I have been eyeballing this kit from The French Needle since I saw it on Needle’n’Thread last October. I finally took the plunge and ordered it. I’ve been working on smaller projects–little pincusions, temari balls, that sort of thing–and it’s really satisfying to get back to something a little bigger. The kit comes with pre-printed linen, some beautiful variegated threads, and a list of DMC threads to finish it out. The instructions so far are clear and easy to follow.
This is the first time I’ve ever used detached buttonhole stitch, seen here on the peacock’s wing. I was a little apprehensive about it, but I figured it out and I love looking at the texture. So far, most of what I’ve stitched has been long and short stitch, but once I get into the tail and the flowers, there should be plenty of fun texture to explore. Hope you are all having happy stitching!
I’m about finished with the kingfisher, but before I show you the finished project, here are some other birds I’ve been playing around with. These guys are in a completely different style, based off a painted plate my parents got on a trip to Italy.
I made this a while back, and there are some things I’d do differently now (mainly the sloppy stitching on the breast, oh well.) I wanted to play with two things–first, doing a drawing on fabric in crayon and ironing it to form a base for the stitches, and second, playing around with ribbons and beads. These birds are kind of blingtastic.
I’m drawing close to the end on this guy! Now that the beak and eye are filled in, there’s only the head to go.
I’ve been organizing my threads for this project on index cards for each section of the bird (wings, tail, etc.)
Slowly but surely, the kingfisher is coming along.
Blazing fast progress! Actually, I set this little guy down for a while, but now that I’ve gotten back to him, he’s proceeding apace. The breast feathers have been a learning experience.
The way these feathers are worked is by slowly blending a series of colors, going back and forth to pull the stitches of one color into the previous color so that the feathers blend. The hardest part of this for me has been loosening up with the stitches so that they overlap each other, making the feathers look fluffy, rather than smoothly blended together (which is what I usually aspire to with long and short stitch.) I started at the bottom of the breast feathers, and I can see a noticeable difference between the blending close to his feet and that further up by his neck. I’m pleased at the difference in texture between his wing feathers and his breast feathers.
While he continues to be fun, next up are some birds in a completely different style. Less realism, more ribbons.
I’ve started something new. I needed something small enough to hold over a baby when he falls asleep on my lap, and also more portable than The Cats. I have long admired Trish Burr’s needlepainted birds and flowers, so I acquired this little guy to be my small project. He’s a Kingfisher, and he’s charming. I got him as a digital download, since while Trish Burr’s kit prices are very reasonable, the international shipping is a killer.
My sister’s family tree is ticking along. The baby shower is this Saturday. Will I finish it in time? (It doesn’t actually matter whether I do or not; the baby’s not due for another month, and I will definitely have finished it by then. It would be nice to give it to her at the shower, though.)
I’ve finished the tree itself, added leaves, and started on some creatures:
As part of my never-ending quest to embroider things on box lids, I’ve done a number of peacocks. As I mentioned before, they’re a fun subject for me. I like bringing out the sparkly thread.
These peacocks are not very big:
But they’re fun, and complex enough to be satisfying.