Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dragon, take 42--no wait, that's the meaning of life, the universe...

First, Rachel and RogerBW, thank you for your kind comments. Also for your excellent suggestions. I think I am going to take part of one of Rachel's for the scales, I am going to do layered split stitch (I think that is the one) where you do straight stitches very close together--it isn't satin stitch, which I had pondered but rejected as too smooth, and I learned it doing a very pretty Rowandean kit of a black cat--I really liked how you can curve the stitches around and do very pretty contouring. I am going to use the three colors of silk, layering them from dark to light, and the rust/brown/orange metallic ribbon, which will go on last in fly stitch. I really liked that idea for showing the scales.

Here is the dragon's pearl, as far as I have stitched it. I plan to use some of the metallic and the overdyed silk to do a couched trellis over it.
 I did a padded satin stitch over felt padding. Here is a picture of the partial first layer of satin stitching showing the felt padding underneath.
 I finished the wings finally. I didn't use wire for the second wing, as I am going to tack it down to the ground fabric rather than have it sticking out. I wanted both wings to look the same however, so I backstitched around the wing shape and then whip stitched the same as I did for the wired wing.
 This is the wired wing, with the whip stitch done. I still want to add some veining to the wing, probably with the aforementioned metallic.
Here are both wings with the whip stitch finished. The sparkliness of the base fabrics really shows in the picture.
 I decided to backstitch around the body of the dragon so that I would have an idea of where I was going, and partly to fill time while I noodled around with what I was going to do next.
And finally, here is is with his body backstitched in. I think he is a happy dragon. Maybe someone is going to play ball with him...

In other news, my daughter finally wheedled me into driving her to the local pet shop so that she could acquire her own dragon, of the Australian bearded variety. Her name is Calypso, and I'm pretty sure that pictures of her will probably show up here from time to time. She has settled into her new home very happily, and loves to chase down and eat crickets and mealworms. Not that she has to chase the worms as they just squirm in her food bowl.

THE Magpie.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dragon my feet

On the dragon's feet. I figured out what I wanted to do for the pearl Padparadscha is holding, and it is finished, and I backstitched around his body while noodling about how to fill it in. I think I am going to use orange sequins held down with some really pretty orange seed beads. I am going to do a bit on a doodle cloth before I start on the actual piece. I debated doing his body in a sort of or nue variation, but couldn't figure out how to get a scaly effect. I have pictures of him as of this evening, but as I have yet to load them onto the computer they will be uploaded to the blog later.

Oh, and about the feet. I haven't yet decided whether to do them in the woven petals thing from stumpwork--they are often used for sepals on raspberries, and I just picked up an old British stitchery mag. that has a sunflower with them as petals--very pretty. Either that or I am going to do them in bullion knots. I am leaning toward the petals as I think they will look very dragonish.

THE Magpie

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More on the dragon

His name is now Padparadscha, which according to Wikipedia is the name given to a pinkish orange colored sapphire, and the word is from the Sinhalese word for lotus blossom. Read more about sapphires than you probably want to know at this address,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapphire#Padparadscha.
I have seen padparadschas, and they are about the same color as the silks I got to stitch him with, hence the naming.

Meanwhile, I have been watching the children (home from school for the summer)  and so haven't gotten a lot done on him, but I did get a bit done. Here is the dragon picture transferred to the blue cotton background.

It is pretty faint, which is good so far as covering up the markings is concerned.

This is a much better photo of the contrast between the top and bottom fabrics of the wings.

These are the silks I got to use on Padparadscha, also the ombre Silk n Colors I am using from my stash and the metallic braid I am planning to use.
This is the wing partly tacked in. I made a pattern piece of the wing, and did running stitch around the outside. Then I tacked the wire down following the running stitch lines.

Here is the wing with the wire tacked down around the outside edge, and I have started whip stitching over the entire wire. I am using the silk and colors for this part.

THE Magpie

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New embroidery/stumpwork project.

This one is an original design, by me. I draw nominally well, my Mom and my daughter are much better than I am, but after nagging the daughter for ages to draw me a small dragon to convert to stumpwork, I figured that it would get done a lot sooner if I just put pencil to paper, drew it myself and fix the poor drawing skills with thread and needle.

It isn't totally horrible, I guess. The hind legs took a bit of working out, and I am still not totally excited about them, but I think once I transfer it to fabric I think it will end up looking a lot better. I only drew in one wing, as I am going to make the other wing as a detached piece, using whip stitch to hold the wire armature in place. I am using gold lame sandwiched with orange organza. I used wonder under to connect the two fabrics, and attached them with the threads of one piece at a 45 degree angle to the other. This is a tip that Jane Nicholas gave during a class of hers I was fortunate to be able to attend. The reason is that this way you have way more stability when you whip stitch the wire armature onto the fabric, as the threads go every which way rather than being orderly.
Here is the detached wing pattern. I plan to do the outer border in one piece of wire, and then cut and whip stitch the three supporting bars.
gold lame side, underside of wing

orange organza side, upper side of wing
These two pictures are the front and back of the wing fabric. The colors did not come out terribly well, but are somewhat close to the actual colors. This is a four inch hoop, and the dragon piece is going to be about 6 inches in diameter, with borders and all. I didn't take a picture of the background fabric yet, it is a pale blue cotton fabric. The dragon body may be done in a pale orange satin with stitched details, or I may do padded satin stitch or something else.
This is the orange satin I may use for the body. I got some orange and rust silks, Splendour brand by Rainbow Gallery, along with a card of an orange and rust metallic also by them yesterday at the Stitching Post in Columbia MD. I'll put pictures of them up on a future post.
This is some Fun Fur yarn that I am planning to use for the background of the dragon picture. Except for the skein second from the left, which will be couched down as the dragons flame.
Moire fabric that my Mom gave me because she wasn't planning to use it. Pretty colors, and ivory as well. I may have to do a unicorn head on the purple fabric. Mum quilts, and I think she got these to do a fancy crazy quilt with. Oh, and a tip for people who like pretty fabrics to use as backgrounds for embroidery. Obsessively examine the remnant bins at your local fabric shops. I scored two sizeable pieces of ivory silk dupion for less than half price--the remnants were marked as 50 percent off, and then they had a sale going of 50 percent off that. I also got the satin and the organza for the dragon at the same sale. Also, go to thrift stores. I get old cotton sheets to use as stabilizer for stitchery there, it is way less expensive than the muslin from the fabric store. Plus, you get to feel all virtuous for recycling.

These are sets of prayer beads that I make for donating to a group called On Beads of Prayer. The organizer of the group started it to provide prayer beads to soldiers who want them at no cost to the soldiers. She sells fancier ones to make money to pay for postage and beads and wire and etc... I just found out that the last batch I gave her sold out "like hotcakes" so I have been assembling a new batch.

THE Magpie