Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bugs? Sure. It's Brazilian Dimensional Bug Embroidery

Before I get too enthusiastic, I should let you know that there is blatant advertising ahead.
This is a picture of one of my Millefiori Brazilian dimensional embroidery designs, #915 "There's a Garden in My Dragonfly". The picture above is stitched entirely with 100% rayon floss from EdMar.
I took detail pictures of this design, but when I stitched it my enthusiasm overflowed and I stitched another version entirely as bead embroidery. More about that later.
Here's the commercial. This design #915 "There's a Garden in My Dragonfly" is available at my Millefiori website, printed on cream or white fabric. Send a note if you'd like to order one for yourself. You can use PayPal if you want, or you can email me for more information.
Commercial over.
Here are pictures of the fun that I had, plus some hints and tips you might be able to use in your other embroidery designs.
This is the bug behind:
Bullions, cast-on stitches, some herringbone, some knots...
Here's a picture of the detail work on one of the wings:
By the way, it was while stitching this design I discovered Brazilian couching. I didn't want to make outline stitches to edge the wings (the dark color above) and I knew that regular couching stitches are sometimes quite long. With Brazilian couching, you make a stitch about 1/2 to 3/4" long and make a fabric bite (through the fabric) of only 2-3 threads (floss held below the needle for outline or Brazilian couching stitches). This type of couching can be used with any fiber or metallic thread for extra sparkle when you are finishing leaves, stems or . . .  dragonfly wings. If you double click the picture, it should fill your computer screen and you can even see any uneven stitches that I sometimes make...

Those corner designs (second picture above) are stitched with little "dragon-flowers". I'm adding a picture of the bead embroidered corner designs, too. (By the way, I get a lot of my little flower and leaf beads from Beadcats, but they are available at a lot of bead stores and companies including Fire Mountain and Shipwreck.  The B.E. version:
 The Bead Embroidery version:
Here is the bead embroidered version of #915 "There's a Garden in My Dragonfly":
I traced this design onto lightweight Solvy (by Sulky) and basted it to velveteen (velveteen is much easier to stitch than velvet with its nap). But any fancy fabric, even a brocade, could be used. The wings are a semi-sheer overlay of fancy fabric. You could also stitch the design using 3" wide floral sheer ribbon, stitched in place. (I edged the wings with a metallic thread, probably Candlelight) If you add sheer fabrics to the cream or white prints that I have available, you can produce a beautiful design, too.

OK, so THEN ... I raided my old collection of jewelry, looked at old earrings, buttons, shell, sparklies, etc.   ....and that body? It's a BRACELET. I think I actually WORE it back in The Olden Days when I was in high school.  Here's a picture:
More pictures:
Those are rhinestones and cabochons (I think the smaller blue one was part of a necklace). Probably the most collectible item on this embroidery is those little silver things between the two ovals. I think they might be old shoe clips (with rhinestones -- worn before my time, I'm sure ... probably from a garage sale bargain!) The blue/green/silver add-on is also a shoe clip:
...and I found some broken earrings:
...and part of an old plastic necklace (oops, I mean "lucite" - the NEW plastic):
I added some seed beads and little shell cabochons (attach non-hole things with Fabri-Tac or other clear-drying glue).
These two pictures are images of detail embroidery on the wing and head:
I hope you will pull out some of your unfinished, or untouched, or even unloved B.E. design purchases and think about things you can do to make them truly your own.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cuthbert - Viking Cat Invades Personal Work Space

Cuthbert is a Norwegian Forest Cat. Sometimes Cuthbert thinks he is also a Viking and should go around his territory looting and pillaging (Just ask his little minion, Emmy, who makes herself really small and insignificant when he is surveying his kingdom).
Yes, this is/WAS my pincushion factory. I sell these interesting little Pincushions for Drizzles at my Millefiori website. (OK, I don't have them posted, but I DO have them available for sale.) While I was busy stitching, guess who came to visit and park under my nice warm worklight?

Of course, I found it necessary to divert my attention elsewhere, so I downloaded the pictures in my camera - mostly my flowers, which are blooming vigorously in our beautiful Oregon springtime here in the Willamette Valley. 

When Cuthbert saw that I wasn't going to stay and give him his full measure of appropriate attention, he went to look for a "better" spot (cat version). He found this box:
And it was almost just right.
Yes.  Fits good.
Almost. Well, it might need remodeling....
Or he feels he could just move to a BETTER box.

So, how I will entertain you with my flowers. This is one of our rhodies -
Always my favorite - I never get tired of photographing these lovely flowers.
This next picture is one of our hydrangeas, just the leaves (yes, I'll entertain you with the flowers in a month or two...)
I was thinking, earlier this week, that I should have planted some pink tulips. But when I went to look, I saw that I had that same thought last fall:
It's actually #115 and #203, with a little bit of #104 here and there. Very pretty. The lilacs are also blooming now. The trouble with lilacs is that they are in the VERY TOP of the shrub, almost touching the sky. I almost need a stepladder to enjoy them up close, but this is one of my old fashioned lilacs:
And this is a yellow lilac that I found at the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland, Washington a few years ago. (Looks white, doesn't it?)
It's yellow. Really pale yellow....
And all by itself, I happened across this pretty little calendula, joyfully blooming in the sunshine.
Next time I write, I'll talk about that little BDEIG art quilt I worked on.


Monday, April 15, 2013

A Story About Some Not-So-Pretty Quilt Fabric, and Some Really Pretty Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

I had this idea to stitch a Brazilian dimensional embroidery design on cream poplin and make a little art quilt. So I went in search of fabric that would coordinate. I'm trying to avoid the word "ugly", but these are definitely NOT my colors. Here's what I found:
eeuw. But it had "strips", which is a good quality to have in quilt fabric as I understand it.
So I bought it anyway.
OK. So I worked on it a little in my photo editing program. But I was still unsure.
--until I found green. (I guess you know by now that I'm not A TRUE Quilter.) But I took it home, decided to pull out my EdMar rayon floss.
Oh, yes. Now that is more like it (above). 

But THESE are my colors:
   I have discovered something during my adventures of sewing pieces of fabric together and naming them "quilt". If you are thinking, in any way, of quilting your finished Brazilian embroidery, it's always a good idea to go fabric shopping first, and THEN match your floss.

It was a major disciplinary effort for me to avoid adding any form of BLUE to my work. Now I'll show you a picture of my little BDEIG art quilt, all finished. In my next post, I'll add some pictures and tell you a little about what I did (hints and tips, you know!). I made this little quilt because I wanted to use my little ABCs for Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery designs with all of the bugs, bees, birds, cats, hedgehogs and other miscellaneous creatures (from one of my books that is out of print at the moment), and that's what I did  See:

I was surprised when I didn't use the narrow fabric print strips, how pretty the wider floral looked. Here's a detail photo:
Now I'll write about the flowers. These are all the original Brazilian embroidery flowers. Back in the days before people were educated about copyrights (or even cared), everyone used everyone else's flowers. Borrowed, stitched, added to designs, re-sold, all without credit. No one really knew who the first person was to design a flower. Yes, the basic stitches (bullion, cast-on, stem, chain, etc.) are available to all. Stitch 'designs' - combined stitches, changes, variations - those require attribution (a concept in copyright law which requires that the designer or author be credited).

It has since been decided that these early flowers are all public domain designs. There is still discussion about sharing to teach and using floral designs that others have developed as part of their embroidery/teaching businesses. I'll tell you where to find the instructions for these floral designs and those who have the early B.E. books will be able to stitch them for their own personal use.

Here are the floral designs that I used; you'll see that I used the flower (in most cases with original instructions, but sometimes changing what I did), and I added greenery, leaves, stems to make a new design. I won't sell these, but I'm sharing them to give stitchers an idea of what they can do with a flower they like. These designs are approximately 2 1/2" square.

1.  Fuchsia
2.  Maria's Rose
3.  Bossa Nova Rose
4.  Snow Flower
5. Geron (or Gerone)/Lazy Daisy
6.  Bullion Daisy
7.  Peach Blossom
8.  Rolled Rose
9.  Creeping Flower
10. Cast-on Daisy
11. April Flower
12. Ruth's Tole Rose
13. Japanese Violet
14. Canada's Rose (my original design!)
15. Cast-on Flower
16. Maria's Iris
No blue!
The next time I write, I'll share with you some of the things I did when I designed and stitched this little 27" square art quilt.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April Flowers Bring MORE Flowers

Oh, wait. That's not a flower. That's Cuthbert. He's watching Emmy chase a cat out of the yard.
I don't remember the name of this little shorty bulb. I planted it several years ago and it makes a huge burst of blooms every year about this time and then disappears. I like the pattern inside the flower; think it would be fun to work into a Brazilian dimensional embroidery design.
Not to feel left out, these little dandelions remind me every year that if I don't remove them, they will just make more:
The little scilla also loves our yard -- every single where it can, it has a one-on-one with the soil!
The tulips are also blooming and a reminder that I should plant some pink ones this fall (I think I have room...).
Also pretty from every side:
They are mixed in with my roses.
This is our laurel. When the blossoms open, the bees come to visit.
The other day I posted a picture of our Asian pear.
This is a picture of the blossoms on one of our bing cherry trees. And that blue sky is totally Oregon today (no Photo-shopping here...).
My next project is to pull all of the weeds that I tactfully did NOT photograph. I'm just thinking that April Flowers will bring more April flowers ... and May flowers ...and June flowers ...