Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Marco Polo Rose

Marco Polo was planted in my garden just because I like yellow roses.  And red ones, and pink ones, and white ones ... etc.

It's a very pretty rose. I tend to take a picture whenever a flower blooms.  See:
It's pretty from any angle.

I stitched the Marco Polo Rose for my Rose Garden B.E. design (Millefiori #995) and it's another of the roses I'll be teaching at our Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery International Guild seminar this June in Portland, Oregon. You can see photos of ALL the classes here. I linked to just the first page because there's so much to see on the website, but you can surf through to Seminar 2012 if you like. When I get a moment, I'll update my own website!

The stitch I used for my B.E. version is the Raised Close Herringbone Stitch, a self-padding stitch I discovered by reading needlework books written by Erica Wilson and Margaret Boyles. The first time I used it was to pad little hearts and little mouse buns on this design, called "Mice, Twice".
Oh, yes. There are two sets of mice there.  You'll have to click the image to make it larger and then see where the second couple is hiding. It's all framed in a Wilton Cookie Cutter heart, no less. How delectable. Mmmmm.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From My Rose Garden . . .

This is Double Delight, one of the Brazilian dimensional roses from my Rose Garden.  It's one of nine roses I recently designed and will be teaching at our BDEIG Seminar in Portland, Oregon this June.

I'll have the design ready to stitch fairly soon; am taking pre-orders on this and all of my other new designs and will send them out as soon as they are ready. Look for Millefiori Design #995 "Rose Garden".  All of my new designs should be posted at my website fairly soon, but you can call or email me at any time. I had so much fun dreaming up these nine roses -- each a small 3" design with different foliage and stitches on each rose.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Edelweiss - A Free Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery Design for You

Each month during the coming year, the Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery International Guild, Inc. (BDEIG) is featuring a free design (posted for one month only and then gone forever). Up now is my "Edelweiss" design. You'll find a pdf file to download here.

I wrote about this design here on this blog a few weeks ago. You can read about how I finished the embroidery with the picture tutorial here. I stitched the design on medium blue poplin, but since it's such a simple traceable pattern, you could transfer it to any wearable item or onto fancy fabric or the fabric of your choice for a crazy quilt motif.

I hope you enjoy the design, and while you are visiting the BDEIG website, be sure to stick around a while and look at all of the other interesting pages.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Even the Dandelions . . .

Yesterday the sun was shining here in Oregon, and even the dandelions looked good. Here, one posed for a picture.

And that Asian Pear tree that had only ONE fruit last year?  Well, here are the blossoms THIS year:
And the blue, blue sky has not even been Photoshopped:
Several years ago when we planted our camellias, they went into the side yard and the only time they pose for pictures is when I happen to walk by with the camera:
But I do have a red rhodie that loved our rainy March weather and is loaded now with glorious blossoms.
Spring is so lovely here in Oregon that I feel like I should be poetic, or sing. Or something.  Instead, I snap photos, draw pictures, stitch, play in the garden. Second best is just not a bad thing at all.

Cats Do NOT Do Taxes

Cuthbert says, “Taxes?  What are TAXES??”
Cuthbert says, “Cuthbert does not DO taxes.”
“Cuthbert must have his rest,” says Cuthbert
Cuthbert says, “Emmy will do the taxes. I will continue my rest.”
Emmy says, “What?   ME???”
Guess what?  They made ME do the taxes...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Learning Something New Each Day~~

As I wandered through the Internet today, I saw that Helen Stevens has a new book/CD called "One Simple Stitch". You can read about it on the KerryKatieCakes blog. So I Googled Helen Stevens to find out more and came to a Youtube video about "How to Make a Dog Rose".

Well, watching really good videos of people stitching is completely addictive. As the stitcher (someone else) started working on a buttonhole stitch leaf, I noticed that she begins with a lazy daisy stitch from just above the leaf center to the tip of the leaf. Next, she buttonhole stitches down one side and then the other, finishing with the center vein of the leaf.

Since I've always buttonhole stitched a leaf from the bottom to the top on one side, and repeated on the other, I thought this was just an excellent idea - or another way of doing the leaf -- starting with that lazy daisy stitch at the leaf tip.

Since I don't use Youtube a lot, I was pleasantly surprised at the number stitching videos uploaded - even some Brazilian embroidery stitch videos.

My ever-faithful, true and loyal sidekick, Cuthbert, was watching the video with me, fairly fascinated - or maybe it was the little cursor that had his attention:
I'm pretty sure it wasn't the computer mouse. He doesn't really relate to mice:
But he suddenly looked at me and said (catspeak), "Hey! This isn't Brazilian embroidery.  It's silk ribbon embroidery." 
And then promptly went to sleep:


Monday, April 2, 2012

A Full-Blown Rose - Brazilian Embroidery by Ruth Griffith

I have a friend named Ruth who does absolutely lovely Brazilian dimensional embroidery. She is the same person who designed almost all of those beautiful pillow top designs you'll find at the JDR website. Starting on that page, you will see pages and pages of beautiful pillow designs.

Recently I was fortunate to be able to market some designs for Ruth Griffith. This picture is her "Full-Blown Rose" - one of several different roses on her "Mini-Roses" design, which I sell for her. Here's a picture of her original embroidery:
I thought it would be fun to stitch one of her focal roses using Lola-weight rayon floss by EdMar and the #15 milliners needle instead of the #1 milliners needle usually chosen for Lola stitches. Here's a picture of the two needles so you can see the difference.
This rose is lovely, no matter which needle/thread you select. With the #15 needle the flower stands about 5/8" off the fabric. Ruth has developed a wonderful method of giving those inner petals a realistic look.
     You can see from the first picture and the cast-on stitch which starts the second rose that I make my fabric bites in a straight line. The "c-d" points of the cast-on are between "a" and "b" and will help the stitch to stand up nicely off the fabric.  (If this isn't making sense, just drop a comment there at the bottom and I'll try to answer it further.)

Oh, yes - by the way, that #15 needle looks like it will leave a hole in your fabric the size of Crater Lake (Oregon), but stitching on our Blazer poplin with its tight weave causes the holes in the fabric to close right up as the needle passes through.
     While I'm writing about the #15 milliners needle, I should mention that it is a wonderful choice for our nubby-textured rayon thread, Boucle.  Recently, I even tried this enormous needle with our lightest weight rayon, Glory, to stitch some little red clover flowers. Not bad, except the eye of the needle is so large the floss kept falling out!
This is part of one of my newest Millefiori designs, "Whisper of Springtime". It's not on my website yet, but I blogged about it here. I'll be teaching the design at our BDEIG Seminar this June. You can see pictures of all of the Brazilian dimensional embroidery classes here.

When I do any embroidery, I never feel too bad about changing things around a little - flowers, colors, stitches. Whenever we purchase a design, it's our choice to truly make it our own. So when I'm stitching Ruth's "Mini-Roses" design, I wanted to change the shapes and sizes of some of the leaves. I just pulled out my Marvy wash-out pen and re-drew some leaves. Nobody said I couldn't! I change stitches, too, whenever the mood strikes. 
If you have one of the #15 milliners needles, give it a try. Stitch a flower with variously-sized needles onto your doodle cloth, write notes, and then select the one you like for your flowers.
Ruth's design has little white oat pearls interwoven into the border. I might switch to size 11/o pink seed beads -- three of them in a row will be the same size as the oat pearls, I think. One of my other favorite things to do is to add beads and other fibers into my embroidery. I like the sparkle of bright, shiny things.