Flowers for Elizabeth embroidered sweet bag: 7 – stitching the honeysuckle and forget-me-nots

I’ve reached the part of this ‘Flowers for Elizabeth’ embroidered sweet bag from Issue 51 of Inspirations magazine where I am about to start stitching the honeysuckle and forget-me-not flowers in the bottom left hand corner of the front panel.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

When I traced the original design onto my fabric, I was aware that the honeysuckle flower and part-flower were ‘detailed’ (to put it politely), but when I came to actually stitch them, I realised that the design was actually more like an Escher drawing – it was really an impossibility to stitch the flowers to make them look real, as some of the lines were missing, and extra ones had been added that made no sense. And by then, I’d traced them onto my fabric as shown on the design sheet, so I had to make the best of it!

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

I kind of simplified the petals as I stitched them, but it was a pain, and I didn’t enjoy this part of the embroidery. I know honeysuckle flowers are rather ‘random’, messy flowers, but I wasn’t sure that this was captured successfully in the rendition of these.

The next part was the forget-me-nots alongside them. I was pleased with how the smaller buds came out (made from French Knots with two strands of Au Ver a Soie silk thread). But the larger ‘full on’ flowers I think I made too spaced out, so they have ended up looking a bit spindly. They are stitched by making five Granitos Stitches in a star shape first, then adding Straight Stitches in between, and then one small French Knot to each centre.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

So, not as successful as the pansy or strawberry flowers, but it’s coming on – that’s all the flowers stitched now. Next up are the leaves.

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Flowers for Elizabeth embroidered sweet bag: 6 – stitching the pansies, strawberry flower, and butterfly

This ‘Flowers for Elizabeth’ embroidered sweet bag from Issue 51 of Inspirations magazine is gradually coming together. I’m up to stitching the pansies now, plus the white strawberry flower, the green strawberry  and the insect in the middle…. I’ve been busy this week!

I was really pleased with these pansies. They were stitched in a similar way to the strawberries that I did last week – using layers of Satin Stitch padding first on each petal, and then a top layer of Satin Stitch outside the edges of the Split Stitch outlining. The Au Ver a Soie silk thread makes the Satin Stitch come out beautifully smooth.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Just a few Straight Stitch highlights radiating out from the centre of each flower gave them a lot of ‘personality’, along with a French Knot in the centre of each to complete them.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Then I stitched the little green ‘unripe’ strawberry, in the same way that I’d done the larger ones before.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Again, the white strawberry flower and bud were stitched with Satin Stitch padding under the top layer to make the petals nicely rounded….

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

…with Straight Stitch highlights and a French Knot centre to finish them off.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

There’s a kind of ‘Tudor Rose’ flower in the bottom right hand corner of the sweet bag. Not exactly sure what kind of flower it is, but it’s embroidered in the same way as the other flowers, in two rounds of petals.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

In the centre of the bag, on the original design by Susan O’Connor, is a moth. I don’t like moths, so I drew a butterfly instead, and then chose my own colours for it.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Here’s the whole bag front so far, so you can see how it all fits together.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Coming on nicely, isn’t it?!

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Flowers for Elizabeth embroidered sweet bag: 5 – stitching the strawberries

I am up to the part on this sweet bag from Issue 51 of Inspirations magazine that I am embroidering, where I am stitching the strawberries. I love embroidering strawberries!

I stitched the strawberry stems in chain stitch, in two strands of Au Ver a Soie silk thread, first.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

The actual strawberries are embroidered by first stitching two layers of Satin Stitch padding, in opposite directions, across the shape. Both layers are stitched INSIDE the split stitch outline.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Then I stitched the final layer of Satin Stitch just  outside the Split Stitch outline shape, to make sure I got a nice neat outline, and a gently rounded contour to each berry.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Then, using one strand of Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid, I made the cross-hatching across each berry, starting with one large cross to define the angles correctly. Then I worked out in parallel lines, about one eighth of an inch apart, in both directions.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

Finally, I stitched a tiny Straight Stitch across each intersection in green, using one strand.

Inspirations issue 51 Flowers for Elizabeth sweet bag

I have yet to stitch the sepals, but they are done later, after some of the surrounding stitches are worked, so that I don’t catch my needle in the looser threads of these stitches.

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