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Topic: A Pair of Seahorses  (Read 1536 times)
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« on: April 05, 2011 01:32:42 PM »

I recently joined the Embroidery Hoopla Swap, Round 4, diptyches , and was paired with Kanawinkie, who said she loved seahorses.  I decided to stitch her a pair of seahorses, with the pair being opposites, so one would be warm colours, and one cool, one would have a heavily worked background and plain seahorse, and the other a plain background and embroidered seahorse, and with the outlines reversed, so they could be facing toward/away from each other

Here's what I stitched up:

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (10) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (1) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

The embroidered seahorse has a watercolour pencil tinted body, and wide bands of raised stem stitch* for his belly:

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (3) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

Most of the rest of the seahorse is variants of back, running and satin stitch, in a range of DMC embroidery cottons. The background is a simple running stitch design in DMC perle, to mimic the sea on the blue hoop.

While I enjoyed stitching the seahorse, I loved sewing the sea hoop - I really enjoy heavily textured pieces, and including beads and a range of stitches in my work.

The middle ground is many many rows of running stitch in a range of colours, graduating from light, to dark to medium, broken up with little triangles of colour breaking into the next rows. Stitching this area was really meditative.

I filled the bottom third of the hoop with lots of very dense stitching, both patches of broadly circular stitches, and long linear rows. I took lots of pictures of these areas, so click through to flickr if you want to see the full size images!

The bottom left, lines of wheatear stitch, with seed beads tucked in, and two widths of gorgeous shiny rayon tape woven through, and a few colonial knots** for good measure:

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (Cool by Purple Heather, on Flickr

This is the second clustered area I did, and it has quite a few wheels (both whipped and woven spiders webs & buttonhole), as well as clusters of colonial knots, castons, the wonderful bullion knots (the squiggly coils round the left hand part of the area), a button applied with needleweaving, and more beads for good measure!

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (4) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

I also discovered Fly Stitch, and how lovely it looks in long rows overlaid, with some rows having beaded tails. The blue feathery line across the middle is something I invented when trying to do something else, it was the first bit of the bottom area I did, and I've forgotten what on earth I did now, apart from that I whipped the middle:

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (7) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

This is the first clustered area, which gave me the confidence to really go nuts with the second. Lots of different threads here - DMC cottons, DMC perle and some great threads from a texture pack I bought:

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (6) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

The far right of the hoop has long lines of chain stitch in two different shades of variegated perle cotton. I wanted them to visually mirror the tall reed like lines on the other side of the hoop. There's also a big shell like ring shaped bead, secured then incorporated with needlewoven bars:

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (5) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

And here is the seahorse, outlined with a dark blue backstitch, and with a line of chain stitch in perle in warm shades to contrast with the coolness of the hoop overall. There are also little bits of orange beads and knots tucked into other areas, to add interest:

Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (9) by Purple Heather, on Flickr

All in all, I'm really rather proud of it, and Kanawinkie likes it, so all is good!

* I can't find a particularly good description for Raised Stem Stitch. It's actually really easy once you get going, and looks lovely
** I can't do French knots!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011 02:40:52 PM by PurpleHeather - Reason: Fixing links » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011 01:50:14 PM »

It's great that you posted all those pictures of the details! You did so much detail work, both hoops look amazing!! Grin Grin

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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011 01:51:39 PM »

I can hardly handle all of the awesome! My mind = blown. These are just so, so incredibly gorgeous! Your partner is soooo lucky! Cheesy

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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011 02:10:51 PM »

Truly amazing work. Thank you for sharing all those different stitches with us! The links opened a little wonky for me, but I managed to fix 'em.

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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011 02:34:25 PM »

I love this, it's amazing! I really love the way the beads and buttons are worked into everything.

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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011 02:43:29 PM »

Thank you for all the compliments, peeps. It's great fun to watch the stitching build up, and to be able to incorporate lots of elements. I'd say to anyone who wants to play with embroidery to just go for it - pick a limited colour palette (there are maybe 9 blues in here, plus the variegateds), and just try different fills. That stitch dictionary site is amazing, I just pottle through it looking at Sharon B's pictures and trying them out on a scrap piece of linen before I work into the main design.

And TheLastKodama, thanks for the heads up about the links - I've fixed them now. Cheers!

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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011 06:42:18 PM »

Wah, it's so fantastic!

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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011 07:52:04 PM »

Those are breathtaking. So beautiful.

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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2011 11:13:41 PM »

That is absolutely fantastic!

AWESOME embroidery, very well done!
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011 12:26:46 AM »

That is amazing, I love the design and colours, and all the extras you added Cheesy

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