Life is indeed a stitch!
Berryhill Heirlooms and Susie Gay present techniques, heirloom sewing, hand embroidery and other musings that you will enjoy and appreciate. Come and join in the fun with Susie, a Home Economist, and savor a little rest from your hectic day...and yes, it's a Degree she uses every day!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Silk Scene Tree


Back to the silk scene after attending the SAGA National Convention. I'm working a little each day on it when possible. I added a tree next to the wall to add more perspective...hopefully. I've never used this technique before: bundling different threads and colors together, then tacking them down with couching stitches. It was an interesting experiment and took some getting used to

The threads: mixed DMC cotton flosses in shades of brown to very dark brown, one Antique Ecru Floche  and a little bit of silk buttonhole twist.
I loaded a mix of these threads into a #18 Chenille needle (very large eye and shaft) with a knot on the end. Into the fabric to start at the base of the tree trunk and laid them down, twisting a little as I went.
I repeated this about 2 more times to get needed width. I also ran some along the edge of the wall in an effort to make it look like the tree was just on the other side of it.
About midway I divided the multiple strands and threaded some into another needle to lay them down as branches.
And some of those I separated again to create smaller branches.
Since these threads were laying on top of the fabric unsecured I used some of the same thread in a smaller #8 Crewel Embroidery needle to "artistically" couch them down. Read: stitches of different lengths and angles over the trunk and branch bases to hold them in place. Then I used a little of the very dark brown (DMC 3371) to add some dark shading where I thought the sun wasn't touching the tree. And some of the Antique Ecru Floche for highlights.

Various 7mm variegated green silk ribbons were perfect for the leaves of this unusual tree. The Japanese Ribbon Stitch was just right for leaves because I could curve them either left or right, or leave them centered, to add more interest and realism...at least I hope it does!
I laid my workbook down on the left side simulating the position of mat board when framed. The tree was lopsided so I added two little branches to the left, then leaves. It looks better to me now.
Not sure what I'll tackle next...I'll take some time and think about it tomorrow. Thanks for reading my blog about this Silk Ribbon Scene journey!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Silk Scene Iris

I'm back from the Smocking Arts Guild of America National Convention in Dallas...It was wonderful! Love seeing all my stitching friends and meeting new ones. But now I'm back at the stitching table working on the Silk Scene. I moved the iris from the right side of the original drawing to near the wall. Iris are fun to stitch in silk ribbon: they're easy. Each flower is a Lazy Daisy stitch and 3 Japanese Ribbon Stitches on top of a stalk. Then add straight stitch leaves at the bottom.

Long stalks are in Treenway Montano Silk Cord in Cedar, one strand for each stem and a long straight stitch. I used a solid 7mm white ribbon (from my stash) for Lazy Daisy Stitch iris tops, or "standards" (the technical term). Then Treenway Silks 7mm Montano Silk Ribbon in Daffodil, lovely variations of cream to a deep yellow, for the "Falls" in the Japanese Ribbon Stitch. Last but not least, some 2mm pale yellow ribbon again from my stash for a straight stitch "Beard" on each "Fall" (which you can see in the last photo).

Then I added straight stitch leaves in 3.5mm Treenway Montano in Spring Green. To add dimension I twisted a few of the leaves and positioned them lower and at different places to make the iris look taller and more realistic.
Next will be a "tree" next to the wall using twisted bunches of thread to assimilate the bark with leaves on the branches. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Silk Scene Wall

The wall...I hit it trying to figure out what to do next on The Scene. I just couldn't get past the wall or what was going in front of it. So I tackled the wall itself, and thought about what to do next while making umpteen French Knots.
Ann Cox's book, Silk Ribbon Embroidery Designs and Techniques, shows a wall with moss on it...or maybe its lichen. Either way it's good for connecting my not-too-realistic wall blocks. And it adds interest and dimension.

I chose four colors of thread: 3 DMC cotton flosses and one DMC cotton floche. 
And I threaded 4 crewel/embroidery needles, sizes 8 or 9, each with one of the colors (2 strands of DMC or one strand of the floche). One wrap French knots were perfect, clustered together, for this slow growing moss. It was easiest to work all four colors at the same time in the hoop to be able to choose on a whim which color went where. In between I parked the unused needles on the top of the hooped silk to keep from tangling on the wrong side. The system worked really well even though it looks like a-mess-of-threads here.
The final moss wall...looks much better, and this technique is a great way to cover any ink bleeding (notice the wall top right between photo above and one below) or lackluster stones.
Now all I have to do is figure out what to tackle next. Iris, anyone?