Putting the Pieces Together

It’s finished! The carnation needlebook is loaded up with needles and ready to be tossed into an embroidery bag.

I was a little nervous about assembling the needlebook, but it ended up working well, with only a few missteps along the way.

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On Pins and Needles

Well, thumbtacks, anyway.

I finished the needlebook cover last night, and in a strangely timely manner, Mary Corbet featured a post on damp blocking finished embroidery this morning over at Needle ‘n’ Thread. (If I seem to link to her site often, it’s because I find it extremely informative. Like having a friendly and knowledgeable stitcher in my computer.) The back cover of the needlebook came through the stitching process pretty smoothly, but the front, which is more heavily embroidered, got distorted. I used a Q-snap frame for this piece. Perhaps I have a heavy stitching hand, but I found myself having to tighten the fabric pretty often, and that may have contributed.

The quality of this picture is not great (sorry!) but you can see the wibbliness of the embroidery on the right. For stage two, I pinned it without mercy.

Much better! I misted it with water, and am now leaving it alone until it dries. Then it’s on to the assembly, which is going to feature a certain amount of trial and error.


Living Dangerously

The end is in sight. Last night I finally decided on the final, palest color for the carnation petals and dug in:

It took me a while to make up my mind. I tried three pale blues, and also a cream, before deciding on This Pale Blue (DMC 504, in case you were curious.)

I have a band of experiments at the bottom of my fabric, where I know it’s going to be cut away when I assemble the finished piece. Here’s a test petal, with cream and blue, along with some other test stitches.

The last bit of petal-filling goes very quickly, and transforms the piece. All of a sudden, it looks finished. But I’ve run into a problem.

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Leaves and Petals

Thanks to some marathon sessions of Breaking Bad, I’ve made a little progress on the carnation needlebook. I had fun with the leaves. I decided that I wanted to stitch the big leaves all in buttonhole or satin stitch, for a cohesive overall look, but that on the smaller leaves, I wanted to play with different textures.

The smaller leaves are done in chain stitch, buttonhole stitch, open chain stitch filled with French knots, leaf stitch (appropriately enough,) and coral knot stitch.

The bud on the left also varies from the larger, more open flowers.

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Needlebook Progress

With the borders finished, I’ve been outlining and filling in leaves and petals. The borders were fun, but this is the part I’ve really been looking forward to. (Which is why I did the borders first–so the candy part of the project would still be waiting.)

The outlines are stem stitch (appropriately enough) on the stems, and split stitch on the flower petals, where they will be covered by long and short stitch/

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