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Once I decided to use the flower fabric for Feeling Stitchy's August Stitch-a-Long, I spent one evening mainly staring at it, not at all sure where to begin. Because I'm new to embroidery, my stitch vocabulary--the stitches I know myself--is fairly small. With time, I'll be able to look at an area and scroll through several possibilities for stitches in my head. But right now I feel so limited, like I need a good thesaurus. After I stared, I consulted the two embroidery books I own (Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches and Stich-opedia) and gained my footing a bit. But still, I can't believe it took me so long to remember stem stitch as an option, and I see so much I'd change if I started over. But enough. Let's take a look at my progress!
I used satin stitch for the yellow ring and purple, French knots for the very center, and seed stitch for the pink. (The colors are almost true but not quite; I waited for the rain to clear and finally set this down right by the slider before we lost the little natural light we received today.) I've tried to work the areas from back to front; in other words, stitching the foreground last, so I'm not stitching a petal that overlaps a leaf before I stitch the leaf.
Speaking of leaves, I really like this one:
Back to the larger flower up above. When I finally remembered stem stitch, I decided to use it for all the black doodles on the petals, again using just two strands--I don't want the black to be overwhelming. I'm kind of tickled with the way it looks.
I'm thinking of outlining those petals in orange buttonhole stitches.
Another thing I'm finding interesting is the ways the colors interact. Look at the big picture again:
So, if I had to start again, I might do some things differently, but it's all part of the learning process, and I'm finding this really fun. It's interesting that I've read that stitching on printed fabric is a good place for beginners to start, because like I said, if you only know a few stitches, that's all you think of to use. I bet if I tried something like this again in a few months it would turn out very different, just because I'd know more.
I'm thinking this will end up in a painted-to-match hoop, hung on the wall. But first I have to learn how I'm supposed to back it and all for that....