One of my goals this weekend was to sit down with the new Gilt Sylke Twist and try it out with different embroidery stitches. I didn’t get very far, but at least I started!
First, I mused about what to embroider. I didn’t want to work random stitches. The thread is a bit dear to use on random stitching. But then, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time thinking up or sketching out a design, either. I just wanted to get to the stitching!
I had a piece of good linen already framed up that I was “trying” a different failed experiment on (more on that later), so I salvaged a corner of that, took a pencil, and drew whatever came to mind straight on the linen.
There’s nothing too naturally accurate here – stylized leaves, an attempt at some sort of blossom, and a strawberry. Spring must be coming – I’ve had strawberries on my mind lately!
My plan was to embroider the strawberry in red GST, in satin stitch, with a lattice over it in pink GST. That’s still my plan. I just didn’t do the strawberry first, but I’m thinking I should have.
To get familiar with the GST, I thought I’d stitch a line of stem stitch. I began with a #7 hand-made Japanese needle, but I think it was too small. I switched to a #10, which seems a little big, especially when working the stitches in the picture below. But it was ok for the stem stitch.
You can see that the stem stitch is a bit on the wobbly looking side. It took me a bit to get used to the thread. It’s quite stiff. I should have been a little more careful and a little more patient.
One you get used to the thread, though, it’s great to work with. I don’t suggest a “sewing method” with stem stitch. Take your thread all the way to the front, all the way to the back (“stab” method). I like the noise the thread makes passing through the fabric, actually. It’s a barely there kind of zipper sound!
I’m pretty sure I’m working this out of proper order. But I wanted to lift the strawberry leaves above the strawberry itself, and to do that, I figured I’d have to stitch the leaves, leaving part of them detached, lift them up, and stitch the strawberry underneath. I now wonder if I’ve left enough room to manage that, but we’ll see.
The middle leaf may be abandoned altogether. We’ll see on that, too!
Here’s a close-up, so you can see the sparkle. The Japanese #10 is not ideal for the detached buttonhole in a tiny space – it’s too fat, in my opinion! I outlined the leaves in backstitch in a matching dark green, and couched the area of the outline of the leaf where I wanted to lift it up from the ground fabric. You can see the red couching stitches in the leaf outline on the right. After filling the leaves with the GST, I took a barely lighter green – one strand – and stem-stitched around the leaves to give them a finished edge. I whip-stitched the part of the outline that was couched, so that I could still lift the leaf off the ground fabric.
And that’s a little bit of an angled close-up so you can see the dimension.
My plan from this point: finish the leaves, then do the strawberry (in padded satin stitch with a lattice over it). Some of the leaves will be long-and-short stitch with regular stranded silk, but I will probably edge them and add veins with the GST.
I haven’t quite decided what to do with that ridiculous-looking “blossom” yet. I’m open to suggestions!
And the stems and vines will be worked in different line and chain-type stitches. The main stem, I think, will either be worked in chain stitch or in heavy chain stitch – or perhaps just a wider band of stem stitch worked as a filling, so that I can add some shading. We’ll see!
More updates later – back to my needle and thread!