Hello everyone. This week we will be starting part two of the stitch along. Last week you received the material and preparation list and now we are going to start the stitching. If you missed part one you can find it here:
ADDENDUM 26th September 2020.
For those who are new to embroidery and need help with technique or preparation please see these videos & links:
- VIDEOS – watch videos on how to do the stitches.
- STITCH GUIDE – shows how to do the stitches.
- THE HANDBOOK – detailed information on each stitch.
- RESOURCES – information on materials and preparation.
Parts of the flower
Here are the parts of the flower so you know what I am referring to for each step of the project.
LIGHT AND SHADOW
In Needlepainting it is important that we introduce light and shadow into our subject. Without it the image would appear flat and dull. So in this image you can see that the light is coming from the top right and everything on bottom left is in shadow. We will be placing the lighter and darker shades where needed to create this realistic effect. You don’t need to worry about where to put them as I have done the work for you, but it helps to understand why we are placing these shades here.
FILLING & OUTLINING
There are two steps to stitching a project, Filling the objects and outlining them. The filling in this project will be done in Long & short stitch, split stitch or straight stitches., the outline is always done in split stitch with one strand.
Outlines under long & short stitch.
We add outlines under our long & short stitch to define the edge of an object. We don’t always use an outline under long & short stitch, we only outline the objects that are in front to make the objects behind appear to recede. For example if you have a lot of petals together, you need to raise the outline on some of them, otherwise they will all merge together and look like a big blob!
I will explain as we go along. The diagram below shows which objects need to be outlined first before we fill it with long & short stitch.
The long & short stitch is always worked over the outline edge.
Outlines added afterwards
Outlines added afterwards, are important because they add definition and allow us to include details. Here is an example of our fuschia petals – in the first image the petals have no outlines and in the second image they are outlined. Can you see the how it defines each petal?
WHERE TO START
We always start with the objects that are furthest back in the subject and work to those that are in front. We want the objects that are in front to appear as though they are sitting on top of the objects that are behind. In this case the stem, ovary, tube and anthers are behind the petals and sepals.
HINT. It is always easiest to stitch from the wider part of an object down towards the narrow part. The reason is that it is easier to reduce stitches then it is to add on stitches.
Thread one strand of cotton into the needle and fill the stem with adjacent lines of split stitch. Start by stitching two lines of 963 on the right side of the stem. Add a line of 604 next to this and finally a line of 3687. The lightest shade 963 is where the light falls and the darkest shade 3687 is where the shadow is. Finally add the outline, this is done in split stitch using one strand of 3740.
HINT. Don’t make your split stitches too short – they can be a bit longer so that they resemble long and short stitches.
OVARY & TUBE
We want to give the ovary and tube a slightly padded look to raise them, so we are going to add one layer of padding underneath. To do this:
- first outline the ovary and tube with split stitch in 369 & 963.
- Second add straight stitches across the shape as shown. You can use two strands of thread for the padding to hurry it up.
Now we are going to stitch long and short stitch on top of this. Thread one strand of thread into the needle. Fill the ovary with long & short stitch from the top down towards the base. We are not going to add an outline here as it is further back.
Next fill the tube with long & short stitch. Notice how I have started with the lightest shade and filled most of the area that is in light first and then add the darker shade.? This covers most of the area on the right of the tube (where the light shines) as shown.
Outline – I want to add an outline to the tube as it is very pale and feel it needs some definition, so I have used one strand of 3041 to do this. Add an outline in split stitch.
SOME HINTS ON LONG & SHORT STITCH
- Try shortening your stitches and working several rows in each shade of colour – this could make all the difference.
- Check your stitches under a magnifying lamp to make sure there are no gaps as this makes your stitching look messy.
- Stagger the stitches for each change of colour so there are no hard lines between shades.
Fill the anthers with lines of split stitch, one next to the other. Start with the lightest shade on the right and work darker shades on the left. Add an outline on the left side of the anthers in 3041
Fill the anthers with straight stitches ( or satin stitch). Some are lighter (3687) and some are darker (3803) On the lighter ones add a little outline on the left in 3803 to create a shadow.
We have completed, all the background elements of the project and next week we will start on the petals. If you have time you can outline all the petals in preparation for filling.
Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching!