Last time we visited Tulip Festival, which is an embroidered kaleidoscope I’m sharing with you step-by-step here on Needle ‘n Thread, we looked at how to stitch the tulips in long & short stitch and the two tiny borders beyond.
Today, it’s the final chapter! We’ll cover the embroidery on the outer layers of the kaleidoscope and any hints and tips along the way.
If you want to catch up with the project, you’ll find all the materials and beginning stitches in Part I here, the next set of embroidered layers, working outwards, here in Part II, and the tulips and two more bordering lines here in Part III.
If you’re working your way through this project, don’t hesitate to chime in with any questions you might have, using the comment form below the article!
The final layers of Tulip Festival consist in the blue peaked layers in the photo above, topped with the leaves and stylized flowers on the outer edge of the design.
The three rings of blue peaks or pointed elements are stitched with the same colors, in the same order, as the blue lines in Part II. The only difference here is that the lines are embroidered with chain stitch instead of stem stitch.
So, start with the lattice using one strand of the lightest blue (1334) couched at the intersections with one strand of the lightest green (2124).
Then, working outwards, and using two strands for each layer of chain stitch, work the first outline around the lattice in 1335. Then combine 1334 and 1335 in the needle together, and work the next layer outwards in chain stitch. And finally, work the final outer layer with two strands of 1334 in the needle.
You can find a tutorial for chain stitch here.
Once again, if you wanted to, you could stop the design at this point. It would make a nicely finished kaleidoscope!
But let’s forge on to the end!
To work the bunches of leaves, I used one strand of medium green (2125) to split stitch a tiny outline around all the leaves.
Then, using two strands of silk in the needle and working the fishbone stitch, working over the outline, I started with the bottom leaves in 2126, the middle leaves in 2125, and the middle top leaf in 2124.
You can find a tutorial for split stitch here, for the outlines.
And this tutorial on fishbone stitch will show you how to stitch the leaves.
And those are the leaves!
Now, with the curly things at the base of each flower element, the line is stitched first with backstitch, using one strand of silk in 2125, which is then whipped with one strand of silk in 2126 (or you can use 2124 if you are running low on 2125, or if you prefer a greater contrast with the whipped backstitch).
To work this floral element, start with long and short stitch in the area underneath the lattice. A split stitch outline underneath the long and short stitch filling is not necessary here.
The long and short stitch is worked with three shades in one strand of silk: 922 (light coral) on the top part of the filled element, blending into 923, and finishing at the base with 2525 (yellow-gold).
Using one strand of 925 (red), work a small diagonal lattice over the long and short stitch. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see that I worked the lines so that they alternate in the over-under pattern. I didn’t couch over the intersections. This element is tiny, and the couching just adds too much bulk in there and isn’t really necessary, especially with the over-under effect on the lattice lines.
Outline the top edge of the element with stem stitch in one strand of 925.
The next line out, twisted in coral and yellow, is whipped backstitch, with 2525 (yellow gold) as the backstitch base, in one strand, whipped with 924 in one strand of silk.
The radiating lines above the floral element are all worked with one strand of silk in stem stitch, starting with a lighter coral at the base (922), then 923, and finally 925 at the tip.
And there it is! Tulip Festival – finished!
You can find the previous lessons in this series through the following links:
Part I – Materials, Threads, Set-Up, and first stitches
Part II – Stitching further out on the kaleidoscope
Tulip Festival Part III – the tulips in long and short stitch and two more borders.
Tulip Festival Pattern
You can find the design for Tulip Festival in my pattern e-book, Favorite Kaleidoscopes. There, you’ll find a whole range of kaleidoscope patterns for embroidery, from small to large, simple to more complex. There are over 30 patterns in the e-book, ready for you to stitch into your own colorful masterpiece!
As always, if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for alternative approaches, or whatnot, feel free to join in the conversation below!
Coming Up on Needle ‘n Thread!
Oh golly! I’ve got some good stuff for you! I’m going to run a series of pre-Christmas give-aways like we did last year, called Stitcher’s Christmas! I’m very excited about it, and I hope you’ll join me!
A couple hints about what to look forward to in this series: a limited edition chart (for those of you who love historical historical samplers!); dream scissors (truly, I would only ever be able to have a pair of these in my dreams!); sumptuous embroidery kits; and more!
If you’d like to be in on those give-aways between now and Christmas, it’s a good time to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of them. You can sign up for the newsletter on Needle ‘n Thread in the left column if you’re on your desktop. If you’re on mobile, click the menu link in the top right, and scroll down. Or you can jump to this sign-up page.
I’ll also be sharing a new little series of projects with you. Perfect for Christmas! Perfect for short (as in, one evening!) embroidery sessions. And just plain fun! I’ll tell you about that later this week.
Hope your week’s off to a great start!