I’m starting to do the stitching on this ‘Flowers for Elizabeth’ sweet bag design from Inspirations magazine Issue 51. It requires outlining the flowers and leaves with one strand of thread in Split Stitch first, to define the areas. That’s a lot of outlining!
Once I got in the rhythm of doing it though, it was really nice to do – it meant that I got a lot of colour down on the fabric early on, which is always nice to see 🙂 This area is the honeysuckle flower in the bottom left hand corner.
These are the strawberries, pansies, and large leaves – the leaves will be filled in with Long and Short Stitch last.
Once the main shapes have been outlined, the stem is then stitched. For this, I laid bands across the width of the stem, and then worked Raised Stem Stitch Band up the stem until it had narrowed quite a bit.
The Stem Stitch is only worked under the short stitches of the banding, not through the fabric as well. It’s also necessary to use a tapestry needle for this bit, rather than a sharp needle of any kind, so that you’re not catching any of the threads of the background fabric.
Once the main stem had narrowed, I continued with ‘normal’ Stem Stitch to the ends of the stem. This part seemed to take me ages….then I read the instructions again, and found that I had been using just one strand all that time, when I should have been using two! So, it looks nice and fine, but took hours and hours!!
Once all the stems have been stitched, though, the nice swirling shapes of this design become apparent. You can also see that I decided to replace the moth from the centre of the design with a butterfly. I hate moths – their bodies are a bit too squishy and ‘maggot-like’ for me! Butterflies are much better!
I’m pleased with the progress so far – next, I’ll be doing the short stems and tendrils.