Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lost My Needle . . .

I made a half-hearted attempt to find where it landed after I knotted and cut my thread, but it means getting out the Swifter Sweeper.
     I decided to download pictures instead. I'm stitching the little hummers on my Brazilian dimensional embroidery art quilt -- almost done, too!
I've decided to use all metallic threads for the little hummingbirds. The larger hummers who have one flower patch all to themselves average a 1.25" square area. The "window panes" that have two hummers are smaller, filling approximately a 3/4" area.
     I'm using 2 strands of metallic thread for my embroidery and an embroidery or chenille needle. The larger eye will save wear and tear on the metallic thread, plus it goes through the fabric more gently. (I also like embroidery or chenille needles for satin stitching, although a lot of Brazilian embroidery stitchers stick with milliners needles for everything.)  Apples, oranges -- it's just a matter of what people like.
     I took a picture of the threads I'm using --mostly Sulky metallics. These are sewing machine threads (machine embroidery), so I knew they would be durable. But I also have some metallics on cones that I use.
This hummy is stitched with royal blue, 2 strands. I used the Sulky Prism pastel-color threads for his tummy.
     The reason I snapped this picture is to show how I like to do wing and tail feathers. I stitched tailfeathers with side-by-side lazy daisy stitches. I found that blanket stitch worked really nicely for the wing feathers, and often had to "lay" the threads to keep them "unruffled". Everything else is pretty much just straight stitching.  Here it is all dressed up:

Some of the hummies were stitched with royal blue and some with emerald green. For this little hummy, I decided to use a strand of each color and like the effect. He let me snap his picture, too:

His tummy is stitched with metallic white DMC - the kind you get on a spool in the craft section at JoAnn's. It's actually 3 strands together. They also have gold and used to have silver thread on spools. Haven't checked lately to see if it's still available.

Oh.  How did I decide what colors to stitch the little hummingbirds? Well, I have a book or two... there are also pictures all over the Internet, courtesy of Google searches for images. But the books were close by and fun to look through. 

I still want to stitch an Anna's hummingbird and a coppery-color Rufous. I took a little "creative license" with all of the others; they didn't mind.

By the way, this is one of my favorite color combinations for the flowers. I used Iris #092 (light blue/light pink), arranging colors so they would be the same on each petal. Then I outlined each flower with one of the light purple Iris colors. Those flower centers are pressed glass flower beads held in place with a 4mm Czech fire polish (faceted) bead.
     I mentioned earlier that I did each picture frame's oval leaves with different stitches or combinations.

Some were satin stitched from one side to the other, sometimes I added a bullion at the center of the leaf or flower petal:

It's lots of fun to think of new ways to make our Brazilian embroidery even more beautiful.

Now I think I should go in search of that needle. *sigh*  I guess this means cleaning the house ...sort of.

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