Monday, 25 July 2005

The Life-Cycle of a Stumpwork Strawberry!

I've just completed my 89th piece of needlework - a card featuring stumpwork strawberries with some goldwork bits too. Here's how it was done:

This is the design process:

See a picture that inspires you in an embroidery magazine, but that you think could be improved upon.... Cut pieces of the rough shape and colour out of an unused mail-order catalogue, then play with positioning them on a piece of paper, drawing in the stems and an other extras with a biro. Then, take a drawing from that rough 'cut-out' mosaic. Colour in in the approximate colours you want to use.

Here are the materials: Anchor stranded cottons, #12 pearl cotton for the needlelace strawberries, #8 for the strawberry leaves, Anchor Ophir in gold for the strawberry pips, some bright check (gold chips), for the flower centre and some Needle Necessities Overdyed Kreinik #8 braid to be couched on for the stems.
The strawberries are first padded with two layers of red felt, then corded buttonhole stitch worked over that to produce a raise and textured effect. One done in close-up here:

Next came the silk shaded leaves done in three shades of warm green stranded cotton. (Not so many photos taken of further stages now.....) Now onto the flower. This was worked in white and pale yellow, again silk shaded according to the Royal School of Needlework tecnique - outline in split stitch, then work from the outside of the shape in in stitches of varying lengths, each layer over-lapping the previous one to some degree. The flower has gold chips as a centre!

Over-dyed Kreinik #8 braid was then couched on, which put some sparkle into otherwise rather dull stems. It was couched on with Kreinik blending filament in shade #015 so as to blend in as well as possible. Finally, after sinking and securing the ends of the couched braid, the tiny strawberry leaves were worked in two shades of #8 pearl cotton.

Here's the back of the completed work for curiosity's sake!!!

And the front once mounted into the card blank:


z_mnor said...


Congrats! You did a great job! It is sooooo beautiful...!!!

mainely stitching said...

This looks so great - and congrats on your new record! Keep up the good work - and keep posting it ;-)

mainely stitching said...

Hi again - haven't heard from you in a bit. Holidays? Miss seeing your beautiful projects!

Elizabeth Braun said...

No, no, not on holiday, just don't get as much stitching done as some can.=) There'll be some more soon.....

Lelia said...

Beautifully done! What excellent stitching. Skilled needleworker you are ; )

Anonymous said...

Your strawberries are exquisite! Awesome as always :D

Margaret said...

I put a star on this in Google Reader to tell you how much I love it and how great it is to see your technique and I finally got through my starred list today to do it. I love the way the background compliments the motif. What is the material? I really have to try more work on dark colours.

Gabriel said...

HI! YOUR WORK IS BEYOND AMAZING! I was wondering how did you learn all of this? I want to start embroidery, but how do I become as talented as you? Do you know of any books I can purchase to learn? I have no idea where to start, but I know this is something I really would love to do!
Kind regards,

Maria M.

PS: My email address is