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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Reader's Embroidery - Kundans and petal stitch on top

Some days back , when I opened my inbox, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new mail...WOW!! If you ask why pleasantly surprised , the reason is, my inbox is usually empty.All I get is some forwards from my husband. The mail was from Mahalakshmi, a homemaker who has been embroidering for over 27 years. She wanted to show pictures of embroidery she had done on her daughter's top inspired from this tutorial of petal stitch .
Here are the pics.They are not exactly closeups, you can click on them for better view.

This is the full view of the top. You can see the embroidery on the sleeves, neck and the lower part. I like the color of the top, usually my choice of colors would be something like this one.

A closer view . The circular flowers have kundan in the centre and kundan petals with running stitch around. There's also a variation of fly stitch used inbetween . You can also see the petal stitched patterns alternately

More petal stitch. Click here for the tutorial

A close up of the neck portion. Simple, but elegant. Usually , when embroidery is done on dress materials , a simple rule is followed - don't have a overdose of too many variety of stitches or colors. That rule has been followed here. Mahalakshmi has used just three types of stitches and a single color for the embroidery. It is perfect!!!

Iam so glad that my ROSE sampler has proved to be an inspiration to someone. By the way, I love seeing pictures like these, and ofcourse getting mails... ( I hope you get the hint )

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Indian embroidery designs and much more

Yesterday while browsing through the Indian blogs, I found this blog called Indian Folk Designs . Iam not sure who the creator of this blog is, but it is a virtual treasurehouse of typical Indian designs. You can find designs classified according to state as well as region. Within each category there are patterns for textile printing, embroidery, wall hanging ,wall paintings etc. Click here to view South Indian designs . Keep clicking on Older Posts link at the bottom right and you'll get to see more.

Click here for designs from the west of India. Click on Older posts at the bottom to see more. Aren't they lovely?

Thank you, whoever you are , for sharing something so valuable.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Student's dimensional embroidery- Cottage garden

Iam flying high in the sky,
Do you know why?
I've just received a pic,
Which is abzolutely fantastic..
I love it so,
Coz .......(me thinking.....,err..umm...grrr...,my poetic inspiration has come to an end here )


I think I'll explain the rest in prose..

If you remember, I'd conducted a workshop on BE sometime back. Well, one of the ladies, Janaki from Tirupur has mailed me a picture of her completed piece. Janaki is an accomplished teacher in Indian embroidery and does works on saris and other dress materials. This was the first time she had come across BE and rayon threads. But see what she has done.

I've taken a photo of a photo, hence the glare. Still, isn't it lovely? I assume it is her own design and she has applied all the stitches and techniques learnt in that one day.She has mixed BE threads and pearl cotton threads to create this piece. Understandable since the rayon threads are not available here.

Here's a closeup of the left side. She has combined Indian embroidery techniques also.The cottage ,the path and the big leaves on top seem to be in shadow work.

This is the right side. Look how beads have been used instead of french knots for the centre of the flowers.

I love this...The tree with tiny flowers .

So, wasn't it wonderful? I feel as though I've accomplished something great. (big smile). Being a teacher always has its golden moments.
Iam in the mood to pick up my BE again. But before that ,Iam going to celebrate..will tell you about it soon.

Love,luck and sunshine,

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where do I go from here? -Last outlining technique :Overcast stitch

Finally, the last method I could think of for outlining- Overcast stitch .

I know,I know, the flower looks the kind which blooms during recession. Whenever I try to freehand this is what happens.This method does need patience. First you've to place a six strand thread on the outline and then cover it up with satin stitch. I stopped with three petals and attempted the method again on another flower.

The second attempt turned out to be better. Well, with this method out of the way and myself running short of any more outlining ideas , I had to tackle another issue - Miriam very thoughtfully initiated me towards it when she asked in my last post on outlining - How does this pillow case look? Till then I hadn't given it a thought and was randomly stitching flowers here and there with just the outlining possibilities in mind. But....when I glanced at the piece of cloth ,here's what I saw.

Aarrrgh.... Iam stumped!!! The question is - what do I do with this? I did unpick the 'D' stitched with scroll stitch since it was looking a little odd in the middle of all those flowers. But what next? I should've atleast thought about the flower placements,but now nothing can be done. I assume I'll need a massive burst of creativity to tackle this one and it doesn't seem to coming at present. Any ideas or suggestions?
In the meanwhile Iam going to wash and iron this piece - it badly needs a clean up.

Love,luck and sunshine,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Free embroidery pattern resources

Been a while since I shared some links with you. Infact, its sometime since I googled around for embroidery resources. Well, I looked around a bit and found some interesting ones.
Thanks to twokitties, I found a rather interesting set of pictures, very different and unusual.These are actually coloring pictures of animals of the world for children,but this could be easily converted into embroidery patterns.Here's one such picture from .

Here's the link to the whole set of 12 animals

If you're interested in crewel embroidery here's the link to a vintage pattern at twokitties. Click on the Download scan link to download it. has quite a collection of embroidery patterns. Check out the archive here.



Thursday, May 07, 2009

Outlining techniques - Part 7, Cable stitch and Blanket stitch

While looking around for new outlining techniques, I came across a stitch called side by side stem stitch or cable stitch. This is nothing but stem stitch and outline stitch done alternately.

When photographed in the macro mode, the stitches showed some gaps in between (see the arrows) .Though these are not actually visible at a glance, that's a point to be careful about in the future.The yellow portion in the center is whipped cable stitch. The green part is blanket stitched (top) and the stem is stem stitched.

I tried the blanket stitch outlining in another flower too.

I started of with split stitch in the lower portion of each petal and outlined the top with blanket stitch. By the way, the outer layer is couched - doesn't it look better now? Thanks for all your tips. Jane, a big wave to you from India. Your comment was an eye opener :), thanks.

I think I've covered almost all the basic techniques. I've one more method in my kitty. Have I left out or missed any? If I have ,please let me know. I would love to add a few more stitches/flowers to the pillowcase.There's plenty of space left :)

Wait, Iam not finished yet.. If you've been visiting this space frequently , you would know that I refrain from mentioning birthdays,anniversaries,100 posts and stuff. Some I don't keep track and some I keep to myself. Today for a change, I would like to share with you the special day of our life - our wedding anniversary - 8 years of marriage completed ,phew !!! ;) Fortunately ,hubby dear remembered and wished me in the morn , no gifts though - he believes in getting them but not giving :) And would you believe if I say that both of us are reading Bill Cosby's Love and Marriage - what is life without a li'l bit of humour?

Here's a quote from a forward on marriage that landed in my Inbox yesterday -(coincidence , isn't it?)

"Some people ask us the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner,soft music and dancing.She goes tuesdays and I go fridays"

That just about sums it up.

Love,luck and sunshine,

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Outlining techniques-Part 6 Back stitch , running stitch and variations

After attempting the knotted outline stitches, I decided to try out some simple (and common) stitches for outlining - back stitch , running and whipped running stitch.

The center is in running stitch, the inner layer is in back stitch and the outer layer is in whipped running stitch. My back stitch is not perfect - most of the time I miss going in back at the same place and it leaves a teeny weeny gap between the stitches. That's something to be careful about next time.

I like the whipped running stitch for its simplicity and the contrast effect it produces. By the way, you can whip stitch other outlining stitches too.

I also tried out the double back stitch for outlining the center of one of the flowers.The double back stitch is usually used in shadow work to produce a beautiful shadow effect.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Outlining techniques-Part 5-Knotted stitches

Thanks for all your tips on Couching. Initially I did think that the flower looked alright, but when I studied it again I started getting doubts about it. Too much pondering ,I guess.

Well, Iam going to leave the couched flower as it is and try another one with the couching stitches closer to achieve a different look with the same stitch.
Now for the next set of stitches.

Well, the red one is called Coral stitch.The second one is Scroll stitch. Both, as you can see, are knotted outline stitches. I couldn't think of any floral patterns for these ,so I wrote an S and a D. I found the coral stitch easier to do. In scroll I missed the knot a couple of times (the arrow) . Infact, I like the stitch without the knot too - slanted outline.

What are the possibilities with these stitches? Do you have any more ideas on outlining to share? I would love to hear from you.

Will see you in the next post with another method.

Love,luck and sunshine,

Monday, May 04, 2009

Outlining techniques- Part 4 Couching - a pathetic show

After adding the stem,outline,split and chain stitched flowers , I,rather smug, tried the next method - and oh boy, it was a disaster. No, I've not pulled it out, I've left it there just to show you .

Look at this!!! Terrible,isn't it ?
I guess by now,you've figured out the method - Couching.But why are the lines all wobbly?
Where did I go wrong? Is it because I tried to couch a single long thread for the whole flower rather than for each petal? I've no idea. I was quite confident when I started with this method. But now I think I'll need tips from some of you. Any suggestions?