Sunday, 8 June 2014

Legless And Leaves On A Sunday Afternoon

I have been busy beavering away in the evenings for the past two weeks on my Anne Lawle. It is winter here now and the perfect season to achieve so much more stitching in the evenings with the shorter days. In fact the shortest day is only a mere two weeks away but the weather still feels like Autumn. It has been a most mild turn of events so far this season.

The alphabet band was pretty easy going being cross stitch and montenegrin but then I hit a go slow comming into the next border with the lady and the gentleman. The gentleman is up first and he is S.L.O.W going....tent over one....takes forevever. I outlined him first to make it easier for me to fill in the tent stitch areas. There is a lot of creative licence to be bandied about due to interpretation of the rather ambiguous instructions. Lucky I think I know for the most part what I am doing. But you certainly wouldn't confuse this with the original as it sure ain't no exact's my Raewyn Anne (Anne's my middle name)....

Take a look at where I got to....

....oops this photo's a little blurry but you get the gist...his hair's in stem version of it that is!!!

I like the detached button hole cuffs but I did munt the collar a looks better in reality than this photo suggests. I did two wraps for his french knot eyes but I think I might extract them and just do one wrap as they seem a bit heavy....and his chin stitch is disappearing....need to sort that....

The hat was finished off last night....the leggings and boots are started....

During the day the leaves on the mirror have been taking precedence over all else in my studio....

First, the leaves were stitched in long and short stitch on the background. The leaves at the side will remain as they are but the leaves in the middle with the branch holding the curtain have a detached overlay and so the long and short will be covered by the detached piece. They have yet to have their background stems stitched  in brown as this is done around drape attaching time....

Despite not being a huge fan of long and short or indeed needle painting, they don't look too shabby. I need LOTS more practice in this technique....

Then it was onto making the detached leaves.... I chose to use a gold wire as the support thread for the detached up and down buttonhole which is done in Soie de Paris. This wire I suspect is thicker than the wire used by Tricia in the instructions and so my leaves have turned out more rounded and with less definition. The wire is also much more visible. It is different and less lace I like it....I think I want to make four more leaves....NO....I want to move onto the drapes. The leaves were stitched round and round the wire outline and so even though I had lots of stitches I still got some larger gaps around some of the curves. I think I might go back and retrospectively plug these gaps with extra's doable....I tried it already.

I have a stash of the waste canvas 30 count rather firm linen that I got from Tricia thinking I would like the techniqe for getting counted onto a satin background but I hated the technique so not ever doing that as you have to extract all the waste threads after stitching and you could just imagine some of them getting caught with the needle and thread while doing the counted work and being a nightmare to pull out.

Anyway, long story short this canvas makes an ideal structure upon which to make the support for detached pieces. This is my four leaves traced on the waste canvas and the 32 gauge wire couched down as the cordonnet.

I decided to couch the wire around all the leaves at once so that job was done.  I use an Amy Mitten tip and masking tape all loose ends down and out of the way. Going forward I also masked the edges so the working thread doesn't get caught there either. 
As you can see the support wire is relatively thick and so has given the leaves a much different look and the definition is reduced from that of the drawing.... but I like this pretty wire and I wanted to use it!!!

Once the detached up and down buttonhole was completed I then removed the leaf from it's support and buttonholed around the edges....much better. I could have wrapped the wire first with Soie Ovale but I just didn't fancy wrapping thread around that teeny diameter wire.

A pair of leaves....

And here is where they will ultimately go....I have wrapped all the loose wires with Soie Ovale for the branches but haven't yet cut off the loose ends....

What do you think....will they pass muster???

So this week I am starting the drapes about which I am really excited. I started couching the side pieces yesterday. In Lesson #4 that came out last weekend it is all about the kings cloak. Beautiful and vibrant in red. So much to look forward to....I am just loving this project as mega time consuming as it may be.

I also finally received my next issue of Quiltmania yesterday and so no excuses now to making a start on the next instalment of the Di Ford Mountmellick. Some ladies in the facebook group who were lucky and received their magazine weeks ago have already finished this next gorgeous border. 

So inspiring seeing what others are achieving and the joy and excitement making things with your own hands can bring.



  1. Hi! the leaves are no bad...but to get a more shaped form the wire that holds the up/down buttonhole should be finer as you said, as the size of it should be similar to the silk thread you use. This makes the stitches a bit more close together and the wire will be less evident.
    It's possible to find in the jewellery making supplies a gold plated wire in many sizes, that works pretty good for this purpose.
    Also I will suggest you to use a heavy muslin/calico to hold this kind of work, it's more firm than a 30 ct linen.
    Hope this helps, F.

  2. I think your piece is looking lovely! Have a great week!


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