Friday, January 25, 2013

My "American Beauty Rose" in Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

This is the American Beauty Rose: Brazilian dimensional embroidery stitched with 100% rayon Z-twist floss from EdMar Co. It's my original Millefiori design #965.

I'm sharing it today because it's a variation of the traditional bullion rose that has been around forever -- the same Bossa Nova Rose that I stitched the other day. (By the way, that flower might have looked nicer on its bed of leaves if I'd added another round of bullions and made it a bit larger!)

Here is a close-up photo of my American Beauty Rose:
You can see that, where the traditional bullion rose's bullion stitches start OUTSIDE the previous bullions, for this rose, I started each bullion INSIDE the previous one and put a bit more space between.

Well, of course, it needed "background". So, for each petal (the flat "petals" on the fabric), I worked a batch of long-and-short buttonhole stitches over bullion padding at the edges. This is the Raised Buttonhole Stitch I've written about previously where the loops of the buttonhole stitches are raised slightly to rest on top of the underlying bullion.  Here's a diagram:

And here's a picture, sort of . . .
If you hold the embroidery at eye level, you'll see the petals are slightly above the fabric. I use this technique quite often, so if you have any of my books (me = Rosalie Wakefield), shown here on my website, you'll be able to read about this handy-dandy dimensional technique in more detail. 

By the way, that pretty little purple flower is something I named a "Punctuation Plant" after a combination bullion/cast-on stitch called "The Comma." Here's another picture:
So, just remember, all of these original B.E. flowers, such as the bullion or Bossa Nova rose, can be played with, moved around, experimented with, until you see what you can discover that's a bit different. It's called playing with your floss, and in Brazilian dimensional embroidery it's known as having fun -- and that's exactly what we do!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Bossa Nova Rose

This is the Bossa Nova Rose. It's one of the original Brazilian dimensional embroidery flowers -- a bullion rose.

I'm using EdMar's 100% rayon (Z-twist) floss. The leaves are stitched with Iris 215 (avocado green) and the buttonhole stitch leaf [corrected from earlier post in which I wrote alternating satin stitch leaf].
I edged the leaves with Glory 049 (light to pale avocado). These and the leaf veins are completed with the Brazilian outline stitch (floss held below the line of stitching for a smooth line that happens when you use Z-twist). 

Sometimes I have a helper close by, sleeping under my nice warm light:
Why!  Look!  It's Cuthbert. He watches for a while, gets bored, takes a nap, repeats. I have discovered the value of keeping a roll of scotch tape close by when the cats are near.
(Scotch tape shown above.)

This is the center of the Bossa Nova Rose. I started with a tiny square (about 1/8" or 2mm) drawn on the fabric with my wash-out Marvy Pen with the fine-point tip. I've stitched a size 8/o bead in the center, and I'm making my bullions with Lola 157 (burgundy) and 163 (antique rose). I use a #3 milliners needle to make these Lola bullions because I find they are much easier to work down to the proper bullion diameter.
You'll find instructions for stitching the Bossa Nova Rose in almost any embroidery book. Just look for "bullion rose", but remember that if you're stitching with 100% rayon Z-twist floss, you'll wrap your bullions clockwise around the needle. Some people stitch with Perle cotton which is S-twist and this makes the embroidery "dimensional embroidery". (The name "Brazilian" is added when you use Z-twist floss.)  Other fibers can be Z-twist or S-twist. Just remember that S-twist floss is wrapped counter-clockwise around the needle and Z-twist goes clockwise.

Working around the center, bullions are usually 10-wrap, 12-wrap, 14-wrap, etc., up to 20-wraps until your rose is the size you like.
Here a handy-dandy hint from the "What-Works-For-Me" department. Since I use a hoop when I embroider, whenever I make a really long bullion or cast-on stitch, I'll take my fabric bite and leave just the eye of the needle in the fabric. In the above photo I have 20 wraps on my needle (and lots of twists and kinks on the back side). So . . . .
I turn my embroidery over, pull ALL of the floss through the eye of the needle to straighten the thread and remove extra twists (shown above). Next, I back the thread out to a short floss tail again. On the right side of the fabric, you can now pull your needle through those wraps and settle the stitch in place without any kinky business going on at the fabric.
See how pretty those bullions are, one tucked beneath the other? 
     By the way, you can stitch this same flower with cast-on stitches and you'll have one of our Brazilian dimensional embroidery favorites -- Maria's Rose.

Here's another picture of the finished Bossa Nova Rose. Some day soon, I'll show you what I'm using all of these flowers for!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Creeping Flower

This is The Creeping Flower.
It's one of our original Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery flowers. You'll find the instructions in some of the first B.E. books. Check our BDEIG website for a bibliography and check the BDEIG links page for a list of merchants who might have some of these early books.

You'll see the instructions there for The Creeping Flower, but the design shown above is my own. I'll have a traceable pattern available fairly soon, but today I'll just explain what I did.

The Creeping Flower is stitched with bullions, cast-on stitches and the pistil stitch. I was lucky enough a while back to figure a way to keep the pistil stitch from flopping around (it's also called a French knot on a stalk, long-tailed French knot and - by me - that pesky pistil stitch). So I made the New Pistil Stitch, or the Cast-on Pistil Stitch. You'll find the instructions on one of my earlier blog pages, here.  This is a close-up of The Creeping Flower:
I stitched the leaves with Iris #050, light-to-medium avocado green. The 12-wrap bullions are made with Iris #116, light antique rose. I used Glory #171, light orchid, for 15-loop cast-on calyxes which I tacked in the center and for the three "Cast-on Pistil Stitches". The entire design fits a 2 1/2" square area.

It's a lot of fun to look at some of these original Brazilian dimensional flowers, and it's amazing how many changes and improvements have been made in the stitches. But, like any true artwork, these flowers are always beautiful and popular on anything we embroider. Take a look; you'll see that you agree.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rosey Posey - Stitch My New Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery Flower

This is my Rosey Posey.
I'm going to share my instructions for this original Millefiori flower in a photo tutorial so you can stitch it, too. This design is for your own personal use; if you'd like to share it with a class, please direct them here to my blog (click the link), and ask them to make their own "save" or copy as explained below.

Before I start, I'm not sure how much space Blogger will let me have for each post, so I might need to make this in two separate posts. We shall see. I'm also going to share a handy hint for those who print these blog pages out and don't really want to use up 50 sheets of perfectly good paper. 

Technical Assistance:
Here's what to do. Open a Word file on your computer. Select and Copy this blog entry and paste it into the Word file. Next, reset your Word page layout to "narrow margins" and "two columns" with just 1-2 points between. This entire entry will shift into 2 columns and many fewer pages. Squish the corners of the overly large pictures to fit the column.  Go to "Line and Paragraph Spacing" and (while the entire post is on the page/s) adjust everything to "single space" on the "Line Spacing" choice. I'm typing here in the Verdana font, but you can reset your font to 10 or 11-pt Arial if you like. If you didn't have an iPad or reader to transfer this tutorial to, you will have just a few pages that you can print and take with you.
Well, now -- on to the fun!
         I've stitched this flower with 2 colors Iris (EdMar's lovely Z-twist  embroidery floss), a pale shaded pink and a bright fuchsia pink.

You'll need:   Seed beads (you only need 7), size 10/o or 8/o - or even 6/o (the largest, if you are making a Rosey Posey with Nova)
                   You can substitute pearls or crystals if you like, 3mm or 4mm
                   You could even stitch a tiny button in the very center (a little blue birdie button like it is sitting on a nest??)
     Also:       Rayon floss in two colors, or you can try a fiber such as Candlelight or any of the Rainbow Gallery threads.
                   Your #1 milliners needle (the Lola needle)

Any floss weight will work for my Rosey Posey. Every stitch is a 12-loop cast-on.
When I used Iris, I selected size 10/o seed beads (the craft store version of size 11/o seed beads - I wanted a silver-lined bead for sparkle). Try size 8/o seed beads if you are using Lola.

You can stitch this flower on any wearable item or a tote bag or anything that doesn't move. All you need to draw is one little triangle with its sides just under 1/4" or 5mm.
Stitch a bead in the center of this triangle (or you can make a 3-wrap French knot). TIP: If you attach beads with a backstitch, they will lie on their sides.
(If any of the typing on these pictures doesn't show up, just double-click the image and you'll have a larger version.) The printed image on the right is from my first set of instructions for this flower. I gave it as a freebie in the goody bags for those who attended our BDEIG 2012 Seminar.

I have bead soup! See . . .
Leftover beads in a box, all sorts and sizes. Whenever I need just a few, I'll sort through and find what I need. If I collect them on a straight pin, I can pin the pin to my embroidery and the beads will stay put.

Here is a triangle I've drawn on my crazy quilt (made with Moda fabrics in soft blue, lavender, pink)
On each of the triangle sides, make a 12-loop cast-on stitch.
Keep the Needle Path (the path of the needle through the fabric) or (a  c-d  b) in a straight line with the c-d part of the stitch in the center to "widen" the petal.
From the What-Works-For-Me Department -- A TIP:
There is a definite right and wrong side to cast-on stitches made with Z-twist rayon floss. The following method keeps the loops nicely twisted. Hold the needle with your right hand; cast floss over the tip of the needle with your left hand. When all loops are on the needle, tuck the floss behind the needle; hold the stitches gently on the needle and pull through. Keep a gentle hold on the loops until the stitch is settled in place. This prevents twists and kinks in your stitch. Check the “Basic Stitches” page at the BDEIG website to learn another method of making cast-on stitches. –and then do whatever works for you (like making your own department!).
When the first 3 petals/triangle is finished, change colors (the change of color floss makes this flower easier to learn the first time). Add a 12-loop cast-on stitch across each point of the triangle. Add another bead just in front of each of these stitches.
The darker-color cast-ons are stitched at each point of the first triangle:

Three beads are stitched just behind each of these darker pink stitches:
Like this:
Next, close those triangles with 2, 12-loop cast-on stitches on each side. You now have 4 triangles, total, with a bead in the center of each. Easy as pie, right?? A picture or two will help:
See how nicely it works!
Here's a diagram to help (visual aids are always nice):
You have just completed diagram 1 above (the first four triangles). Now you will add three more triangles around. Two sides of the next triangles and a bead are shown in the center diagram above.
I have already explained that it works for me to cast-onto the needle, place floss behind, and settle it in place for a kinkless-cast-on stitch.
Back to our embroidery ....
     We now have the three triangles of the second round (around the center triangle) finished:
We're going to add three more triangles and three more beads to complete the main part of the Rosey Posey. The first two sides of each of these "Round 3" triangles will be placed back-to-back with those of Round 2. I found it helpful if I drew short lines for those first two sides. Refer to the center diagram above. A picture is even more helpful; a larger picture, even more so:
See those blue lines? Each will hold 12-loop cast-on stitches for Triangles #5, 6 and 7.
The photo above is self-explanatory. The photo below shows that you now have  one center triangle in a light color, and 6 triangles around -- a total of 7 triangles, each made with 3, 12-loop cast-on stitches.
Finish your Rosey Posey with a little doily. Two rows of running or continuous cast-on stitches around will snug the petals together and keep your flower standing upright. Here's a diagram of what we'll do:
Change to your lighter color (the flower-center color) - or use green if you'd like your Rosey Posey resting on a bed of leaves.
Check that diagram just above for A Clue to What We Will Do.  Bring your needle up in front (or above) any triangle point (#1), slip the needle beneath triangle point #2 (work clockwise) and back under triangle point #1. Cast on 12. 
      Without going down and out, slip your needle beneath triangle #3 and back under #2 and cast on 12 times again. Repeat around. You'll have 6 "slightly stretched out" cast-on stitches around,
Add a second round of 15-loop running cast-on stitches, this time working through the loops of the previous row.  Like this:
And now, your Rosey Posey is finished! Wasn't that fun?
Here's a picture:
And here are a few more ideas. I stitched this Rosey Posey with Lola  (on black fabric:
For this Rosey Posey I used an overdyed color. I think I used Nova weight:
This picture was somewhere on the Internet and it was my inspiration for my Rosey Posey adapted to Brazilian dimensional embroidery:

I hope you will enjoy stitching this new Millefiori flower, the Rosey Posey, by me (Rosalie Wakefield), and will visit my website to see more of my B.E. designs.
As I mentioned earlier, this design is for your own personal use. You are welcome to share this design and link to my blog with your classes and friends, but please don't charge them. Remember, I'm not charging you for this freebie. I know that you all know and respect that this is a copyrighted design, but you are welcome to use it on anything you'd like to stitch for yourself.
Let me know if you have any questions. I'll answer any comments or you can email me here. Thank you for reading here, and have fun!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fine, Upstanding Daisies Stitched in Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

This is a Cast-on Daisy, one of our original Brazilian dimensional embroidery flowers. You can find instructions in any of the first Brazilian embroidery books published. Look for links and a bibliography prepared by our guild editor here at the BDEIG website.

      I'm not sure if anyone is interested in a bit of personal information, but when I started to learn B.E., I took two classes, learned how to make a bullion and a cast-on stitch, and then purchased the books Brazilian Embroidery Instructions by Barbara Demke Johnson and EdMar's Brazilian Embroidery Book 1 by Maria Freitas and started teaching myself. (I have since discovered that learning from fellow stitchers is an even better experience!)

Today I'm sharing a tip that a lot of stitchers may already know. I stitched the cast-on daisy pictured above with EdMar's Lola #041 (shaded mauve). When you stitch petals from the center out and around a circle, it's a good idea to place every other stitch first. Then, go around the circle again placing the same stitch between each. Each of these stitches is a 12-loop cast-on. You will have a nicer color placement - not all the dark color on one side, light on the other. This is just a suggestion; sometimes we have better ideas!
Oh! You spotted that needle beneath those petals! 
Well, there's a reason for that. After I work the stitches around a circular shape, I'll slip the needle beneath and go around and around the center 2-3 times and then pull and tug. All of the petals stand upright - and stay that way. See?
It's a B.E. technique I've named "Wrap 'n Gather", and it's wonderful when you are stitching on wearable items or "crushables" such as tote bags or pillows where the stitches can flatten this way and that. This technique keeps the stitches standing up. (By the way, my embroidery is far from being perfect, but if you ever want to see details, just double click these pictures and you'll have a HUGE version of what I've posted here.)  Note: Add the center bead or stitches first, before you wrap and gather.
This is another idea for you to try. When we are stitching lobed leaves, such as oak leaves or chrysanthemum leaves, I'll often work each section separately - start with a lazy daisy and add a blanket stitch right next to it. Go back to the center vein and repeat around. You can work around the leaf entirely, or you can work to the tip and then work the other side, base to tip.
           Don't forget, when you have that space, you can add a contrasting color between stitches or you can stitch an outline stitch center vein. You can do ANYTHING when you are doing Brazilian embroidery. That's why it is so much fun!

And now I will put together my Rosey Posey tutorial for you. Back soon!