Saturday, November 27, 2021

Tulips & Forget-me-nots


Tulips & Forget-me-nots
Tulips & Forget-me-nots

It is finished!

Tulips & Forget-me-nots, detail

When I embroidered the first tulip, I was briefly worried that I may have misjudged just how bright the coral reds for the flowers were... were they going to be too 'in your face'? 
The darker outline toned it down a little bit, so I decided to push on and stitched a couple more.

Tulips & Forget-me-nots, detail

I am glad I did. Cheerful red tulips.
They are embroidered in long & short stitch with four shades coral red, two of them being from the new colours released by Appltons yarn (681 and 982), rich watermelon red tones which I have been really looking forward to finding a use for. To define the petals, I outlined them in stem stitch with a slightly darker red.

I did learn the hard way that I should have left the bright red tulips to the very last. Although I was super careful, I got tiny red fibers stuck in other colours and because they are so bright, they stood out like a sore toe and I had to carefully pick them out with fine tweezers.

The forget-me-nots are stitched in a very pale lilac. They were lovely and quick to do which made a nice change after all the more time consuming flowers and leaves. 


With the flowers all completed the only thing left was the border below the flowers. I tried a couple of options for the line of dots and ended up with these. Blanket stitch around the edge and a circular Rhodes stitch in the center. 

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Rhodes Stitch

The Rhodes stitch is mostly (to my knowledge) used in counted work. When stitched in a circle, it is a fabulous stitch for small, raised dots, especially when using wool, and is much quicker to do than padded satin stitch. 



1) Place a straight stitch across the circle from A to B for the first stitch.
Bring the thread to the front to the left of A and take the needle to the back to the left of B.

2) Pull the thread through. The stitch will cross the first stitch at the center of the dot.
Bring the thread to the front to the left of the previous stitch and take the needle to the back on the other side of the dot, to the left of the previous stitch.

3) Continue to stitch around the circle in a counter clockwise direction so all the stitches cross in the center. Keep the stitches close together on the outline.

4) Continue until the circle is filled. The last stitch will fall next to the first stitch.

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From this...

Tulips & Forget-me-nots embroidery design

...to this.

Tulips & Forget-me-nots
Tulips & Forget-me-nots

It is happy and cheerful, structured but slightly wild and I couldn't be happier with the result. 
It reminds me of my mum. She used to let her forget-me-nots self-seed everywhere and what I didn't realise before I started this embroidery was that this is exactly how my mum's tulip beds looked in spring. Isn't if funny how memories like that creep into the things we create?

I took the embroidery off the frame this morning. It was so tightly stretched but will still need to be blocked before I make it into something. I would like to make some kind of case to hold my (very messy) pile of knitting needles, but looking at it now, I think it might be too big for that so now I am not sure what to make of it. Any suggestions?

...and Yes, it will be a kit, but..

I need you to please be patient. It will be a little while. This design is going to be part of a bigger project I am working on - I will tell you more about that later. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend and perhaps even find time to pick up your needle or something else you enjoy.
Best Stitches,
Anna X