Sunday, 8 January 2012

TAST 2012 - Week One - Fly Stitch

When I saw the ideas and examples Sharon had put up for the first stitch of the TAST 2012 re-run, I was immediately inspired with plenty of ideas.  I also got out my two stitch guides and found enough variations to fuel the creative process further and, soon afterwards, came up with a design plan for my first TAST sampler. I know that most of the notes didn't show up well, so I must remember to use pencil in a better contrasting shade if I want everyone to be able to read what I've written!

Like Jules (whose wonderful dandelion seed head worked in fly stitch you absolutely MUST see!), I plan to do a doodle pad type stitch sample, then try to work it up into something pictorial.  I can't promise that I'll always manage the pic, but I can try and at least got off to a good start this week.

Here's the quick test run of the stitches to make sure I'd got them sorted worked with scrap ends of no.5 pearl cottons on a piece of rather stiff 14ct Aida (that there was no chance of my using for anything 'polished').  The first few are just plain fly stitches, then a few with longer tails, then a few twisted fly stitches.  The second row shows a rather open worked fly stitch leaf (which does not work well on Aida) and then two rows of fly stitch filling.  This is done by working a row of regular fly stitches with the tops of the Vs touching, then working the next row upside down with the bottoms of the Vs joining and the securing stitch being made over the pair of touching stitches.  This filling spoke 'fence' to me.

First I painted some habotai silk to give the relevant colours to the background.  I made the mistake of putting the whole thing rather too far to the right of the hoop.  It would have been better to have been more central.  Still, I soon realised both the error and that I couldn't really do anything about it, except to ditch that piece and start again, but although I found I had more habotai than I'd feared, I'm still not up for wastage.  It was good to try silk painting again, even though I found it a fair bit harder than I'd remembered.  Need more practice, I know and having more fabric than I thought means that I can try this kind of background again soon.=)

So, here's the finished fly stitch pictorial piece.  Most of the stitches are some form of fly stitch, except some stem stitch for the foreground roses and, of course, the ribbon work (although you can work fly stitch in narrow ribbon to good effect).  The peach flowers are just straight stitches in ribbons, and the roses are spider's web roses.  Let me know if you want to know how the latter are done as they're easy, quick and effective.  The grass tufts are individual twisted fly stitches and the rose leaves are worked in closed fly stitch.


On the whole I'm happy with the piece.  The bit I'd most like to change (and could have if I'd been up for a lot of un-picking and re-stitching) would be to work the fence in a narrower gauge of thread.  I feel it's far too prominent, although the basic idea etc is OK.  Even with that, I'm pleased with this first week's work as I've been able to use fabric colouring again, I've designed something completely from scratch with little more inspiration than the stitches themselves and I worked it completely freehand - no pattern transferred to the silk.  Oh yes, and I really know fly stitch and a few variations of it quite well now!!

What's that just about the roses?  Well, of course it's a FLY!=)

© Elizabeth Braun 2012

17 comments:

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

I love your choice of colors, you really have an eye for it. Are you going to do this every Tuesday? That's quite a lot! So what will you do with the finished piece?

Carol said...

I am enjoying seeing others work on TAST. I signed up and will run a tad behind getting my bearings as I see how others are working their stitches. I didn't want to make a sampler and seeing work like yours has giving me the inspiration I need to be more creative.

This is such a lovely piece.

Wendy said...

I love your picture! I tried a picture too, but with little success!

Agnė said...

Lovely garden of roses :)

Kathy said...

Wow! I enjoyed reading your post and love your pictorial piece!

bluemuf said...

Your sampler and picture are gorgeous.

Karen

Suztats said...

I love seeing what you've done.

crazyQstitcher said...

Gorgeous garden scene. Colours are lovely too. Wish I could stitch such nice leaves.

Debra Spincic said...

Really pretty! Love the roses too!

Kathleen said...

This is wonderful, congratulations.
It would be wonderful to be as creative as you. http://kathysnest32.wordpress.com/

Jules said...

Thank you for the mention sweetie! I think this is a really charming and creative piece, and I love your roses!

Raphaela said...

Wonderful scene. I like the contrast of the grid/fence and natural/floral elements. Really beautiful.

Rachel said...

Well done - as you say, you now have several variations well-practised, and you created a rather charming sample picture in the process. I see what you mean about the fence, but the whole point of TAST is to learn things, and to learn about design as well as technique will make it that much more useful to you!

Thearica said...

Your fly stitch work is great! I didn't get started this week due to being out of town for the holidays and cannot wait to get home and start!

I also want to take a moment to invite you over to my blog to read about a quilt show I am hosting live on my blog beginning Feb 1. The show is called Crazy Quilts Are Quilts Too. The show is designed to bring awareness to all of us crazy quilters and the work we do! There are a host of fantastic prizes to be won! Hope you will come check out the information and hopefully participate!

www.pigtalesandquilts.com

Bits of Stitching! said...

Fly stitch lovely executed!

FlowerLady said...

Absolutely lovely.

FlowerLady

Barbara Hagerty said...

I love your stitched garden, Elizabeth, and also your idea of planning the composition of your stitches on a sketchpad.

 
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