I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I’ve been stitching the primrose flower and calyx at the bottom of the front heart panel. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!
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HOW TO STITCH THE PRIMROSE FLOWER AND CALYX
This pretty little primrose flower sits at the base of the heart shape. The calyx needs to be stitched first. I found that the design was a bit off-centre for this shape, so I corrected it in pencil before stitching the outline. It’s also a bit oversized, I feel, but I can’t do much about that now!
The calyx has one layer of stitched padding, worked with one strand of Anchor 266, before Cretan stitch is worked over the top using two strands. Keep your padding stitches well away from the edges of the shape, so that the shaping ends up being gradual, and not lumpy.
Using Cretan stitch for filling in this calyx means that you will need to work the long arms of the stitch VERY flat – almost horizontal. It’s sort of like a flat Fly stitch – the movement of the needle is almost identical to Fly stitch.
Mary Corbet has a good video for showing how to do this stitch.
To give the impression of a rounded front to the calyx, angle the horizontal arms up slightly at each side.
The primrose flower itself is then stitched in the same way that the small pink flowers were, using House of Embroidery Pale Lemon substitute. I found that I had to ‘tidy up’ the outline of this flower as well, before stitching it, as it was decidedly squiffy!
The instructions say to then whip the Blanket stitches with the copper metallic thread – I didn’t read the instructions properly, so I whipped the short parts of the stitches, instead of the long uprights, but the finished look isn’t much different. Hopefully.
It’s then suggested that the Blanket stitch petals have two more blanket stitches worked into alternating loops of the original row, to make a loopy edging. I felt this was too tiny to manage tidily, so I changed that to a line of Stem stitch worked in the HoE thread again, to finish the outline. Neater, and more successful, I think.
The centre of the primrose has a ‘forget-me-not flower ring’ of beads made from number 11 beads – Mill Hill 275 with one Gold one for the middle. I used one strand of silk thread and a betweens #10 needle to make it.
HOW TO STITCH THE PRIMROSE LEAVES
The filling stitch for the primrose leaves is Tied Wheatear Stitch. I did three straight stitches to each section in Anchor 265 substitute with one strand, before tying them down with Oliver Twists 004 variegated substitute. I can’t find a video to help with this stitch, but the diagrams in the magazine are good.
The small leaves at the top centre of the heart are also stitched using the same stitch and thread colours, so do these at the same time, so save re-threading your needles! I could only manage two of the straight stitches in each space, rather than three for these smaller leaves, though, or it got too crowded.
These are the leaves once outlined with Anchor 268 in one strand.
I have needed to make quite a lot of minor adjustments as I’ve been stitching this part of the etui, which I find quite frustrating when working from a published design. I think my main gripe is that the shapes are too small for some of the stitches suggested, as well as the drawn outlines being ‘off’ sometimes. I think this might put off less-experienced embroiderers, as they might blame themselves when it doesn’t come out as successfully as they were expecting. But I’m enjoying doing the actual embroidery, as usual!
Next week, I’m planning to tackle the beaded forget-me nots.
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The Strawberry Fayre design, plus the complete list of materials, appears in Inspirations magazine number 95. The publishers do sell a full materials pack (not including the mother of pearl ruler though!), but it’s rather expensive, so if you can use your stash, and just fill in with bits and pieces, then so much the better! The magazine is published in Australia – if you live in the UK, as I do, it is cheaper to buy a back copy from Manor House Magazines, and save a lot on the shipping.
EDIT: The materials pack from Inspirations, and the magazine from Manor House in the UK are not available any more as at March 2018 – I don’t know if any more stocks will be available now, unfortunately. The publishers may bring out a digital pattern pack later, which they sometimes do with popular projects from their magazines, but we’ll have to wait and see…..
To read about this project stitchalong from the beginning, start here. The post about which FABRIC to use is here. The post about the THREAD SUBSTITUTIONS that I made, plus WHERE TO BUY the threads and beads, etc., is here.
To look up all the posts in this series in the sidebar, see under the CATEGORIES list, under: Embroidery / Full size (others’ designs) / Strawberry Fayre heart etui, or use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the blog, and search for ‘Strawberry Fayre’ to get a list of all the posts (but it’s in reverse order, sorry!).
Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.