Here’s a little progress report on my latest embroidery experiment. I’m working on a strawberry, satin stitched with Gilt Sylke Twist. The leaves are finished, the strawberry is padded, and I’ve begun the satin stitching. So far, I’m having a blast!
I embroidered the strawberry leaves in detached buttonhole using the green Gilt Sylke Twist. I’ll try to explain verbally how I detach the leaf, since I didn’t actually take step-by-step photos. Sorry!
I decided I would do the center leaf after all. I was debating about this at first, as I mentioned in the first steps of the Strawberry Project.
I want the center leaf to stand up above the berry, so it has to be separate from the ground fabric. The outline I used for the detatched buttonhole is just a simple backstitch where it’s attached to the ground fabric, and a couched line where it will be separated from the ground fabric.
You can see the red couching stitches in the photo above. Once the buttonhole filling is complete, the couching stitches are snipped away, so that the leaf can stand up from the fabric. The only place I actually worked through the fabric on the outline of the leaf was at the very top of the leaf, where I stitched through the other leaves already there. Get it?
It was a leeeetle bit hard working the detached buttonhole in the area above the other leaves. I just had to be careful not to catch the stitches in the leaves below.
So that’s the leaf, finished. I whip stitched the edge in a lighter green. I wanted the leaves to have the sort of crinkly look typical to strawberry leaves, but I don’t know how well that comes across.
Then I started filling in the padding on the strawberry. For the padding, I’m working with two strands of a dark red DMC cotton. When padding something with multiple layers of padding, you start in the center with a satin stitch padding over a small part of the center. Then you work the padding in layers, changing the direction of your stitches. You want the last layer of padding to run perpendicular to your topmost layer (the visible layer) of satin stitch.
When working the padding stitches, I didn’t carry my thread across the back of the area, because I didn’t want the back to build up, too. Instead, I jumped sideways for each stitch.
I kept working the padding in layers, until the shape was filled up. Here, there are three layers underneath the layer you see on top.
In both of the above photos, you can see the center leaf turned up. The GST is pretty stiff, so the elements worked with it are somewhat bendable.
For the final layer of padding, since the GST is going to be stitched down the length of the berry, I stitched the padding (using one strand of DMC now) horizontally across the berry. I also worked a split stitch outline around the shape.
Then, for the exciting part!!
I began the satin stitching in the GST. Some things I did differently from normal satin-stitching, because of the stiffness (and the expense) of the thread:
I didn’t carry the thread across the back. I emerged at “A” at the top of the berry, went down at “B” at the base of the berry over the split stitched line, and then, jumping sideways, I came up at a point “C” to the right of “B” (at the base of the berry) and then went down at a point “D” to the right of “A” at the top of the berry. After the first two stitches, I didn’t like the way that was working.
To come up right next to the previous satin stitch was difficult, because of the stiffness of the thread. It caused the stitches on top to arch away from each other. I gave them a little pinch on the back to rectify this, but for subsequent stitches, I moved from one side to the other of the previous stitches.
So, here’s a diagram of where I went up and down for the satin stitching:
Up at A, down at B, up at C, down at D, then jump to the other side of A, and go up at E, down at F, then jump to the other side of C and go up at G and down at H.
This seemed to work better, but it required more thread to pass across the back. Still, it was a lot less thread than carrying the whole stitch up the back, and it turned out looking ok!
The next update will be the completed satin stitch on the strawberry, with lattice couching over the satin stitching. I’m doing the lattice in the pink GST. I’ll couch the lattice down with regular embroidery floss, but I’m not sure what color to couch it with?? Green?