Monday, July 8, 2013

Butterfly Needlework Nibble

Last month after I finished the Flower Girl Dresses, I decided I needed an "embroidery fix". So I rummaged through one drawer of several projects and picked out this Needlework Nibble from Thistle Threads. I've made a couple of these before, and if you click on this link us you can see them.

This is what the finished project will look like. The orangey tones are from the photo in the instructions. It's a little pin pad, made with cardboard top and bottom and a foam core. However, I can't imagine sticking pins into the silk fabric. The silk will be shredded in no time.

The kit came with an extremely small square of silk, only 3 inches, so I had to figure out a way to get it into a hoop. Also, I didn't want to trace the design right on the silk. The butterfly outline is worked with Thin Gilt by Benton and Johnson in a reverse chain stitch which gives it a light, airy feel. Any markings that I made would show right through. I didn't want to use a washable marker on the gold thread, and an air erase marker wouldn't last long enough. So what to do? I traced the design onto a square of Sticky +, a tear away stabilizer by Sulky.

As you can see, I didn't bother to reverse the design so my butterfly is facing in the other direction than the sample. Then I tacked on strips of muslin to make the whole piece of fabric large enough to fit into the hoop. This photo is held in front of a window and the design shows through quite well. I think I'll leave the stabilizer on the fabric during construction, as there is no real reason to remove it.

Almost completed. I decided to make the satin stitched abdomen, head and lower wings padded, so I worked straight stitches as a first layer, then covered them with satin stitching. The thread, by the way, is Au Ver a Soie Soie d'Alger, Light Green, color number 3713. Those French knots in the Thin Gilt are somewhat tricky, and at least one, in the lower left corner of the abdomen, is a bit loopy. Since this is a kit, with a limited amount of thread, I can't redo it.

The finished embroidery, with blanket stitched lower abdomen and wing tips, reverse chain in the large circles on the wing in the silk. All the gold is stitched in reverse chain or French knots.

Here is a somewhat side shot, so you can see the texture and padding. Again, I have some loopy chains and there, especially on the antennae, but without more thread I don't have the luxury of removing them and making them perfect. Now, on to assembling the pin pad, which will involve lots of glue.

1 comment:

  1. I've done the Butterfly too. He's lovely, but like you I can't imagine actually using the pinpad!


I love to hear from readers! Please let me know what you think of my posts. If you ask a question, I will reply here on the blog, so others can see the answer.