Monday, June 18, 2012

A Bullion Posy

Today I am showing you some of the steps in creating one of the simple flowers in the Bits of Bullions Bubble. This is not by any means a tutorial, but I can give you some tips of what not to do.  This is a Spiral Rose done in two shades of pink, the darker of the two, DMC 899, shown here as three strands in a No. 5 Milliner's needle. This is going to be a coil, so the entry and exit of the bullion are quite close together, only 2 mm apart.

The center of the rose needs 25 wraps. Note how loose and uneven they are? Don't do this! I unwrapped and rewound the thread three times before I got it somewhat even. See the thread hanging down from the needle? The strands are a bit twisted, which will make lumps in the finished bullion. You want to get them nice and even, laying beside each other as you wrap the thread around the needle. This is a somewhat slow process, as you need to untwist the thread to make is lay properly on the needle, and move the growing kink further on down the excess length of floss. It really helps to have a good, long length of floss here, 25 inches or more.

 Finished center, not too shabby, but it really needs to be tacked down.

For this the fabric needs to be in a hoop, and the loop tacked down in two or three places with a single strand of the same color floss. It's really important when tacking to follow the slant of the floss in the bullion, so the tacking thread blends in well with the bullion.

The lighter pink, DMC 776, is used for the outer petals in a 30 - 35 wrap bullion. The start and stop are farther apart, so it will have some overlap when finished.

I was concentrating so much on this flower that I forgot to take many of the photos. Here is the finished rose with a few fat leaves nestled underneath. The lighter pink could be overlapped a bit more.  Even the leaves need to be tacked down so the loop will stay in the correct position. So for this one flower, I put it into the hoop three times for tacking.

The main lesson here: These are not easy! It is a challenge to make a bullion with up to 35 wraps, all the while keeping them even and loose enough to slide off the needle easily.  I've found that when making a design with more than one bullion that needs to be tacked, I will finish each bullion, put the fabric in a hoop and tack it down, then take out the fabric and proceed on to the next segment. The only exception is that I made both leaves before putting them into the hoop.  It's a somewhat long and arduous process, but produces much better results than waiting until all the bullions are made to tack them. There is too much opportunity to get the twist of the bullion out of whack and going the wrong way. Trust me, I know. I've taken out almost as many bullions as I've left in.

Next up, an ant and a spider!


  1. It is a gorgeous way to make a rose, Cynthia! I have also been practicing my bullions recently - maybe you have inspired me! I especially like the spiral in the middle. You could even do that with the more traditional, shorter bullions around it for another variation. Food for thought! Thanks. :)

  2. So pretty! You are such a pursuer of perfection. Your handwork is breathtaking.


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