27 February 2008

The embellishment muse awakens

Tuesday morning the embellishment muse started stirring.

It's about time that witch woke up. I've been leafing through old and new books on embroidery to find something that will work on this project.

Couple of problems arose. The first is that my embroidery skills are pretty rusty and the second is that not only am I dealing with embroidery on a knit fabric but embroidery on a knit fabric where instructions like secure the ribbon to the wrong side of the fabric make no sense at all.

But I punted and came up with some cabbage-y rose like shapes that are an odd cross of twisted ribbon roses and a French knot.

Ultimately, I decided to loop a length of the ribbon through the knit stitches and then twist the two ends together to form the flower. The first couple were a trial and error effort where I refined the length of ribbon that worked best without waste.

After all, I bought the ribbon from the sale bin at Needlecraft Cottage and there were no more to be had.

By Tuesday evening I had decided that the strands from the flowers on the second layer should loop through the stitch pattern treatment of the 1st layer and that my first "East-West" orientation was faulty.

After dinner with the lovely Liz, I went home and continued working on the final flowers.

On the first pass, I had four flowers but the gap in the centre just looked lumpy.
I wasn't crazy about how the top layer looked or quite how to correct it so once again I let it it sit a bit.

Even though I tried to be careful in tearing out the top layer of roses, I had some serious ribbon loss as a result. The good news is that I had picked up some other ribbon options. The final solution also had four flowers but positioned more to the centre and used both the original ribbon, a second co-ordinating one and a bit of the silk thread I had to secure the flowers and trap the ends.

It looks a lot less like a sun bleached rock cairn and a bit more like a wedding cake. A not quite perfect wedding cake, but a wedding cake.

As the first of the two successful efforts, it pushes the size limit more than the chair but it still fits comfortably in the 4x4x4 box that it calls home.

My new challenge is getting good photos of it before shipping it off. So now it's writing up the list of materials, trying to explain how it was created and finding a box.


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