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21  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Horsey shirt on: December 05, 2007 05:04:28 AM
Admittedly, it isn't my style, either, but that doesn't matter at all! It's brilliantly done!
22  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Cardinal Tea Towel on: December 05, 2007 05:02:07 AM
This is really nice!! I agree - she'll love it! Good job - show us the potholder when you finish it! Smiley
23  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidering With Beetle Wings! on: December 05, 2007 04:58:55 AM
No, not really painstaking!! Goldwork requires care, but it isn't particularly difficult to do!

Alkalntrin, this was just a practice piece - it's not for anything in particular. The foundation fabric is cotton velveteen. I'll probably frame it and give it to my sister for Christmas. She seems to like it, and it would fit her decor.

Mtambuzi  - glad the videos are handy!!
24  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Orange you glad I didn't say banana? on: December 02, 2007 09:21:49 AM
25  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: my first embroidery project! on: December 02, 2007 09:16:52 AM
Oh - I WANT one!! I love it! Nice job!! I love the orange and the lemon!!!
26  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Birdy pillow on: December 02, 2007 09:15:38 AM
Very nice! I like the Aunt Martha patterns, too!
27  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidering With Beetle Wings! on: December 02, 2007 09:14:16 AM
Hi, HSG - I like the idea of white pearls or something as accents. I was originally going to do something along those lines instead of the gold paillettes, or at least alternating with them. I'd like to find pearl beads that have the hole further down the "globe" of the pearl, so that the thread isn't running right through the middle of it - just on the bottom edge, where it's being sewn on. Does anyone have an idea where I could find something like that?

Cedarwaxwing - The gold I'm using is actually real gold (metal) "threads." They aren't always threads, though - many of the different types (like the purls that form the zig-zags on the left-hand leaf) are made from tiny, tiny metal wire that is coiled into very fine springs. The check purl is made similarly. The twist, which comprises the stem and surrounds some of the petals, is the same metal that has been flattened and wound around a thread core, and there plies of it to make the twist. It is couched on, not sewn through the fabric. I explained a bit about the goldwork supplies I used in the different posts on my website. You can also look up "goldwork supplies" and find different resources for them. Tanja Berlin (www.berlinembroidery.com) is probably the best source for information about them, as she has a pretty thorough description page. You can also look up Benton and Johnson goldwork supplies, and get to Benton and Johnson (of London) who still make the metal threads. There, you'll find a pretty good history of goldwork and how the metal threads are made, etc.

Hope that's helpful!

Yes, I originally thought ---- "eeeew, bugs." But once I saw them, and once I saw the museum pieces adorned with them, I got over it pretty quickly. They aren't your typical "US home garden variety" beetles - and when you actually get the wings, there aren't any other bug parts attached! They just feel like a kind of tough papery-leathery-laquered sort of thing.

Glad you like the pattern, Fairlight - It's a bit rough around the edges, but it was fun to work!
28  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidering With Beetle Wings! on: November 26, 2007 05:30:44 PM
I came across some photos of museum pieces that were embellished with them - clothing, scarves, bags, etc. So I started searching and I came across a blog (Michael Cook of Wormspit.com) who was practicing with them. So I got in touch with Michael and we did a swap - I wanted to see the wings, and he wanted to see some different types of silk and metal threads. Once I saw the wings in person, I just had to try them on something! They are so beautiful - the camera can't do them justice. Think of the deepest emeralds and other jewels that reflect light and change color, and you have an idea of what they look like! They really are stunning.

I then ordered a supply of two different "shades" of wings - blue tones and green tones. They are all from the same type of beetle, and overall, the wings are green, but some reflect more blue than others, so they were separated into color batches. Some other colors you'll also see in the wings, depending on the light, are yellow / gold, copper, and even purple. I ordered them from a guy on e-bay who has a store that specializes in the wings and in beetle wing jewelry, etc. The wings are from Thailand.

Thanks heaps for the compliments...

Rosie - glad you've found the videos useful!!
29  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidering With Beetle Wings! on: November 26, 2007 05:14:32 PM
I've discovered that beetle wings are a great way to embellish embroidery! These wings of the jewel beetle are gorgeous, and they're pretty sturdy, too, so they work well on textiles. So I thought I'd post the "almost" completed project I'm working on.... it isn't 100% complete, simply because I keep thinking of other things to add.

The last thing I did was fill in the two side leaves on the little flower on the right with little gold seed stitch, to give it a kind of filled-in, dusty look.

I can't decide if I should work something around the wings in the top flower!

Anyway, I've been tracking the progress of this project on my website, with directions on how to prepare the wings and use the different types of gold. Eventually, I'd like to do some video tutorials for some of the goldwork stitches - when time allows!

Any ideas for the any further embellishment??
30  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: embroidery needle question on: November 21, 2007 10:44:51 AM
My needles bend - and I use very good needles, so I don't think it's a problem representative of the quality of the needle. However, mine don't bend at the eye - the bend slightly in the middle, from use. I keep my bent needles and use them, because they are well-worn favorites.

If they're bending at the eye, I think there's a problem with them. Are you sure you're using the right sized needle for your thread and fabric? For example, if you're embroidering on denim with a heavy or tough thread and putting too much stress on the needle, I could see that this might be a problem.

But bending at the eye... I've never seen that!!

Hope you solve it!
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