Monday, September 14, 2015

Candleflowers on September Morning

As I headed off to Flower Dreamland last night, I thought about the really short, previous post about my Millefiori design #916 "September Morning" [still available] and how I could have been a bit more 'sharing'.  So I'll do that now.
At times it's easier to just hang out "inside the box", but think of what you can do by considering "What would happen if....?" or "Nobody said I couldn't...."
I'm writing about the Candleflowers that are the centerpiece of this design as shown above. The Candleflowers were first used on one of my LadyFlowers named "Mandy" from my book, My LadyFlowers [by me, Rosalie Wakefield]. Here's a cover photo from the book:
Top row, far right. That's my interpretation of a mandevilla flower, "Mandy". Here's a close-up:

I named the technique "Candleflower" and used shaded Boucle floss (or you could use two colors, or more). For "Mandy", shown just above in shaded yellow, I drew this pattern:
When I stitched "September Morning," I used the same technique for the Candleflowers but just re-positioned the stitching lines:
And ended with a design that looks like this:
Here's how.
     You'll need a tapestry needle, 2 or 3 colors Boucle (the nubby stuff) 100% EdMar rayon floss, plus one strand Lola in a complementary color. You could even try other fibers - Rainbow Gallery and others have lots of pretty textured threads. [Note: These are both wholesale merchants, but if you email me, I can put you in touch with some retailers, or you can ask Google.]
     I added sparkle at the 'flower' center with 4mm fire polish Czech beads. These are the little faceted beads. But you could use anything. (A button with a kitty's face comes to mind on this slow-moving Monday morning...) A pearl to match the floss would give an elegant look to a 'bridal' design:
The possibilities are limitless. Above is just a quickie sketch - you could add leaves, beads or French knots along each of the stem lines.
With Lola, backstitch the dashed lines of the pattern and add 2 little straight stitches in the circular area (west/north/east points).
Next, thread up a tapestry needle with Boucle. Come up at the base of the "circle" and work counter-clockwise, through the double straight stitches and on through the backstitch closest to the circle. Repeat one more time so you have 2 threads going through each of the backstitches.
Continue around, dropping to a lower backstitch for each pass around. Change thread colors to get the finished effect you like.
Finish by adding the bead, pearl or button with a kitty face at the center of the candleflower. You could also finish a design by adding some Lola bullions at the base.
Wasn't that fun?  Wasn't that EASY!
The idea here is to get stitchers to think 'outside the box' - also known as being creative, which is what Brazilian embroidery enthusiasts are best known for. When you find a flower you like, try it in different ways, different positions. When you are stitching a design and you aren't too thrilled with the instructions for a flower shown (meaning they might be hard to decipher), be adventurous and change the flower to one you like, and make the design truly your own.
My kitty, Cuthbert, thinks he is as cute as a button and wonders if you might like to use him in the center of these candleflowers??

Saturday, September 12, 2015


This is my Millefiori design #916 "September Morning". It would be fun to stitch in other seasonal colors, too.