Monday, 6 February 2017

Lilac Bellpull Project

Here we are at the second project of last autumn's stitch-a-thon!

Actually, I began this one in the summer shortly after getting all the projects for the Bingley Show sorted, but didn't get to work much on it until a few weeks later on.  I used it as a bit of an alternate project alongside the autumn leaves some of the time. Not often, as this one was over-due anyway and the leaves one was to a fairly tight time schedule, but I did a little bit here and there for variety.

The starting points were that the bride (a Chinese friend who'd actually got married back in July) loved purple shades and has very little room in her home - no living room, poor thing - and so something to hang was best.

In Patricia Ann Bage's 'Beginners Guide to Drawn Thread Embroidery', I found this design, the centre of which I'd worked a few years ago, also in purples, as a wedding card.  The bellpull ends I had in stock were quite narrow though, so I needed to adapt the pattern ever so slightly to take it in about 4 threads at each side.

I didn't seem to take many WIP shots, so we can do this all in one post.  Here we go:

At this point I realised that two things needed changing:

1) The purple squares just didn't work.  The shade of purple was too red to co-ordinate well with the lovely, rich, blue-purple in the centre motif (much more glaring that it appears here), and; 2) I'd miscounted on the chart and should have left done klosters blocks of 13 stitches, then 9, then 13 again.  So, I took it out back to the innermost green square sections and re-worked it with the correct spacing and the red-purple replaced by Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid in 032.

As you can see, it wasn't very comfortable to work this piece.  The fabric I was using was really too narrow to fit into the nearest size of frame I could make up (Q snap 8"/11" rectangle).  Maybe it was partly this, but also an unhealthy mixture of not reading the instructions properly, rushing to get the project completed after the Autumn Leaves one so as to get on with the next (I wanted clear decks as far as possible) and/or over-confidence that led me to mess up with removing the threads as you can see here:

I removed all 12 rows instead of removing 4, leaving 4, then removing the final 4.  I just didn't read the instructions for the filling stitches or look closely enough at the pattern at the right time.  Lesson learned!  So, I had to choose alternative fillings that didn't require a central bar of threads still in place and that would look OK in this fairly long space.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any decent photos of the final stitched stage before the awkward sewing up part, but here it is finished up and you can see the fillings in the close ups.  A little narrow, but not too bad on the whole.

I'll leave you with a photo that I snapped on my phone (very badly, sorry!) of the happy couple and their witnesses signing the register.

Which project next?  The bridal dress panel is coming up soon. ♥

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2016/7


Rachel said...

Charming indeed. And a few ingenious tweaks along the way!

D1-D2 said...

It came out beautiful. I love the dark shades of purple.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. Love the purple shading! Lovely work!

Wendy said...

It's beautiful Elizabeth. I haven't tried drawn thread before.