Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Canada's Rose

This is Canada's Rose:
I developed this flower (on a very tiny base/first round) back in 1994 when Virginia Chapman, Debbie Kelley and I were traveling back to Oregon from a Teachers' Technique B.E. Seminar in Vernon, British Columbia.  One of the things we did there was to learn an interesting way of making tassels (class taught by Maria Freitas of EdMar Co). During this really entertaining class Maria even cheerfully suggested that making tassels was a good way to use floss - she was definitely right!

To finish my tassel, I looked for a dimensional flower to add - or design. I stitched my first version of this flower and named it Canada's Rose.  Since that time, I've used it lots of places with lots of variations. You'll find it in my books, Take A Stitch and also in My LadyFlowers. It's also in my most recent book, A Book of Stitches.
It's basically three rounds with the first round of stitches through the fabric only --five running cast-on stitches for each round. I change the counts on a whim; this version has 15, 15 and 18, changing the color each time around. I added a 4mm Swarovski bicone crystal (the AB finish adds the extra sparkle; the color is named "Siam").

I hope some of you will try this and with different variations. I haven't ever done the outer row with green Boucle, but think it might just look like a calyx. Adding beads in the row (or instead of a row) is another idea that I just now had.

Brazilian embroidery is so creative and so much fun and there is no such thing as "can't", so each stitcher can discover something new.  Enjoy!

Before I go, we spoke earlier about tassels. After the inspiring class with Maria, I continued playing with tassels. At the time, Debbie Kelley and I presented a tassel class for our local B.E. chapter. Here are some pictures or the tassels I made:
Above is the tassel I made in Canada - we used wooden candle cups (from the craft store). And I used a LOT of floss. The prototype Canada's Rose fit on top of the tassel. Another view - purples, greens, blues, my fave.
My acrylic paints never go to waste. Below I just painted a candle cup and added some trim. (I had SO much Elmer's Glue on my fingers working with Nova on that tassel above).
Other fibers also make nice tassels -- and you can top a tassel with almost anything. This is a little wooden flowerpot (the rayon isn't hanging straight because this little item has been sleeping in a box on my closet shelf. I used silk flowers for the colorful parts of the tassel.
Some old rayon from my stash was used for the left and center tassels below. Somewhere I learned that if you dip them in food color (I think, or maybe it was ink, or maybe it was thinned-down paint -- can't remember, but Pinterest probably has that idea somewhere...), you can get interesting effects. The color wicks into the rayon nicely. It was probably food color or ink that I used.

That tassel on the right is made with six-strand cotton embroidery floss - lots of beads to embellish. Her head is made with detached buttonhole stitch and she has an embroidered face. (Sorry it's kind of small - but you'll get the idea)

About the same time I was on my tassel tour, I discovered Dorset Buttons - was that ever fun. Several years ago I did a related class that I called "Kaleidoscope" - also lots of fun. These are some of the little buttons I made:
Oh!  And I stitched a Canada's Rose with Nova in the center of one of the Kaleidoscope pieces, using the basic weaving techniques and starting with detached buttonhole stitch around a 2" ring. The leaves here are also detached buttonhole stitch.
Some of the petals are a little mashed, --or wilted?
While we are on the subject of adventure, here's a picture I took earlier today of my Emmy (the calico who is now 18 years old) and her big buddy Cuthbert (our Norwegian Forest Cat who just turned 12), who likes to give her smooches every time he saunters by - much to Emmy's chagrin; Emmy could care less.

We have SO much fun at our house . . .


  1. Everything is lovely, including the cat. :)

  2. I went through a stage of addiction to BE embroidery, but have now forgotten which end of the floss to thread into the needle. The thread seems to unravel a lot, which makes it difficult. Still have many of my threads and fabric.

  3. Love your tassels, and needlework. Your rose is beautifully done.

  4. Shirley, you can thread EITHER end of the floss into the needle. If it starts to ravel, just snip it off. It's not a big deal. The "Z" in the "Z-twist" of the floss looks the same right side up or up side down. Just thread up a needle and stitch something fun! --Free designs up at the website, too!
    Thanks for the nice words about the tassels. They were lots of fun to do.