by suetortoise

Primrose in silk, 5 - leaves started

Let’s start with the very good news: my father is home from hospital, and is doing very well indeed. Apart from a slight slurring of his speech when tired – and he gets tired very easily – along with a slight slowing down, his recent stroke has left little evidence. He’s still not able to write very legibly yet, but he was working on his computer program within three hours of being home. Not bad for nearly 94!

Getting his house ready for his return was a chore as the central heating boiler needed repair, but that was fixed just in time to warm things up before he arrived. And his friends and neighbours and carers have been brilliant. A huge thank-you to Hereford hospital for their marvellous work in getting him through this. He is truly grateful to them, and they looked after him well, but oh, he is so very pleased to be out of there and back in his own home!
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Continuing the Primrose in Silk

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework with tags , , on February 12, 2014 by suetortoise

It’s a little hard to concentrate on writing a post for Tortoise Loft when the roof sounds as though it is about to blow away at any moment, but here goes. (I doubt the roof will actually blow away – it’s been here a long time. But I am up under the eaves and there’s a howling gale outside.) Before I get onto the silk work, I am happy to report that my father is continuing to make a steady recovery from his stroke. He had a medical problem last week and had to return to the acute ward for treatment, but he has got over that now and is back at the rehabilitation unit for physio and occupational therapy, one step nearer to going home.

Primrose in Silk 3 - first stems

Where were we? The primrose flowers were still in progress last time I wrote about this piece. As you can see, I have now worked all the calyxes and flower stalks. I wanted a little more texture than on the petals, so I thought hard about stitches, made some sketches and did some try-outs and finally decided on working the stalks in two layers. The under layer is simply diagonal satin stitch filling, between the drawn lines. Over that is a very skinny feather stitch, to give an idea of the slight hairiness of the stalks, with a row of stem stitch down each side to add definition to the edge. I worked each of the calyxes with three columns of close-packed fly stitch, in a vertical direction, with stem stitch as an edging and also added on top of the fly stitch where I wanted more shading. The colours are all blends of various greens and greys and olive colours. Continue reading

The Itch to Stitch

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework with tags , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2014 by suetortoise

Carnaby Pigeon head miniMy stitching project over Christmas was a bit of a novelty for me. My friend Serena designed a kit to make felt pigeons as decorations for the World Science Fiction Convention in London this coming August. I have trouble working with wool and most of the felt had wool content. While I was working with Serena on the art show at Novacon in November, she got me to help her make a Robin Hood hat for one of her felt pigeons. I found I could stitch the felt for a little while before I had to stop with itching fingers, so I took a pigeon pack away with me and kept it to do over Christmas. (The pack makes a basic felt pigeon, leaving it up to the maker to add decoration to taste. I cut my own tail shape as I wanted it spread. I added embroidery in simple stitches using some of the multi-coloured spun rayon pearl thread that I bought from eBay last year.) Continue reading