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Topic: Cool-Toned Gradient Embroidered Mandala  (Read 694 times)
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EriChanHime
« on: September 04, 2019 10:40:04 AM »



I was so excited to participate in our recent Embroidered Mandala Swap. After searching my partnerís Pinterest boards, I found a pin that showed a mandala wall decal and liked its combination of points and curves. I neatened and printed the image to use as a traceable pattern, and I also created a colored mock-up on my computer to take to the store. She mentioned specifically liking pinks, greens, blues, and teal, and I really wanted to get a gradient effect to cycle from the pink, like a flower in the center, all the way through blue at the outer edges. I went crazy in the craft store matching, organizing, swapping out, and re-ordering threads until I found a pattern I thought was pleasant, spread across 14 colors to match the 14 different rounds of line art I identified from the original mandala.




I enjoy stitching on unbleached muslin, when appropriate, and it worked well to trace the pattern lightly in pencil, using my iPad as a light box! I traced the design on the inside surface of the fabric, so that I could lay it flat against the screen. After looking at the outline for a couple days, I decided it was too boring! Grin I made my first attempt at tinting, using Crayola colored pencils, in 15 different shades. I loved the depth that it added to the background, and it made it possible to do open-spaced, lacy embroidery while not looking unfinished

I also set up a little embroidery station for myself using a breakfast tray. It held everything in place, and I could carry it back and forth from the dining room to the couch (my two main working areas) without dropping anything. The white background also made it easier to keep track of threads-in-waiting and dropped needles.



Once I was happy with the colored background, I started in on my stitching. Iíve always loved the idea of old-fashioned samplers to show off a variety of different stitches, but find the habit of stitching the alphabet super uninteresting! Wink I was excited to try out some stitches that I donít use often, and some that Iíve never tried before. I used 12 unique stitches across 14 colors/rounds (2 strands of DMC floss used for each)! I was also quite excited to see at the end that the back was nearly as pretty as the front, if clearly less colorful.

Stitches, in order:
Continental knots (3354)
Reverse stem stitch (3804)
Seed stitch (704)
Woven back stitch (906)
Reverse split stitch (966)
Back stitch (163)
Whipped back stitch (501)
Chain stitch (319)
Lazy daisy & Reverse split stitches (3847)
Whipped back stitch (943)
Reverse chain stitch (3760)
Open chain/ladder stitch (793)
Reverse split stitch (322)
Long and short blanket stitch (825)



Once I was happy with the mandala, I pulled it out of the hoop (since it was facing the wrong way, due to the tracing method I used), then reinserted it the right way. I used a running stitch with all 6 strands of floss to pull it tight and give a crisp, clean edge.



I cut a round of complementary felt, embroidered it with my personal swap details, and then whip-stitched it to the back side of the fabric.



And here's the finished hooped mandala!



I had such a fun time making this project for tattoedcrafter, and Iím so delighted that she was pleased with it. I learned a lot, and got to try out new techniques, and used colors that I normally wouldnít use but looked great together! An all-around awesome swap. Cheesy
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019 10:44:12 AM by EriChanHime » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019 11:23:47 AM »

What a great post!  Im never so detailed... beautiful... i wondered whether you colored before or after...
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EriChanHime
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019 11:57:01 AM »

Thank you so much, faemystique, and thank you again for running a lovely swap!

I definitely colored before stitching on this one. Most tutorials I looked over recommended that, as you can get the color to blend hidden under the lines of embroidery without rubbing too much pigment on the thread itself. I kept an eye on the thread as I went, and even though I was sewing through patches of color, I never noticed any pigment rubbing off on the thread. It was a successful experiment! Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019 12:12:22 PM »

WOW! What a great story to go with a great project.  It's sure to be cherished
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2019 03:29:24 PM »

So pretty! Such beautiful work!
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EriChanHime
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019 08:33:54 AM »

WOW! What a great story to go with a great project.  It's sure to be cherished


Thank you so much! I certainly hope so. I know I will absolutely cherish the one she made for me. It suits me so perfectly, and I hope she posts a project for it. *hint, hint* Wink

So pretty! Such beautiful work!

Thank you, kitty! I appreciate that very much. Cheesy Had a lovely time learning and sewing this.
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2019 05:10:50 AM »

Love the palette, the stitching, the shading, the finishing. Excellent work all around.
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EriChanHime
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019 09:56:07 AM »

Love the palette, the stitching, the shading, the finishing. Excellent work all around.

Thank you so much, CLM! Cheesy Took me a while to decide what I was doing, but I love the way it turned out.
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2019 12:29:50 PM »

Congrats! This has been chosen as a Featured Project! Smiley
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EriChanHime
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019 09:19:13 AM »

Thank you so much, everyone! Cheesy I definitely hope to see even more of the beautiful mandalas from this swap posted on the board!
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