Sunday, October 21, 2012

My First Round Robin Post #6

Crystal's block when I received it.
Crystal's block after my additions.
 It will be mailed out a week late, but I finally finished my work on Crystal's beautiful block!  (Click on photos for a larger view.  I apologize, the colors are not true on the first photo.)

The first step was determining how many seams and how many sections I should embellish.  I counted 7 seams and 5 sections remaining. I needed to leave half of these for Shannon, the final person to work on Crystal's block.  (Her work is absolutely amazing!)
I had just purchased a purple flower trim for another project; however, it looked so perfect along the purple seam that I knew that was where I had to begin.  Pink beads were the finishing touch.  (Confession: Trims make me nervous.  I have not used them often, and hoped this one would look okay.  It was actually fun to stitch!)
Gathered Silk Ribbon Roses
Next, I made my first attempt at gathered silk ribbon roses.  I had a few lengths of 4mm and 7mm pink and cream ribbons from a sampler I bought a few years ago.  The colors complimented the colors of the block.  I found a green floss similar to the green patch of the block, and used that for the stem.  For my very first attempt, I was quite pleased with the little bouquet "tied" together with a bow.

It took me nearly a week to decide what to do next.  I had several ideas for the purple patches of the block, but ideas for framing the little cherubs kept flitting through my mind.  In the end, the idea of a frame won.

The picture measured 3-inches by 4-inches.  So, I decided to make stem-stitched rosettes half an inch apart.  (My doodle cloth came in very handy here.  I tested out different colors and different centers until I finally had a plan.) 

First, I couched down a pink metallic floss (DMC Jewel Effects E316).  Next, for the center of each flower, I used a single strand of DMC 762 to attach a Mill Hill Petite Glass Bead (#42010). 

Twenty-eight flowers did not seem too overwhelming... until I began.  I fell in love with the silky, delicate look of DMC rayon flosses #30818 (a pale pink) and # 30211 (a light purple) that complemented the colors of this block beautifully.  However, as I tore the first rosette out for the the third time, I was reminded of a comment I had read on another blog once.  Someone said they found the trick to using rayon floss, was to never use rayon floss.  Thankfully, by the third rosette, I finally found a way to progress without the floss knotting up.  Every time I put the needle through the fabric, I double-checked the back side to make sure I had not caught the thread in the back, and that everything was pulling through evenly.  Two to three rosettes per hour may seem slow; but it was a lot faster than making two to three attempts per rose - like those first two rosettes.

On my doodle cloth, the rosettes looked lovely with tiny green leaves.  However, once I completed the rosettes on the actual block, I worried the additional green simply did not fit.  Everyone in the house agreed.  So, I left the frame with the alternating pink and purple rosettes.

The purple flower trim and the frame embellished 4 of the 7 remaining seams.  This left Shannon only 3 seams to treat and one of those was tiny.  So, I opted to fill only 2 of the 5 sections of the block, and felt I should probably claim one of the smaller sections, so Shannon would have some room to work.  I had a lot of ideas for the small pink section.  However, one of the remaining seams happened to run along that section, so I felt compelled to work on the yellow-print next to the frame I had just completed.  (Confession: I find printed fabrics really tricky to embellish.) 

It took me a while to figure out what to add.  I remembered Crystal liked bullion roses.  Mardeen made a lovely bouquet of bullion roses, so I wanted to try something a little different.  I decided to try a flower made with bullion loops.  I used a variegated yellow floss to make 5 bullion loops (each loop had 30 wraps around the needle.)  Yellow seed beads filled the center.  Next, I used a soft green floss to make a stem-stitched stem and a couple of leaves.  The stem followed a curve of green on the fabric, as did each of the leaves.

I hope Crystal likes it!

Thank you for visiting,