Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Mission Rose – Small Leaf Dilemma


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At the risk of driving you all nuts, I made another change on the Mission Rose. And it wasn’t for the better!

I find myself being fickle when it comes to this project. And usually, I’m not a fickle person

(Except when I am…)

Mission Rose Embroidery Project in Silk & Goldwork

So here we are again, back to a blank rose! Last time we looked at this, I was starting the embroidery on the rose itself, but I snagged one of the leaves and had to re-stitch it.

I decided to take all four of the little inset leaves out and restitch them completely. Instead of long and short stitch in the three colors of green (as before), I decided to try satin stitch in the darkest green.

Mission Rose Embroidery Project in Silk & Goldwork

And it looks rather dreadful at this point. Keep in mind that the rose will be brighter reds and pinks, and the leaves will sink a bit to the back. They will be outlined with gold, too, which will change their look further.

But I still don’t like them. That dark blue-ish green is not a favorite by itself. It tends to look a bit dead.

I have yet another plan for the leaves.

In the meantime, I started the first row of long and short stitch in 4624, in Soie de Paris (it’s the second darkest red in the line-up of thread color choices previously discussed). I really needed to see if the dark green would come to life with more vivid colors next to it. I don’t think it’s going to. And there’s no point in going further until I get this the way I want it.

So today, Plan C goes into effect, and I’ll share the results with you soon.

Tomorrow, I’d like to chat with you a bit about working with Soie de Paris. Lately, I’ve had some questions specifically about working with this thread. It seems some stitchers are frustrated when they work with it, so maybe we can hammer out some ways to eliminate frustration when working with filament silks like Soie de Paris. I’ll share some tips with you tomorrow and maybe we can get up a good discussion that will help other Stitchers in Distress.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below!


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(19) Comments

  1. Mary,

    What are filament silks? I think that the term “Soie de Paris” must be a brand name — right? I have only used cotton floss like DMC so this is all new to me!

    1. Don’t worry! They’re gone now! I did the same thing when I stitched them – only I think I added a few extra words in addition to “oh, no!” 🙂

  2. The leaves do look a bit out there without the rose to balance them. And the fact that the rose has 5 petals and there are just 4 leaves spiked out looks out of balance. But I understand the stem will fix that when stitched.

    Forgive my ignorance here about embroidery but it looks like some of the leaves are stitched along the length of the leaf and others are stitched across the narrow width. Similar observation with the pretty light green leaves above: they are stitched in different directions. I thought they had to be consistent, going along the flow/bend of the leaf. But I tend to think in a rut, this HAS TO BE this way or that. Did I mention before that I am not creative in any sense of the word? LOL

    1. Actually, the green leaves were all stitched in the same general direction, but the light catches them strangely in the photo, I think. Because they are padded, the narrower ones pop up a bit more, which I don’t like at all. I shouldn’t have padded them. But – live and learn. In fact, they are out now, and I have stitched in the new leaves much along the earlier scheme, but with more light, and only a tiny bit of medium and dark green just at the very inside of the tips. They look much better! And the red is almost all in now, too – it’s been a busy morning!

      As for the light green leaves, I intentionally stitched them at different directions, because I wanted the light to reflect off the silk a little bit differently for each leaf, so that they don’t all look quite the same. I like the light green leaves, and now I like the little leaves on the rose better, so it’s time to forge on ahead!


  3. Mary, Please notify me when your next on-line class begins. Thank you so much for such an informative site. I recently had to satin stitch over an outline design and your video was so helpful. Thank you!.

  4. Mary I agree your dark green is too blue. A slightly more olive color or with more yellow will give you a better result.

    I also have another question about your small top leaves. While they are stitched beautifully,and I would not take them out, I was wondering if the “grain” of your leaves would look more natural if the stitches were stitched out from the stem instead of across the leaf. I would not have even noticed this except I was looking at the shading work of thread painting and realized this for myself on another project.

  5. HI Mary,

    I think you should go with the mid-tone green; pick one that is the same colour value as your reds. Then they won’t stand out. I totally agree the dark green is not a good choice. This is my little trick for checking colour value. I learned it at art school and it has served me well over the years. Lay your two colours next to each other. Close one eye and then squint with the other. You will readily see which colour is of a darker value. I think for your project, it would work best to have a green of the same colour value as your rose. Of course, that is only my opionion. Others may differ. Nice project.

  6. Mary,
    Have to agree that the latest leaves seemed too dark even though I generally like that shade. I’m wondering too about the deep red. I always have trouble envisioning how the colors are all going to come together. Do you ever do a tracing with color added as part of your planning process?

    1. Yes, I do – I either trace or print the design and work in the colors I am thinking about. And then I adjust and adjust and change my mind, and adjust again. I prefer tracing the pattern to printing it, because the black lines can change the look of the thing…

  7. It amazes me the time required to stitch the leaves and then you decide to change the color a couple of times. I think I would be reluctant to do so after putting all the time into the initial stitching. Love your newsletter!!!!!

  8. Actually, watching you rip and redo is rather comforting. I’m trying to learn to embroider with shading and I have an idea I ought to be embroidering on iron instead of cotton. It might hold up better. Seeing you dissatisfied and working it over makes me realize that really, it’s just part of the process.

  9. Dear Mary

    Although it’s a pain to unstich as I know in my current project I’ve unstitched 3 times ahh!!! but as much as I like green I agree that perhaps it is to dark compared with the other greens you have used. I do like the padded satin stitched leaves they are beautiful, I also like the large long & short stitched leaves. I can’t wait for your post tomorrow on Soie de Paris thread as I love all this range of silk thread. Thanks Mary.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  10. Mary
    I have to admit that I feel the green is a bit too green on the rose leaves. Not dead as you say, but “there”.
    If you have the rose to look as if it is forward maybe if you used long and short on the leaves with the tips lighter may help to give the rose more dimention.
    I would be doing a pencil and paper mock up. Cut the paper leaf out put it in place.
    I couldnt stand all the pulling out.
    I am sure after all your deliberations you will find what suits you.
    I am using slightly different shades.

  11. Lovin’ the record of your process on this project. Learning that rippin’ the stitches is part of the process is just as good a lesson as learning to stitch. Thanks MC!

  12. There’s not much point in offering my humble opinion since you have already outed the offending leaves and replaced them with something you like better – and that is the crux of the matter: something you like better. You are the artist in this and it is your choices that will ultimately make it live or die.

    Actually I’m not all that keen on that dark green – you’re right (imho again), but equally I am not sure they shouldn’t be a single colour. Anyway, I have no doubt whatever that it will sing like crazy when you have worked your magic.

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