The boys have all gone motorbike riding for the day, so I have spent the morning quietly padding petals...
The two large flower clusters are done - well the petals are anyway. I still have all the little details to do. This larger design has two smaller flower heads which the Small Honeysuckle doesn't.
I wanted all these unopened flowers to be really fat and plump and usually with small shaped like this, I would use padded satin stitch. The thread I am using does not have a lot of body so to get them nicely domed I have opted for felt padding. It is rather fiddly because the shapes are so small - just look at the pencil lead!
Anyway - I have found that with tiny shapes like this, the easiest way to get them cut to size is using my trusty magic tape. If you don't already have it - it is an absolute must in any embroidery tool kit (well I think so anyway).
Applying Felt Padding
1. All you need to do, is trace the shape onto a bit of tracing paper (or baking paper - much cheaper and works just as well).
2. Roughly cut out the shape and stick it onto your felt so that all the edges are covered.
3. Cut the shape out along the marked line. This might sound pedantic but I try and cut just inside the line to make sure the overall design doesn't get larger than it is meant to be.
I have already outlined the petal shape with tiny split stitches (split back stitch will work just as well) and filled the lower section of the petal with chain stitch, so that it is slightly padded.
4. The felt piece fits into the upper section of the petal. Usually with felt padding you would secure it with little stab stitches around the edges, but I didn't want to 'flatten' the felt, so all I have done is held it in place with a few stitches across the width. These are placed inside the split stitch outline.
5. Next, the felt is covered with satin stitch. These stitches should be perpendicular to the final layer that will be going over the top and again are placed inside the outline.
6. The stitches covering the felt to not have to perfect, but should cover the shape neatly.
Once this is covered with satin stitch, it will be a beautifully rounded and plump flower, ready to burst open.
7. I have decided to pad the smaller unopened flowers with just a single layer of chain stitch. That should make the sit a lot flatter against the back ground and will give a bit of variation to the cluster of unopened flowers.
As much as I am eager to finish this piece, I can hear the garden calling - besides my neck and shoulders could do with a break...