I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!
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This week I have been stitching the large lily flower on the right hand side of the front heart panel.
CHANGES TO THE THREADS USED
If you are stitching this along with me, using my substitute list of threads, then you need to be aware that I am already deviating from the list! I found that this flower needed more pinks, and fewer orangey-pinks (and I hate orange with pink anyway, so I can hardly bring myself to stitch with orange and pink together!).
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Several people have mentioned that they aren’t stitching this project at the same speed as me – that’s fine though! Some people have stitched waaaay ahead of me already, and some people don’t have the time at the moment to keep up with what I’m doing. Just do it at your own pace, really, and check out my blog posts when you want to read how I did things. As I said at the beginning, this is supposed to be fun!
STITCHING THE LILY PETALS
The lily flower is the large pink one on the right of the front panel. The first pair of petals at the top of the flower are stitched in Vandyke stitch, using two strands of Anchor 55 substitute, and a tapestry needle (I used a size 26). You need a needle with a blunt tip for this stitch, so that you don’t pierce the fabric when you take the scooping stitch from right to left. See this video for Vandyke Stitch from Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘N Thread website for how to do the stitch.
When it’s completed, it looks like a row of chain stitches with lines out each side. It’s a simple and quick stitch to do. Although I used two strands, I think it might have looked better with just one.
The next pair of petals are first covered with Satin stitch using two strands of Anchor 62 substitute and a betweens needle, ‘worked down the length of the petal’ as the instructions said, which I took to mean like this:
Then, five Fly stitches are worked over the top of the Satin stitch, adding a size 15 bead (1606 Dyed semi-transparent rose, from Spellbound Beads) each time, just before you complete the vertical tying down stitch. I used a paler bead than the design calls for, as I wanted a more subtle look.
The third pair of petals also are covered with Satin stitch, but this time the direction of the stitches follows the curve of the petal. As this is quite a sharp angle at times, I found I needed to make four or five ‘compensation stitches’ (three quarters the width, rather than the whole width) on each petal, to fill in on the wider curves.
Then the pretty bit – Latttice couching on top of the Satin stitch, with two strands of Anchor 77 substitute in one direction, and one strand of the metallic copper in the other direction, held down with one strand of Anchor 62 pink. To do this neatly, it helps to place the threads that cross over at the most crucial point *first*, and then work out from there – on these petals, that’s the innermost part of the tight inner curves, where the lattice threads only just touch. And make sure that the angles of the couching threads mirror each other, as far as possible, on each side. This is where I noticed that the design was badly drawn (again), and the inner curve of these two petals varies on either side.
With the next part, I hit a problem. The Instructions call for Cable Plait stitch, but when I read up on how to do it in the magazine, it didn’t seem as if that was going to work, as it is a kind of wide braided stitch, and the area to be covered is just a line, and a thin line at that. So, I decided to use Coral stitch instead, which kind of looks the same, but is far easier to do, and fits the space!
This is how to do Coral Stitch.
I used a darker pink than the instructions said to use, as I felt my flower was becoming too insipid (Anchor 1028 substitute). At this point, I also filled in, with the metallic copper using Straight stitch, on the upper petals.
STITCHING THE CALYX
The calyx is stitched in just two colours: Anchor 265 substitute first, by outlining in Split stitch in one strand, then padding using Chain stitches laid head to tail within the Split stitch outline, and then covering all of that with Satin stitch in one strand. Then Lattice couching, tying down threads and outlining all in Oliver Twists Fine Cotton, shade 004 substitute. I was more pleased with how this calyx turned out than I was for the one for the carnation flower.
STITCHING THE LARGE CENTRE STAMEN
The centre large stamen is supposed to be made from looped bullion knots. For these, you need a Milliners needle (but not a really long one, as that makes the bullions more difficult to complete) – these are almost the same diameter from eye to point, so they are really good for making even, tightly wrapped bullions. It helps to stitch each bullion, then finish off your thread, and start again for the next one. That seems unnecessary, until one of them goes wrong…..you don’t want the previous bullion thread to not be anchored properly on the back of your work in that case, so it’s worth working each one individually. Note: these bullions are looonngg!! Practice first, so that you can make them neatly. They need to stand proud of the fabric, in a small loop, so the ‘bite’ of fabric that you take needs to be small. Also, remove the fabric from the hoop while you make these bullions, as it helps to be able to manipulate the fabric a bit while you push the needle upwards while you wrap the thread around the needle. Mary Corbet has a good written description, and then a video tutorial, here on her Needle ‘N Thread website.
However….I absolutely LOATHE doing bullion knots. I have a phobia about maggots, and to me, bullions look just like maggots. So, I decided to do the centre stamen like this: I stitched one chain stitch at the very top of the lily in Anchor 55 substitute, then four loose Fly stitches in a line above it, quite tightly placed above the previous stitches, curving to the left. Then I whipped the outside edges of the line of stitches with a pale pink Anchor 73, to make it all look a bit more solid. Much easier, and less maggot-like!!
The remaining stamens are in Pistil stitch (like a French knot on a stick), using the metallic copper thread. Mary Corbet has a good tutorial here.
That’s it! Finished the lily! How did your one go?
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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.
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!).
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