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!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Silk Scene Begins

It's begun...the all-consuming silk ribbon embroidery scene project.  I fell asleep dreaming about where to begin, and after thinking and reading up on these things I decided starting in the background is the best approach. I wanted a tree in the background and thought of a dogwood, a few of which we have in our yard. I've never been able to get a pink dogwood to grow so I figured I could at least stitch one.

First start: the tree itself without any leaves or flowers. I drew one in my notebook sketch to get an idea of size, proportion, etc., then drew it lightly in 0.5mm pencil on the silk. Again, reading up in a book by Ann Cox (Silk Ribbon Embroidery Designs & Techniques) I followed her idea of several types of threads twisted together to form the trunk. The photo below shows brown silk buttonhole twist, 3 colors of DMC cotton floss (browns), and 2 colors of YLI silk floss (brown and black), mostly using 1-2 strands of each one.
I used some of the cotton floss to couch down the threads at whatever interval I thought was necessary. Then I separated into three groups of threads to start the branches after making the trunk. And those were separated even more to make smaller branches.
Here's the final version...a little rough looking up close, but will be covered with flowers and leaves to fill it out. Notice the shading on the tree left in darker threads and some on the right branch bottom. 
Two millimeter pink/peach silk ribbon made perfect little flowers in French Knots. Easy to do and quick. Then I added little tiny Lazy Daisy stitches in one strand of green DMC floche, a slightly thicker thread (actually the thickness of 2 strands of cotton floss). 
I like the result. Then to add perspective, a little grass in 2 shades of floss and variegated silk cord, then little tiny Lazy Daisy stitches in a darker green floss around the base of the tree (again only one strand of each).
You ask: what is that other green stuff?  Well, it's another trick to add perspective to this scene. Working from the "wall" I added an edge-dyed 7mm ribbon along a line I drew to suggest a horizon line of sorts, again, another technique suggested by Ann Cox. I have never used this so I figured it would be worth a try. Thread a large chenille (usually an #18 with 7mm) with the ribbon and come to the right side where the wall begins. Then thread another chenille (probably a #22) with variegated silk cord from Treenway Silks.
Using straight and fly stitches I tacked and gathered the ribbon down along the drawn line, then followed with a stem stitch on that same line. Go back down on the completed line with both ribbon and thread and tie off.
Here's the finished product of a day's work so far.  
Not sure what I will tackle next, but tomorrow is another day.....

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