Friday, August 1, 2014
Summer Garden - Part Two -6 Flower Pincushion Tutorial Continued....
Here is a revised Embroidery Floss Basic Color List (pdf) you'll need for this tutorial. .
Please note that I have revised the previous list. I actually forgot to add the color numbers for green! How could I forget green?
Its finally time to start some embroidery!
This is the fun part! Lets start working on your pincushion.
If you have read the previous post, you should have all of your tools at hand.
You should have a sketch, (on paper) of what you want your pincushion to look like.
You should have your linen cut into the round template shape with 6 sections marked off. If not, here is the Template PDF.
You should have lots of colors of embroidery floss.
Part 2 Downloadable Instruction Sheet for the Lovely Lavender Section of this tutorial.
The tutorial download has the actual size pattern for this section on it. Its small and its hard to sketch on bumpy fabrics. So, loosely sketch your flower design onto your linen. Be sure to use a water soluble or friction (heat erasable) pen. You don't have to be exact.
If you want to practice your stitching first, a loosely woven muslin is a good choice. If it is too flimsy and soft, starch it first.
You can mark each flower section as we go, or mark the entire pattern. Its totally up to you.
Before stitching, I recommend running a stay stitch just outside the seam line. This will help to stabilize your fabric even more and create a boundary for your embroidery. You will want to stitch just short of that seam line so your stitches will be in the right place once you sew it together.
I don't use a hoop. I don't like that I have to cut a big chunk of fabric to fit the hoop. I also find it tedious. If you are used to a hoop, you know how to set it all up.
Tips about Marking your Pattern-
I love the new friction pens! They stay until you iron them. They come in a variety of colors. They have a nice sharp point. If you hate your design, you can simple iron it off and try again. The lines will stay indefinitely.
Water soluble markers are good to use as well. Be sure to use the kind that you have to get wet to erase. They are normally purple in color. They will stay visible until you erase them. (If you are in a humid climate, beware! They can sometime disappear in a few days.)
Try to avoid an air erasable marker, sometimes blue in color. Like the purple marker it may disappear in humid weather.
If you are a free spirit, you may also create your own sketch! I'm all for originality.
Be sure to leave room for a 1/4" seam allowance around the outer diameter of the pincushion circle.
Do not cross over the section lines. You will be separating each section with Perle Cotton later on.
Lets start stitching.
The illustration below will show you the steps. I'll also talk you through them.
If you need help with how to create each stitch, go to my Stitch Tutorial Page. Just follow the steps. If you would like to print the below image, you can just click Here.
Begin by back stitching the stem. Begin at the base and work your way to the top. Don't tie off. When its time to add the leaves just head back down the same stem. Don't tie off. Wrap a few of the bottom stitches. Now move over to the next stem and repeat. I like to complete all the stems before I start the petals.
As you work on the petals do one color at a time. Be organic in the size and shape of your petals. Flowers are not symmetrical nor are they evenly balanced or perfect. Have fun with this part. Don't worry about staying on the pattern. Mix it up a bit and make your own mark!
Once you are finished with your purple petals, dive into your light blue violet shapes until your stems are full of pretty lavender.
Then add some french knots here and there in dark blue. It adds more texture and interest.
Here is a pincushion filled with Lavender flowers. It was my first pincushion in the linen series. You may find that one flower is your favorite. Go ahead and fill your pincushion with it!
Once you get comfortable with this stitch, you can start thinking of alternative flowers. I found that pink delphiniums use the exact same stitches. The shape of the flower is just a bit different. I just put another lazy daisy stitch inside the first. Then I put a french knot into the center of those loops. It looks complex, but like all of these flowers, its the same motions repeated over and over in different places. In fact the leaves are just layers of lazy daisy stitches. Easy peasy! Take a look.
One word of caution when working on a light colored fabric.
Try not to drag one color across the back of your work from one stem to the next. You can often see that floss through the fabric and it looks a bit off. I like to work up and down each stem. If I need to cross over, I do so at the bottom of the stem where there is a lot of petals that touch. Here is kind of what the back of your work should look like. (Note that I have not cut my thread just yet).
Just a note-
Embroidery can relax you and help you to unwind. If you pick this project up and you are really tense or nervous your stitching can reflect that. Beautiful stitching lays nice and flat. If you pull your stitches too tight, your embroidery will pucker. You may also find that you encounter more knots than usual. Take a few deep breaths and relax.
Let that not be an excuse to not work on this! After all our stitching, I'll show you how to block your work.
This is a magic step which makes all your wonkyness right with the world. Think of it as a nice relaxing warm shower for your embroidery.
See my Blocking Your Embroidery post. Do Not block your embroidery until all of your flowers are stitched. I'll let you know when and how then.
Once you begin stitching, you will find that the rhythm of embroidery creates a nice "zen" feeling. All your worries will kind of go to the back of your mind and the colors and pattern will be a wonderful distraction to life's little worries. I love it for that very reason. I think embroidery has actually changed me in a very good way. I find I am more patient, more organized and happier for my embroidery work. I know that may sound silly, but it is true. I know knitters say the same thing. There is something about the repetition and rhythm. Its good for the soul.
I will be back with another flower in a few weeks. I have some work to get done and my mom is not feeling well. I hope It won't take too long. I will be teaching you another very easy and really lovely flower, the Chrysanthemum. The stitches are even easier! So I will be adding a leaf that uses the same easy stitch.
We have a lot of creative folks joining in. Its like a pincushion party!