Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This Ought to be a Dahlia

Well, maybe it is!
I'll post a better picture after I add the hummingbirds. I made these 8-petal flowers with double cast-on stitches and double cast-on drizzle stitches (6 sets of loops for each petal) using Frost #127 (Orchid) and #218 (Light Fuchsia). Also included were my trusty darner, needle threader and a few extra straight pins. You'll see why in a minute.
Each flower has 8 double cast-on petals, alternating dark and light. After they were all on, I decided the flower looked too "spotty" so I pulled out the darner and added a light-colored drizzle in front of each dark petal. Oh! It's so nice to be able to do what you want when you are doing Brazilian embroidery -- it is part of the creative adventure, making choices, changing one's mind, just having fun in general!
   You can't cast-on too snugly when you use a darner, but I find they are easier to rethread.
     See that straight pin on one of the finished stitches? Here's another example:
I slip the pin into the outer loops so I won't have to deal with kinks and knots while pulling the needle-with-floss through the center of the stitch. It is also helpful to have a previous drizzle "pinned" so I don't tug the floss too hard while I'm making the next stitch. This can distort the length of the stitch.

You'll find complete instructions for making double cast-on stitches at the BDEIG website. The diagram shows one thread in use, but I like to use two strands of floss. Knot one end of each and begin casting on; this makes fewer kinks while you are trying to complete the stitch.

After I finished the flowers, I went in search of my next-favorite thing -- my beads. I would have preferred smaller beads for the flower center (these are pressed glass flower beads from Beadcats), but I liked the color which had a slightly blue tint to blend well with the floss. I tacked each in place with a 3mm Swarovski bicone crystal. If you look closely at the top picture, you'll see where the nylon beading thread shows.  I took care of that nicely with my trusty fabric marker pen. (I'm not taking any chances with Sharpie Pens because they might just decide to bleed when I launder my finished piece).

Well, the little hummy art quilt is humming right along, and writing these blog entries is wonderful motivation to keep me working on it until it's finished!

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