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Embroidering the Flowers Project(s)

I talked pretty extensively about embroidering with handspun at the end of March in Embroidering with Hand Spun: Experience & Tips and thought it was time for an update because I’m calling the piece done and I’m also starting it over again.

Yes, both at once. How? Read on …

If you remember from March or can recognize wool felt in a photo, you’ll know that I started the project using wool felt fabric. I really wanted this to be all wool, including the fabric and it was mostly lovely to work with except for a few problems.

I used Sulky Fabri-Solvy to get the pattern on the fabric which went really wrong on the leaf outlines. The Fabric-Solvy and the wool didn’t stay united for the entire time I stitched because the felt wasn’t dense enough to provide enough surface for it to stick. I also didn’t want to pull my backstitch outlines too tightly. The end result was wavy lines around all the leaves.

The wavy leaf outlines in all their glory

Instead of ripping out those backstitch outlines, I thought I could fill in all the leaves with satin stitch and then go over the wavy backstitch with couching in a different, less fuzzy yarn. So after I finished filling in the leaves I spun another much lighter brownish-gray and tried couching while on the couch last night. Dear reader, it did not look good. In fact, it looked so bad I didn’t take a picture.

This morning I tried clipping out the original outline, but in filling the leaves in, I stupidly stitched over/into the back side of those outline stitches, so getting them out would be tricky, time-consuming, and frustrating. Add to that some problems I didn’t correct in the original drawing and I decided it’s time for a do-over.

The back of the project after trying to rip out the leaf outlines after embroidering
The new fabric with the design drawn in water-soluble pen

So I’m calling the original version done. I’ll frame it or cut it to eliminate the leaf borders. I learned a lot from it and I’m ready for an improved version. To that end, I redrew the flowers using Curve (vector graphic app) so they are symmetrical. This time around I’m using some cotton upholstery fabric that I have a large amount of. And I traced the design on the fabric, which was an option that wasn’t available with the felt.

I started by trying couching because I wasn’t sure how well it would go, having never couched before. But it worked out really well!

One leaf with the outline done in couching

I still haven’t found anyone else currently embroidering with handspun, so I’m still winging it here.


One response to “Embroidering the Flowers Project(s)”

  1. […] In terms of other non-fiber encounters, like many, I mistook the Northern Shenandoah Valley Quilt Show booth for the raffle that your admission ticket gets you a ticket to, but we had a lovely chat and I might just go to the show next April 12-14. It’s a non-juried quilt show so should have quite a variety. Right next door was the the Winchester chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America, which I may go check out since I’m spinning for embroidery & embroidering with handspun. […]

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