Monday, August 1, 2016

Body building - Drifting on the Breeze WIP

There has been a bit of progress on this project.

One of the things I really enjoy about raised (or stumpwork) embroidery, is thinking ahead and working out how I am going to lift certain parts of the design and how to layer the various elements.
It is not really as complicated as it may sound, but a matter of trying to 'see' your pattern in layers..
With 'Drifting on the Breeze' the clouds are at the very back (I am already thinking about how I am going to stitch soft, fluffy clouds...). Next is the short part of the scarf - over the cloud but behind the figure. That is going to be completely free, so if I did that now, it would be in the way and most likely get damaged before the piece is finished. So although it is towards the back, I will add that later for practical reasons.  
That brings me to the figure - resting his head on his hands... 

I won't need to make hands this time... but I still need to make some nice round arms. 

I prefer to use thread to pad of long, skinny shapes. You can get a much firmer, more rounded shape than if using felt. The other advantage is that you can gradually make it smaller, by trimming a few threads at a time.
I am using a perle 5 for this - mostly because I have plenty at hand. To make the thread easier to manage and shape, and to give it some body, I run it over beeswax several times, until it is quite stiff and firm.

The thread is then bundles up until I have the thickness I need for the fattest part of the shape (the upper arm). It then gets couched in place.
The bundle is rather flat over the upper arm, but there will be felt going over the top of that part to form the sleeve.
The wrist and lower arm is covered with overcast stitch. I am not sure yet just how much of it will show, but better safe than having to fill it in later.

The excess padding threads gets trimmed back. They will come in handy as a bit of extra padding behind the head later.

The other arm is done the same way - it looks as if he is playing peek-a-boo 
I padded the legs the same way as the arms. The only difference being that the last few thread tails were taken to the back at the toes (and ankle). They look way too skinny but again more will come on top. 

I started to build the body with felt. It needs probably another two layers, but when I got to this point, I realised I will need to finish the lower parts of the sleeves before the felt padding can go on top.
Time for the first, tiny pieces of needle lace....

Happy Stitching,


  1. Anna, I love your figures and so want to learn. Do you teach your figures at all?

    1. Hi Prue, not as yet. At this point it is one of those things I do, just for me... but you are not the first to ask, so perhaps. I so have a little person in mind that would make a sweet teaching piece, so.... watch this space. :-)