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!