I took part in a St Valentine's Day travelling page swap on the Embroiderer's Guild Forum.
The design of my page is quiet simple. Two elements, two techniques, two threads.
The word 'Valentine' is stitched in gold but I wanted it to appear light. I've spaced the satin stitches so that a little fabric shows through.
One of the first techniques that I learn was lattice holding. Although the lattice of thin threads is there to hold the foundation stitches in place, the quilted look is very attractive. I've wanted to experiment with adding some padding to enhance the effect, at the same time I wanted keep the shape of the heart crisp and precise. I cut a heart shape out of paper and bonded that to a piece of wadding that I then carefully trimmed to the same shape. I attached the paper/wadding heart to the background fabric with small close stitches both to secure it in place but also to reduce the loft of the wadding around the edges. I then stitched a vertical layer in flat silk. Vertical layer is the name given in Japanese embroidery to a satin stitch worked on the vertical axis of a motif. I worked the stitches with slightly less tension than I would normally so that they did not flatten the wadding. I did the same with the lattice stitches but when I added the tie stitches at each intersection of the lattice, I applied as much tension as possible. I wanted the stitches to sink fight into the wadding.
I am really pleased with the way this page turned out. The heart is clearly defined but it has a softness about it. I may use this technique again and even see if I can enhance the effect still more.