Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stumpwork Initial

Lately I've resumed working on my Stumpwork Initial, I started at Beating Around the Bush in October 2009. I'm determined to get this finished and framed.

I have managed to get sidetracked, but in a good way. Instead of making one initial, I've decided to make two, one for me and one for my granddaughter. I'm making the butterflies, flowers and leaves on a double layer of silk organza fused together, and didn't want to waste fabric, so I decided to embroider as many as I could on the square of fabric that came with the kit. I mentioned in the previous post that I ordered some Evertite frames to better use the fabric. These came and as you can see, I've mounted the silk on them. I probably could stand to put a few more tacks in the corners.

These frames are very nice! If you have never come across them, I encourage you to try them. Mary Corbet of wrote a fairly comprehensive article about them, so I won't repeat it here. They are great for this type of application, in which I'm trying to get as much use out of the fabric at hand.

Embroidering these little bits is fairly tedious, so to give myself a break, I'm devoting some time on the initial. You can see the raised part on the left side of the C where I restarted the embroider. I'll "comb" these stitches in and hide any leftover bumps with the flowers.

This view of the underside of the embroidery shows how the design is transferred. Our teacher, Jan Kerton, silk screened the initial backwards onto a piece of muslin. The muslin is then placed under the silk, but not fused to it. We then work a running stitch along the lines, then backfill the running stitch so there is a continuous line of stitches on the silk surface. You can barely see this in the photo of the monogram that is right side up, look at the unfinished curlicue. We then work a whip stitch around the running stitches to give some dimension to the narrow lines. You can see this in the finished portions of the monogram. This is a great way to transfer simple designs, but would became way too tedious and complicated for fussier designs.

I hope to get a few hours of stitching in today. Here in Southern California the weather is lovely, with a high in the low 70s. So I really need to get some gardening time in while the weather is still nice.

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