Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Flower Circle – Preparation

We are a little spoilt by the Japanese Embroidery Centre who transfer many of their designs onto the fabric for us but I have had to transfer one or two designs from other sources in the past. I prefer to use the stitch transfer method. First I trace the design onto a piece of tissue paper. After positioning the tracing on the fabric, I hold it in position with small magnets while I stitch over lines using white couching thread and Japanese running stitch. (I was later to regret my choice of thread and wish that I had used a fine YLI thread instead.) This method allows me to follow the design very accurately and to make adjustments to any tracing errors. The Flower Circle design is almost all curves so I have used a fairly short stitches to give smooth lines.

© Shizuka Kusano/Carol-Anne Conway

Stitch transfer gives me time to familiarize myself with the design and think about how to I want to stitch each element. By the time I had finished the transfer I felt I understood the balance and flow of the design. I hope to maintain that balance as I embroidered it. The Flower Circle consists of nine cherry blossoms of three distinct designs but all with broadly the same outline. Two are a simple outline and three have a large circular centre surrounded by five separate petals. The remaining four have five overlapping petals with a small circular centre and long stamens.

Japanese running stitch is worked differently from any other stitch I know being a cross between running stitch and back stitch as evidenced on each side. On the front it looks like back stitch; on the back it looks like running stitch.

© Shizuka Kusano/Carol-Anne Conway

I remove the tissue paper from each motif (and a small area around it) as I come to stitch it. I leave the remaining tissue paper in place to protect the fabric while I work.

© Shizuka Kusano/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching


Cynthia Gilbreth said...

That purple fabric is lovely. It's fun to see someone start a new project, I'm looking forward to watching it progress.

Rachel said...

It's true that transferring the design yourself helps you to think about it and begin to plan your work early!

Wendy said...

I've never heard of this method, I'd be interested to know how you do that stitch as I can't figure it out!