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


  1. I'm intrigued with your dragon - it will be good to watch him grow!

  2. Thank you for your kind words. I am looking forward to see how he grows too. I decided to do him because I love stumpwork and fantasy creatures. The two seemed a good pairing. I hope to do a mermaid and a griffin at some point as well.

  3. I like the legs - he's getting a good purchase on something, while clawing and flaming from the front. I particularly like the "flame" yarn...