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Donna’s Christmas Rose Finished

Here’s the finished rose, out of it’s hoop. With a wacking great hoop mark around it.
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I decided to follow Ruth O’Leary of Textile Art’s instructions on damp stretching and lacing the piece. Her instructions are wonderfully clear, with photos to match. I’ve missed a lot of detail that are there in the instructions, so do give them a read if you are interested in learning more about this finishing technique.
First, I went to http://rutholearytextileart.blogspot.com/2010/07/ok-change-of-plan.html
to follow her instructions in glueing batting to the back of the embroidery, then pinning it to a piece of board.
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After spraying it with water and letting it dry overnight, it looked like this :
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The circular hoop mark was gone, but it was hardly ideally smooth.
I think it’s because of the board I used. It was thick corrugated cardboard with a smooth top, but it wasn’t a VERY smooth top, as you can see below :
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(This was after I took the embroidery off).
Not to worry – 30 seconds with a cool iron, and it was perfectly smooth. (I forgot to take a photo). If I hadn’t damp stretched it first, I would have been fighting to get out those marks and risked scorching, but as it was, it was really easy.
I then continued on, as per the instructions, to pin down the mitred corners
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…and then sew them down……I used a long single thread and crossed between each corner

“This helps pull the corners in and hold the fabric in position enough for me to take the drawing pins out,” (from Ruth’s blog)

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Then I laced. I needed 2 or 3 lengths of thread for each side – the thought of Ruth doing her big Spirograph using a single thread – no wonder she had thread tangling problems! It must have been yards long!
You’ll notice the right side has a kind of bunched look, where I was picking up a couple of mm of fabric with my needle. (A mistake). I didn’t do it on the left, for some reason.
It didn’t make any difference in the end, especially since it was going to be covered over.
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Moving onto http://rutholearytextileart.blogspot.com/2010/08/spirograph-panels-backing-and-hanging.html for backing instructions, I cut some matched velvet to size, and sewed it down to cover the lacing.
I started with a curved needle, as Ruth advises, but my only curved needles are tiny ones for beading, and it was really fiddly.
I swopped to a straight needle and it was much easier. I was able to get away with bending the cardboard a tiny bit to allow me to slip the stitches in.
If I had used a harder board that I couldn’t bend a bit I would have had to have used a curved needle (note for the future, since Roses and Pansies will probably be on board)
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And here’s the finished piece! :-)
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Note the nice padded appearance to it.
I debated adding trim to the edges, but Donna is a plain sort of person, so I left it.
I’ll take this opportunity to show off the gorgeous pincushion that SilkLover/Julie made me.
I use it for my needles, and another one that I made for my pins. You would not *believe* how many pins you need for pinning down a piece for damp stretching. I had to scrape up every pin I had for this piece, and will need to buy an extra packet or two for when it comes to do Roses and Pansies.
Julie’s Quaker pincushion, at it’s home sitting on the back of the couch :
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Thankyou Ruth – I couldn’t have done it without your wonderful instructions!

Now, back onto Roses and Pansies!

Christmas Rose for Donna

My friend Donna and her husband are hosting me on Christmas Day.
So instead of an embroidered card (I will show the cards after Christmas, when the overseas recipients have had a chance to receive theirs), I’m working on an entire piece for her.
It’s a simple piece.
About 2/3 of the way through, it occurred to me how much it resembled the Asparagus Tree design that Kathy of The UnBroken Thread had done in several variations.
My inspiration was actually based on a photo from Di Van Niekirk’s FaceBook photopage. For some reason, LiveWriter isn’t letting me insert the photo. It’s of two roses, with fly stitch branches and a couple of buds, anyway.
Mine is done on some beautiful forest green Dupion that I got from Pearsalls (I’m getting some more forest green Dupion from Ebay and shall compare the quality).
A simple Spider Web Ribbon Rose with a Twirled Ribbon rose centre. The centre is in a plain copper Hannah dyed ribbon, the petals are of a variegated olive/copper Hannah dyed ribbon.
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The colours don’t look quite right – there’s more blue in the stem than there should be – but that’s the computer/camera.
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The stem is Whipped Running Stitch in 7mm River Silk Ribbon in Olive.
Then there are 3 levels of branches, done in 3 different olive/forest greens. The 2 largest types of branches are done in stem stitch, and the smallest branches (“fronds”) done in fly stitch.
I’ve almost finished – just some more fly stitch to go on the left hand side.
Then I’ll pad it (as per Rachel Wright’s excellent advice), and lace it, using Ruth O’Leary’s instructions from her website, onto a piece of cardboard, and then back that.
I’m waiting for that other Ebay Dupion to arrive, (from America, and I only ordered it yesterday) upon which I can start Vince’s sunflower and Ricky’s daisies. In the interim, I have Sally’s Roses and Pansies to finish.
If there is any extra time while waiting for the Dupion, I’ll start on SilkLover’s piece.
This will be a very special piece, and after all this ribbon embroidery (I’ve done 9 ribbon embroidery cards) it’s a relief/nice change to get back to some more traditional methods.
Heather Castles is a Canadian illustrator. http://blog.illustrationcastle.com/about/
She’s given me permission to use this drawing upon which to base SilkLover’s embroidery :
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In return, I’ll give Heather a high resolution picture of the embroidery to use as she wishes.
The thick veins will be heavily padded, then covered in satin stitch in gold Jap or passing thread.
The inserts will be done in sections of different jewel coloured silks, with the veins done in a single strand of matching silk thread.
I shall use various wires to do the various antennae.
The body will probably just be padded satin stitch.
I don’t know if I’ll keep the dots, or use sequins of various sizes. We’ll see when we get there.
I’m looking forward to doing this project – it feels more true to my roots than SRE, tho SRE is very handy for quick and pretty presents.