Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Butterfly Challenge

The hand embroidery group that I’ve joined began a design challenge in April. The idea was that we all embroider the same design but interpret it in our own way. We could use any technique, style, materials and colour scheme; the only rule was that it should be predominantly hand embroidered. The design chosen by the group was a butterfly with flowers.

The body is satin stitched silk over two layers of cotton padding. For the antennae I made a Karayori twist from the very dark blue silk used for the body, together with a black metallic thread. I couched them in place with a single strand of the metallic thread.

The wings are embroidered with a Japanese stitch called Lattice Holding. First a foundation is worked in flat silk. The lattice is formed with a fine twist in the same shade and couched where the threads cross with a pale pink metallic thread. I made a Katayori twisted thread with the same silk and pale pink metallic to couch along the edge of the lattice area. I then outlined the whole of the wing with twisted silver using stem stitch and outline stitch.

The flowers are stitched in a selection of Mulberry silks and a little Thread Gatherers silk ribbon. I’ve used stem stitch and double detached chain stitch for the sprigs of leaves. Some of the flowers are chain stitch with colonial knots for the center. The silk ribbon flowers have a glass bead center. The remaining flowers were a personal challenge. I have never had much success with bullion knots but I wanted to work the remaining flowers in this stitch. I took a look at SharonB’s Stitch Dictionary before I attempted them to get a clear impression of how they should be worked. I am very pleased with my effort. I couple are a little loose but the others are perfectly respectable bullions. These little flowers have French knot centers.

Finally, I added a few gold seed beads.

I have really enjoyed this challenge. It has been great fun to see how others have decided to work the design.

All the designs completed so far can be seen here.

Happy Stitching


Nancilyn said...

Your butterfly is beautiful. You must have spent an incredible amount of time on it. Thank you for the link to your group's site. I really enjoyed seeing the other butterflies -- all lovely.

annetteb said...

It was great to see your butterfly in progress and all the steps. Thanks Annette