Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Love Lazy Daisies

But before I start ...
I just have to share this picture with you. It's the daphne just outside my front door, in total fragrant bloom, considering that I almost lost it last year -- you can see the nubbins at the left of branches that got nipped in a late frost last year.
      And now that I have had my "flower fix" for the day, I wanted to talk about Brazilian dimensional embroidery and the lazy daisy -- probably my most favorite stitch because it's one of the first stitches my mom taught me when I was little and going through my "Rosalie, please stop making mud pies and embroider a dresser scarf already" phase.

Quite often I offset the start of the lazy daisy stitch (the "a-b" points, as Brazilian embroidery stitchers like to call it). A lot of stitchers already know this, but I feel it decreases bulk at the base of a leaf or petal. Sometimes I REALLY offset those starting points and use one side as the "stem" ...and if you offset the points even more, you can make really pretty tendrils, continuous. Like this, for grapes:
...or watermelon:

Those pictures are from a Millefiori design I did a while back, #829 "Veggie Patch". The idea was to make a design with edible flowers, but some veggies and other yummies just showed up of their own free will.
     I also used the lazy daisy stitch variation that I named "Travelin' Tendril" for Sweet Peas on Millefiori design #949, "Delicate Pleasures":

and for this "Little Sweet Peas" embroidery that I stitched for fun (Actually, another version of this idea was one of the first Brazilian dimensional embroidery designs I ever made):
You can see that those tendrils are just lazy daisy stitches with one side of the stitch a lot longer than the other.
When I offset the lazy daisy stitch and "turn it around" -- start farther away from a stem, I call the tapered stitch a "Reverse LZ DZ", and it also makes an attractive leafy stem. Remember those dresser scarves? The lazy daisy stitches all started at the stem. They looked pretty nice, too, so this is just another way to stitch a stem with leaves. And, of course, if you overlap and offset the lazy daisy stitches slightly as you work along the stem, you won't need to stitch the stem itself. This is an example from one of the flowers on Millefiori design #914 "Lady Belle Pull" that I wrote about the other day:

Those leaves on the right side of the design are stitched without a stem -- ha! fooled your eye! It's an artists' technique called "Trompe l'Oeilor "trick the eye" and is often used for painting murals.
Another useful (and attractive, in my opinion) way to use the lazy daisy stitch is for lobed leaves, such as you see on oak trees and many flowers. I just make side-by-side lazy daisy stitches:
I stitched this leaf with side-by-side lazy daisy (LZ DZ) stitches, overlapping them just slightly. Here's a better picture:

I'm stitching one of my new Millefiori designs, #993 "Field of Flowers" with all-one-color #227 (Pale Sea Green) on white Trigger cloth. The design is very busy, so I wanted to try it in a monochromatic color scheme. I found some pretty size 11 seed beads to match - inside-color pale mint green like these beads by Miyuki:
and I used some size 8 magatama beads (offset hole, like a drop bead but smaller) for variety:
By the way, that blue you see is from my wash-out Marvy pen (metallic point - I Love It!).
     This is the "Field of Flowers" design and I'll try to remember to post a picture of this design when it's finished. I'm thinking about using it to decorate the top of a box, but I haven't planned that far ahead yet.

Thanks for reading. I think I'll go and finish stitching. I still need to do the final hand hemming of my little Hummy Art Quilt so I can show you a picture.
   The sun is out, though, and my garden is calling my name, so I need to get a lot of my inside work done ...and now!
Here is a picture of my garden calling:
Oh, wait! That's Cuthbert. He ALWAYS wants to go outside.
HERE's my garden, calling:

... or a daffodil calling, anyway.

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