Friday, December 3, 2010

Let's Make Mistletoe

You can add mistletoe to your holiday embroidery.  I like Cire #051 (Shaded Light Moss Green) or #053 (Shaded Light Avocado Green) for my mistletoe leaves. Some of my leaves are stitched with a "long-tailed lazy daisy stitch" -- one side is longer than the other, and saves adding a stem -- and other leaves are stitched with a regular lazy daisy stitch (also known as a detached chain stitch):

Oh!  Did you notice those "mistletoe berries"?  They are "pearls" -- the cheapie discount store brand with pearl coating.  I broke apart a really old necklace with graduated-size beads, peeled off the coating and stitched them in place, some small and some larger, with regular white sewing thread. The smallest "berry" on this embroidery is approximately 1/16".
       To make them realistic, I pulled out my black Sharpie and colored the thread where it comes out of the bead. I like to think it looks like the "berry bottom" of the mistletoe berry. To stitch your own mistletoe berries and leaves, just use your Marvy wash-out pen and draw a curved line on the fabric. Next, add the lazy daisy stitches beginning at the tip of the "stem" and alternating stitches on each side. Remember, you don't have to stitch a separate stem if you extend one side of the lazy daisy stitch (or even make a twisted lazy daisy). Here's another picture from one of my Millefiori B.E. designs called "Remembrance", which was designed by my friend Phyllis:

Other flowers were on the original but I did something you might like to try, too. Pull out any one of the B.E. prints from your stash and substitute flowers, leaves and colors to make your own holiday design. I also added other beads and buttons and whatever I wanted until my heart was content.

This little Millefiori design called "Winterlight" also has mistletoe tucked among the greenery. When I first designed it, I thought it would make a pretty Christmas greeting card or could be framed as a small tablescape with holiday decorations arranged alongside.
This is a detail photo of the same design stitched with different colors:

By the way, this design was stitched on white fabric, but I wanted to "glitter up" the background, so I thinned down some some sparkly acrylic paint from the craft store and brushed it on.  By the way, if you paint any backgrounds, be sure to thin the paint to a very watery consistency. Otherwise, paint will stiffen the fabric and it will be difficult to needle.

One of these times I will write about coloring backgrounds ....

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