Sunday, November 5, 2017

Block 13 - Curvy Caterpillar

 
Caterpillars don't appeal to me in real life and I only like looking at them from a "safe" distance if they have interesting colors.  Although, I do love this curvy caterpillar making its way up the stem of the flower.

There are a few tricks to this block so let's get started.

The stitch along instructions and tips for Solstice Dream blocks include the needles and types of threads used in this project.  Thread colors are included in the pattern.  Book pages refer to those in the Right (or Left) Handed Embroiderer's Companion available in my Etsy shop.


Flower:
Outline the flower in Buttonhole or Blanket Stitch (page 22) using Silken Pearl #5 and a #24 Chenille needle.  

Tip:  Notice in the above photo that I did the Buttonhole Stitch with the straight stitches extending out into the background.  Just a little different twist on this stitch.

Using a contrasting color of Silken Pearl #5 in a #24 Chenille needle, whip the Buttonhole (blanket) stitch.

Outline the inner flower with Bullion Knots (page 18) using Silken Pearl #5 in a #1 Milliner needle.

Beginning in the center of each small circle, make 8 Straight Stitches that extend towards the outer edge.  Begin each straight stitch in the center using a #24 Chenille needle and Dazzle, coming up in the same hole.

Outline each of the small circles with Back Stitch (page 10) using Silken Pearl #5 in a #24 Chenille needle. 

Stem:
I appliqued a length of small ric-rac from Painter's Threads in place for the stem. 

Leaves:
Outline all of the leaves in Chain Stitch (page 43) using Silken Pearl #5 in a #24 Chenille needle.

Fly Stitch (page 91) down the center of wings with Silken Pearl #5 in #24 Chenille needle.  I curved the Fly Stitch in the top leaves.  Whip along the center of the Fly Stitch with Pearl Cotton #5 in a #24 Chenille needle.

Caterpiller:
Thread two #1 Milliner needles with Silken Pearl #5, one with the red color and one with the yellow color.   Stitch Bullion Knots (page 18) along a section of the stem, alternating colors.  My bullion knots each had 10 wraps.

Tip:  There's no need to knot off the thread after each color bullion.  Just pull the thread out of the way at the back and make the next stitch.   
Make the caterpillar head by stitching 1 Bullion Knot in a dark Dazzle in a #1 Milliner needle.  Using the same Dazzle thread in a #24 Chenille needle, add small straight stitches for the legs.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Solstice Dream Block 12 - Autumn Leaves


Outside my window leaves are changing to their autumn colors making it very timely to continue our stitch along with this block.

The stitch along instructions and tips for Solstice Dream blocks include the needles and types of threads used in this project.  Thread colors are included in the pattern.  Book pages refer to those in the Right (or Left) Handed Embroiderer's Companion available in my Etsy shop.
 
Green Leaf:
Thread a #1 Milliner needle with size 3 pearl cotton and outline both the inner and outer leaf with Back Stitch (page 10).

Using Sea Grass in a #1 Milliner needle, Fly Stitch (page 91) around the inner leaf (see photo).





Lady Bug
The lady bug is a series of Bullion Knots (page 18).  Thread two #1 Milliner Needles - one with an orange shade of Silken Pearl #5 and the other with a brown or black shade of Dazzle.

  1. Begin with the orange color in the center of the body, making 2 parallel bullion knots (5 wraps for each stitch). Don't cut the thread - just move it out of your way on the wrong side of the fabric.
  2. Add a Bullion Knot with 3 wraps using the dark color close to the center Bullions.  Since these stitches are shorter that the center Bullion Knots, place them equidistant from the top and bottom of the orange Bullions. Knot off the dark thread on the back of fabric and cut your thread.
  3. Add an orange Bullion Knot with 10 wraps to curve around the dark bullion knots by bringing your needle up at the top of the dark bullion and taking it down at the bottom of the dark bullion.  The extra wraps will cause the stitch to curve.
  4. Use the dark thread to add 2 horizontal bullion knots for the head.  The knot closest to the body will have 5 wraps and the next one has 3 wraps.
  5. Add 2 straight stitches at top of head for antennae and 6 straight stitches on either side of body for legs.
Circle:
Cover the wool circle with Chain Stitch (page 43) using a #24 Chenille needle threaded with size 8 Pearl Cotton.  Begin at the outside of the circle and work towards the center.

Center Leaf:
Thread a #24 Chenille needle with size 8 Pearl Cotton, Fly Stitch (page 91) the length of the inner leaf, with the "arms" of the Fly extending to the sides of the inner leaf.

With the same needle and thread, add Detached Chain Stitch (page 46) at the end of each arm on the outside leaf fabric (see photo).

With the #24 Chenille needle, change to a contrasting size 8 Pearl Cotton to whip the center and arms of the Fly Stitch.

Inside each Detached Chain Stitch, add a Bullion Knot using size 8 Pearl Cotton in a #1 Milliner needle.

Outline the outer leaf with Back Stitch (page 10) using size 3 Pearl Cotton in a #1 Milliner needle.

Leaf with 3 circles:
Randomly place Tete le Boeuf (page 91) stitches on the inner leaf using Silken Pearl #5 in a #24 Chenille needle.

Fly Stitch (page 91) around the inner leaf using Sea Grass in a #1 Milliner needle. 

Outline both the inner and outer leaf in Back Stitch (page 10) using size 3 Pearl Cotton in a #1 Milliner needle.

Make flowers on each of the 3 circles with 6 Double Cast-on Stitch (page 40) using a #1 Milliner needle and size 8 Pearl Cotton.  Outline the circles with the same thread in #24 Chenille needle and Pekinese Stitch (page 13).


Stems:
Cover all stems in Thorn Stitch (page 151) using Silken Pearl #5 in a #24 Chenille needle. 
 


 
 






 

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