I’m getting the hang of this!

This bit of long and short shading was a piece of cake and I learned a new technique for adding ‘highlights’ to the shading at the edges. The shape was a much simpler shape to stitch. It has five petal shapes, each one coming to a point with only gentle curves. I’m a long way from being an expert, but I’m sure having fun with this stitch (finally!).

Of course, I began by drawing in the lines from the pattern that show where the colors should change. I do this free hand and don’t worry too much if it isn’t perfect since my eye will guide where I place my stitches.

The first color is stitched using quite small stitches to accommodate the point of each of the five petals. The short stitches aren’t as pretty and soft as longer ones, but they’ll be covered up later as I add the next layers of thread.

Instead of drawing in the lines to guide the direction of the stitches, I like to use the thread and place stitches within the shape that will guide me as I work. It’s a technique used when doing satin stitch, but it works great here and I can’t see that it makes any difference to the finished look of the shading.

As you can see, I’ve split the stitch part way down to allow the direction to change slightly. This split will be covered later with the next layer. Also notice I’ve gone all the way down to where the line for the third color is – not just to the second color. I find that a few really, really deep stitches helps make the shading softer.

When I worked in the second shade of fawn, I didn’t try to make a perfectly smooth top line in the darker shade. The threads are a bit more jagged which I think helps the shading look nicer in this shape. The stitches look more pointed and accentuate the shape of each petal. The third layer is worked in the same way.

The special added touch to this part of the design are the tiny, highlight stitches worked in the lightest shade of blue, all along the top edge of the petals. The instructions are to do just a scattering of stitches and I just love how it looks! It reminds me a little of tweed fabric.

Here’s a peek at the bulk of the design stitched so far.

I know some of you are considering working this beautiful design in different colors and I would love to know what you’re considering! The complexity of this design is just hard enough to be challenging and not so impossibly difficult that I want to give up, so I’m thinking I might work it up again in different colors. Ideas? Please share them!

10 thoughts on “I’m getting the hang of this!

  1. Love the shading Kathy, we did alot of work on shading at Burford yesterday:-) What a totally brillant day we all had and such lovely people. I was suprised at just how much a day course takes out of you. All that stitching and concerntration! I learned so much.
    My 14yr old son laughted when I said I was exhausted…’but Mum you have only been doing a bit of sewing’ … how little does he know! LOL.
    Take care,

  2. I’d love to see this design with purples and greens. Not sure how you would place them, but the idea intrigues me.
    Everything is looking great so far Kathy. Keep up te good work.

  3. Wow, that looks excellent and how interesting to see the random stitches around the edge. I am find this really informative. If i was to work it I would use a bottle green range along with Browns and a red for accent.

  4. Kathy, your growing confidence with LSS is really showing in your writing and definitely in your work. This is lovely.

    I had a great time at Burford yesterday (I know the village well as it is only about 14 miles from my home). The class was superb! Phillipa is an excellent tutor and I learnt so much about LSS. I’m starting to feel a little enthusiasm for this stitch and think that I might be finally making some progress with it.

    Alison – I it was lovely to meet you yesterday. I’m sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye to you, everyone just seemed to dash of at the end! It sounds as though you enjoyed it as much as I did.

  5. I just have to share that back in the ’80s I visited Burford and stayed at the The Bull of Burford. It was an absolutely delightful experience and, of course, the countryside was beyond beautiful and the villagers were very friendly. How fun is it to “re-experience” a wonderful time by reading your blog. Your work is inspirational…

  6. Kathy,

    As usual, your stitching is lovely! I love the highlighted aspects to the petals – You don’t see it that well on the Talliaferro site. 🙁 But it is good to see it here! 🙂

    As for colors, I had thought of the Heathway Auburgine, Old Gold(s) and not sure of the last color – maybe Apple green(s)/ Sage or Nut Brown(s)…if one was to do it in another colorway of blues? I would suggest Lapis/Bluebell/Cornflower and the other colors that you already have would remain the same.

    I don’t know that I would use any reds…The blossom I don’t think lends itself to that spectrum – although I would love to be proven wrong! 🙂

    Hugs and Love,

  7. It’s really looking great, Kathy, well done you. I have been trying to embroider a long & short stitch butterfly on a cq block but I’m afraid I am not within miles of your expertise. I wish I could go to a class like you other people but there don’t seem to be any in my area and it’s unlikely I’d be able to do it anyway (physical limitations). Boo hiss.

    Still it’s fabulous to watch your progress so I know what to aim for. I love this design in the blues and golds, probably because blue is my favourite colour. I would probably try to get more blue and less ? in. I think it would also look good in dark reds with grey and black. It would look less realistic and more abstract but there’s nothing wrong with that. IMHO.

  8. Would love to know what design you worked at Burford?
    What other stiches did you do?

    A deep burgendy red like the Dahlia flower for the above flower is what I had invisaged.

    Kathy, I love the ideas of the other ladies.

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