The first challenge, really, was colour choice. It's at times like this when you realise just how much difference there truly is between the DMC and Anchor colour ranges. The original kit was worked in the DMC threads that came with it, but my re-work was in the Anchor threads that I normally use. The greens were totally different - there wasn't even a close match for one of them, and one of the purplish reds was also missing from the Anchor collection. Of course, the other way around will be true as well - certain Anchor shades won't be available in the DMC range. I even considered starting a DMC thread collection, but not for long. I have nowhere to store a second range of stranded cottons, I don't have the needed £300-400 to buy it and, frankly, I'm not a specialist. If I were someone like Trish Burr, I would consider it a professional necessity, but as I'm just little ol' me, I'll have to make do.
Anyway, I made the mistake of trying to match the colours too much to the originals and less to each other, so I'm not sure how I like the results at times!!
Here, although the contrast is not good in photography, you might be able to see that I cut the lightest shade out of the blackberries. I thought about real berries and felt that the shade I'd matched up from the old piece really didn't occur. As for the darkness of some of the pictures here, the lack of daylight is partly to blame - it didn't seem to get fully light enough to take good shots for days on end!
Above is the almost finished piece before I stitched the wings, and below you can see why you should avoid stitching detached elements on just plain old white/cream fabric unless the edges are to be that sort of colour. Match up wherever you can! It's not so bad when the edging is buttonhole, but just plain overcasting almost always leaves one with this problem:
I really hate seeing those white edges and so I seriously considered re-stitching the wings onto red fabric, but decided that, before I started that, I'd see if I could rescue the situation with a good, red pen.
As you can see, it worked and, after giving the wings enough time for the ink to dry thoroughly (you don't want red smears on your background fabric!), I attached them in the usual way and here's the end result:
Here he is again, from a different angle and with the back two sets of legs re-stitched as the first attempt was rather too short!
So, that's it for the old DMC stumpwork designs. There was a sixth one, but I never bought it as I didn't really like the design. The next step is to stretch them all onto those cardboard squares I showed you a couple of weeks ago and then find some way of displaying them.
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2014