Friday, December 10, 2010


Basic B.E. stitches may be found in most Brazilian embroidery books in print, or you can visit the BDEIG Website for step-by-step instructions, diagrams and photos.

To practice some of these stitches and make a small framed oval ornament or a fabric postcard, just draw a circle slightly smaller than 1" for each ornament. Make bullions or cast-on stitches with more wraps or loops than the length of the fabric bite. This will cause the stitch to curve slightly. Add sparkle with metallic threads, beads, or stitch some silk ribbon flowers on your ornament.

You can add evergreens by drawing curved lines and overlaying them with straight stitches. Start with a heavier floss like Nova first. Add straight stitches with Lola next, and then add a layer of Glory straight stitches. Or you can substitute this last layer with a metallic thread. (I like to use Sulky sewing threads because they are durable, but there are lots of choices.)

If you would like more ideas for Christmas ornaments (and approximately 93 other B.E. stitching projects), take a look at the Education Projects Book available from the Guild's Boutique page on the website. It is a wonderful idea for a Christmas (or other) gift for a stitching friend. Here's a picture of just the cover, with no clue to the wondrous treats inside:

You can order your copy by clicking on the link above. I'm including the pattern and tutorial for the ornaments here since it is my own copyrighted design.

Here's the mini-tut:

Lola or Ciré: Outline stitch all ornaments. At base of ornaments add 3 or 4, 4-wrap Brazilian lazy daisy (LZ DZ) stitches. Stitch the ornament cord with outline stitch and Lola, Ciré or metallic thread.

Top Ornament:
-- Place beads at dots.
-- Add 4 colonial or French knots around, at the 2, 4, 8 and 10pm positions.
-- Accent with fly stitch, LZ DZ and/or bugle beads.

Center Ornament:
(Note: I like to use two strands of floss when I make double cast-on stitches. Thread both strands into a needle and knot one end of each floss strand separately. You’ll have two loose floss tails at the other end, and this will prevent the kinking and twisting that the floss sometimes likes to do.)

-- All stitches are placed vertically. From center top to center bottom, place a twisted double cast-on stitch. Cast one loop on with your left hand and then one loop with your right hand. Do this 12 times. (12 pair of cast-on loops)

--Twist the stitch as follows: Before going down and out, slip needle beneath the double cast-on 2-3 times and tug. The stitch will twist. Finish the double cast-on by passing needle down through fabric, and out.
-- Starting at left side and, working from left to center, make:
             15-wrap bullion – 18-loop cast-on – 24-wrap bullion
-- Repeat these 3 stitches on right side of twisted double cast-on, reversing stitch counts.

Bottom Ornament:
-- Place a 20-wrap bullion horizontally across the center of the ornament. Above and below, make two rows of running cast-on stitches (not anchored, but continuous). Cast on 8 loops for each stitch. There are 3 cast-on stitches next to the center and 2 cast-on stitches above and below.
-- Optional: add beads at center of each cast-on stitch.

This is just a sample of the goodies in the BDEIG Education Projects book. And, you know, there's absolutely nothing wrong with making a Christmas (or other) gift to yourself!

Seasons Greetings!

By the way, if you have questions about any of the stitches or techniques I write about, leave a note in the comments section and I'll write more. 

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