Now that the bluebells have been finished, the next flower to tackle was the pansies on the right hand side of the Elizabethan stumpwork bride’s bag (the design is from the book ‘Festive Elizabethan Creations’, by Shirley Holdaway).
The instructions said to use the detached buttonhole stitch (again), but as I’ve said before with this project, I feel that the stitch is used too much in this project, and I like doing long and short stitch / satin stitch filling more! Also, pansies are very delicate little flowers, and I felt that a textured stitched like detached buttonhole wasn’t really right for this kind of flower.
So, I outlined each petal shape first with chain stitch, using one strand of Anchor each time, and then worked long and short stitch in the relevant colour for each petal, starting with the darkest purple each time and working down the flower to the yellow. To define each petal better, I added a straight stitch between each petal in light green (Anchor 858).The highlighting thread to make the ‘face’ of the pansy was stitched with black fine sewing cotton, as I had tried it with black Anchor (shade 403), but it seemed to be a bit ‘fluffy looking’ on such a small flower, so I unpicked it. The centre of each pansy was finished off with a gold seed bead, stitched down at three points, to make sure that the hole of the bead stayed facing upwards. Even with such simple colours used for these flowers, I felt they came out really well. I like pansies – they have a lot of character.
The pansy leaf was stitched in detached buttonhole with two strands of light green (Anchor 858), as per the instructions – worked along the leaf shape from stem to tip. Then, using a darker shade (216), I added buttonhole around the entire shape, and stem stitch for the veining of the leaf.