Saturday, April 13, 2019

Strawberry Feast - Raised Embroidery WIP

Autumn is slowly creeping in, and even though we had a few tiny drops of some 'wet stuff' from above it is only just enough to settle the dust. It is so dry still, that even the deciduous trees that normally put on a beautiful autumn display are struggling to put colour into their leaves.

I have not quite finished my strawberry plant as I had hoped, but I am getting very, very close.
The strawberries are finished though, so all I have left to do is two little 'critters' and I am ready to attach the leaves and flowers.
I had not quite planned how I was going to stitch them before I started (as usual). I knew, I wanted them really nice and plump and was toying with the idea of embroidering them separately and stitching them onto the main embroidery later. After a bit more thought I decided to pad them well with felt directly onto the main piece instead.

Felt Padding
All the strawberries are padded with one or more layers of felt to get them nice and plump. 

It is near impossible to trace a shape onto felt. In the past, so what I do, is trace the pieces onto baking paper. I then cut the tracing out, leaving just a narrow margin around each shape and sticky-tape it to my felt. 
I can then cut the shape out on the marked line and get a the exact shape and size I need.
In the past I used applique paper for this task, but this method saves me dragging out the iron which I really like.

Once the pieces are cut out, the they can be stitched to the shape. If there is more than one, the smallest padding pieces (almost) always goes on first. This is to create a nicely domed shape. 
The piece is just held in place with a few stab stitches. By bringing the needle up though the fabric at the edge of the felt and down through the felt shape, I avoid accidentally shifting its position. 
The larger shape then is held in place in the same way over the top.

To get a smooth edge on the felt it then needs to be stitched down all the way around. It can be done with small stab stitches close together, but for these berries I used blanket stitch. I find blanket stitch gives me a smoother edge, which is particularly useful when I will be covering it with satin stitch.

The strawberries are all covered with satin stitch - a little tricky because they are so domed and the stitches were sliding off on the edges. Over that, I added a trellis that is couched down with tiny golden coloured stitches to represent the seeds.
I used the same three tones of red for all the berries, but changed the colour combination on each berry, to get subtle variations.
To finish the large berries off, I added picots at the tops - the middle berry needs one more on the left hand side, I think.

So this is how it looks by now.
The spiral / circle on the lower stem will be turned into a hungry little snail and the strange shape at the top; a busy buzzing bee. That should be fun!

If you are in Adelaide, and would like to have a go at raised embroidery, there is still a few places left in my short course starting 8th of May. Just email me for more information.

I hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend, finding or making time to do what you love most.
Happy Stitching,
Anna x


  1. The strawberries look luscious enough to eat. They are beautiful.

  2. GORGEOUS work, Anna!!! Oh my, how you've 'painted' with thread and needle these luscious (and delicious looking) strawberries. I thank you for your explanation of how you did this detailed work, your talent and skills are beyond amazing.
    The bee and the snail will complete this work to the details.
    Have a nice weekend. Hugs, Ilona

  3. Beautiful and thank you for the explanation on how you did the strawberries :)

  4. Wow, Anna, your berries are so Beautiful!!! I swear that when I retire I will get back into embroidery! I have not done much in recent years except for the petit-point for the dollhouses.... but your stitching is very inspiring!!! The number of methods you know and the results you achieve are exquisite! As always, I look forward to seeing more! I wish you a gentle rain.... we have had too much this year and our ground is positively squishy. But a year and a half ago it was the opposite and we were searching the sky for the next droplets. Hopefully, Mother Nature will bring you into balance soon!

  5. This looks gorgeous. Looking forward to the snail and bee :) The blanket stitch around the strawberries definitely gives the felt a better finish than the stab stitches.

  6. I love to see all the progress on your works. It looks so intresting to see how you make it.

    Berries look amazing. The whole picture - just amazing. I cant wait to see the final effect.

  7. Magnificent! nice strawberries.

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