Here’s a little glimpse of some cotton floche on a flower petal. It isn’t much – again, like yesterday’s dribblings, it was only a test – but it gives us the opportunity to consider some more points about embroidery threads in general, and the treatment of a design.
One point that I failed to emphasize in yesterday’s article where we discussed two different types of embroidery thread for the Secret Garden project is that floche, in general, makes a beautiful satin stitch. And it’s relatively easy to work a satin stitch with floche – more so than it is with regular cotton embroidery floss.
I’m considering different treatments for the petals on the flowers, from the beginner’s perspective. I don’t want to use long and short stitch for a shaded filling – I’m saving that for the silk rendition – so I’ve been playing around with combinations of satin stitch, split stitch, seed stitch, and the like.
The advantage to combinations like this is that you can still play a bit with shading, and you get the whole “texture” thing going on, too.
Adapting the Embroidery Design
Another point that bears mentioning is that I may make some alterations to the design. Not major alterations, mind you – but adding a line here and there, or subtracting a line here and there may help adapt the design to a beginner’s level.
For example, when treating the petals on the flowers, I liked the idea of adding an inside line on that petal space, so that I can work some heavier solid color on the outside of the petals. This could be done with a variety of stitches, but it looks quite good in satin stitch, and it would give the beginner the opportunity to practice satin stitch on shapes that are “user friendly.”
Again, this is still only a test. These are just the things I think about while trying different threads.
Stylized vs. Real
In embroidery – or any type of art – you can have realistic designs and you can have stylized designs. A stylized design is a design that is nonrealistic. It is artificial, conventionalized. Most embroidery designs fall into this category. Examples of “realistic” designs in embroidery would be embroidered portraiture, some needlepainting, embroidered landscape art, and the like.
The Secret Garden Hummingbirds drawing is a stylized design. It is not meant to look real. The flowers, the hummingbirds, the vines, the dots on the vines – they are not as you would find them in nature, so they can be interpreted in myriad ways. Think of it as fiction as opposed to non-fiction. In fact, you can actually take it farther: think of it as fantasy! Chances are, the hummingbirds are not going to look like real hummingbirds, and the flowers are not going to look exactly real, either.
A Note on Embroidery Threads
I haven’t made a decision on embroidery threads yet. I received a lot of emails yesterday about where to buy floche, and what colors to buy. If you are planning on following this project exactly as I work it, then you might wait a bit. Next week, we’ll talk a little more about threads, and I’ll show you some similarities and differences with a third possibility.
So, more coming up on this next week – and a few other delectable topics, too. Enjoy your weekend!
If you’d like to follow this project as it develops, you’ll find all the articles relating to it in the Secret Garden Hummingbirds Project Index. As the project progresses, each article will be added to the index for your convenience.