I am back after a nice family holiday. My son got to try the drawing caddy during our trip. It worked very well and he loves it!
I am currently working on a piece using the Long and Short Stitch (L&S). I have often been tempted to, but postponed trying the Long and Short stitch. Why?? Perhaps the fear of producing imperfect results. So, finally a couple of weeks ago I decided to give it a try on a "grand" scale. Why not, right? : )
Iris flower - This is my work in progress.
As the name suggests, this stitch is primarily rows of alternating long and short stitches using many shades of a color to fill a design. The result is phenomenal. The image seems to come alive. And it is very much like 'painting with a needle'.
A close-up of the above piece.
After some research on books and resources on the L&S Stitch, I found that there are quite a few to choose from. Trish Burr has written a lot of books on this topic. She even has a free project to try on her website if you are interested. Mary Corbet from Needle N Thread has some great instructions on her website that you can follow. My choice was a book titled "Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques", written by the Royal School of Needlework in the UK. The book is fantastic. In fact, the design I am working on is from this book.
I am embroidering on silk fabric that has a cotton fabric backing for some stability. The threads are the regular DMC cotton strands in many shades of pink, yellow and green. BTW, the book calls for Anchor threads. I had to find the DMC equivalents.
Here is a close-up of the large petal.The reason you are not able to clearly see the outline of the design is because I have used running stitch to trace the outline. (You can see the stitches in the picture below). This is a recommended method for silk fabrics, because pencil and pen marks cannot be easily removed.
Here is another close-up.
I am working on the petal with the scalloped edges at the moment.
Well, if you haven't tried this work yet, please do so. It is so..... satisfying. And to help you here are a few things I have learnt so far:
* Choosing the right shades is very important. It is half the battle won.
* If you are a beginner, keep your daily goals small. It is important that you get every stitch right. Believe me, removing the stitches is no fun.
* Before you begin any section, get a feel for the design. If you were to take a pencil and draw in some strokes, how would you do it? Working this stitch is very similar.
Alright then! Will post again soon with the progress and pass on any notes I make.