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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shadow Work

Sometime back, when I went to the local embroidery supplies store I found bits and pieces of organza fabric .People buy it here more for  flower making than for embroidery.
Shadow work and organza go hand in hand. Though I've tried it on a handkerchief earlier,I had never attempted shadow work on organza before ,so this was going to be a new experience.

In the last post, I had shown a butterfly on organza drawn with the water soluble marker pen.And that was exactly what I stitched.

Shadow work can be worked in two ways -
a )Double back stitch or reverse herringbone on the right side of the fabric or
b) Closed herringbone on the wrong side which will appear as back stitch on the right side.
There's also the Indian method which Iam planning to try out after this. I used the double back stitch since I wanted to see how the outlining appears.

As you see in the above pic, I started from the tip at point A. I did not knot the end of the thread. I held the tail and stitched into it during the initial few stitches . The fabric was so thin and transparent that anything I did would've seen through,so I had to very careful.

I came up at A and went down at B and came up at C to complete the first back stitch.That's the first crossing over from B to C. Now where should be the next stitch?

From C to A (I've marked it as D for continuity) and cross to the other side and come up at E. This is the second back stitch.Remember that the needle will pass through every point twice ( as in the point A ).
Again go from E down to B and cross over just ahead  of C to make the third stitch. The idea is simple- usually for back stitch we follow a single line. In shadow work,you have to move parallelly between two lines. But this becomes a little troublesome in some cases. I'll show you my little mistake towards the end of this post.

Here is the completed piece.

I did not use shadow work for the whole pattern.I've also used stem stitch. It is entirely your choice.But make sure you don't cross over from one part to another as you do in surface embroidery. The thread will show through. Always weave the thread through the existing stitches. I've used 2 strands of cotton floss with needle 9.

Here's another butterfly. Here I've used 3 strands with needle 7. The outline does look a little thicker. Which one do you prefer?

The completed piece:

The body has been satin stitched and the antennae stem stitched with french knot at the tips. I even padded the orange one's body :)
Don't you want to see the back?

Did you notice where I went wrong? Here is a close up :

I was trying to move exactly parallel between two lines .I forgot that for curved lines, the inner line is shorter and outer one is longer. And that gap appeared. The lesson learnt : the length of the stitches in this case should not be equal. For inner lines, take teeny stitches and for outer lines take longer ones so that you can move parallely.See the other wing,it is a good one,isn't it?  :)

Well, that's it for now. Iam planning to turn this piece into a lavender sachet.The pattern and idea is from Anchor Needle'n thread magazine - the one and only embroidery magazine we've here in India ...Oh,to have few copies of Inspirations and Stitch....sigh!! ..only in dreams,I guess  :)
Edited to update: In case Indians here are wondering what Inspirations and Stitch are,they are embroidery magazines printed abroad..

DH is away for two days for official work. Hence this lonnnnnng post.... :)

Till next time,

Lots and lots of love to you and all...muah,muah....mmmmuahhhh..

Love,luck and sunshine ( a little less here..but we'll share  LOL  )


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Water soluble marker pen - something new to me and maybe to you too

Hello everyone!!
Thanks for being with me. This was meant to be the post for June 8th and not ramblings ..but I do not know what came over me and I just scribbled something..though Iam quite happy I got it out of my system.Thanks once again. Your words work better for me than any therapist. And, Neetu, big thanks for calling....

I'll post this one and go back to my reading...

Recently I tried out an item new to me and possibly to many people over here in India. What I'm going to show you today is a water soluble marker pen. With this you can directly draw over the fabric and embroider. One needn't worry about the pen marks remaining on the fabric even after the embroidery is washed.They will easily wash off and there'll be no traces at all.
I had bought this a few months back along with some brazilian embroidery supplies. The pen is Marvy Le Pen (Japan). Ofcourse, those who're familiar with this product may be aware of some other better ones too. But ,I'd no other option but to accept what she put in for me when I said water soluble marker pen.

To test it, I scribbled on a piece of cream colored poplin cloth. You can see that the dots have spread a little. Let us see if it washes off.

Then, I soaked it in some water, rinsed a litte and let it remain there for 10 minutes. Voila!! completely washed out!! Would that be the case with our ballpoint pens or carbon?

Here is my new prized possession..

This pen is a wonderful tool in case you're drawing directly onto the fabric. The butterfly above has been traced direcly onto a piece of organza.
By the way, Indians, have you by any chance seen these in Indian stores? Iam going to keep an eagle eye on the stationery section of the supermarket I visit. Those abroad, are their any other brands of water soluble markers which you use?This one costed about 2.5$ (150/- approx,a huge amount here for a silly pen). Normally, I would've never ever bought a 'pen' at such a price.But I just wanted to try out a new product and pass on the info to you. Probably some of you would like to own one too.

Hugs to you all,
and ofcourse,
Love,luck and sunshine,

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Can someone give me some inspiration to stitch and to blog?

I think I've lost it somewhere.After the quite elaborate bedlinen and the peacock, I have run out of fuel. My hands are reluctant to pick up needle ...and the idea of signing off from blogging has crossed my mind more than once.I think my DH's brainwashing is having an effect on me. He keeps on and on.."why do you spent so much of time on something which gives no return? Where is the value for your time? "

And I reply - "This gives me pleasure,I love embroidery, its my hobby.Do I not have a right to do what I love? and blah.,blah.."

For which he has a ready answer -"A hobby is good enough only if it is done for a little time ,not hours and hours"
Well, I don't stitch everyday, so the one day I stitch, I stitch for a  good amount of time. This conversation has been repeated for an umpteenth time between me and him.I usually let it in through one ear and out through the other.Of late,I've been unscuccessful in eliminating them. I think his arguments are slowly entering into my thoughts,dreams and everywhere else :)

What do I do?...

Until next post,
See no evil,hear no evil,speak no evil,
P.s I think I'll do some lighthearted stuff..may be that'll help

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Brazilian Embroidery beginner's sampler

Here he is...

Indian Pride
(Click on the photograph for a better view)
I wish I could show it stretched and taut in a hoop - but the hoops I have are not big enough to show the complete design. I've washed the embroidered fabric but the yellow carbon marks have not gone yet. I guess I'll have to wash it a few more times to make it disappear.

So, that's it for now. The design is a little different from the usual wreaths and hearts - which would make it difficult for the hardcore traditional design enthusiasts to accept .Still, I think its a
good one for any beginner - 13 flowers and about 20 different stitches could be learnt here.

Oh, now I need to write down the instructions for the design for the sake of those coming to learn on July 3rd.I need to order threads and needles for them too. I just hope they reach here soon.

I've something totally different to show you in the coming posts. Do keep visiting.

Love,luck and sunshine,