Saturday, February 16, 2013

The projects I can't tell you about, part 2

My parent's Christmas gift this year arrived late. I finished it before Christmas, but couldn't get it framed until the end of January. Now that it has arrived in New York, I can share it with everyone.

The pattern is called Santa Fe Garden by DK Designs. It is a beginner Brazilian embroidery pattern, and a good one because it uses a wide range of stitches and threads. I highly recommend it for someone trying to expand their range of embroidery techniques. Even though it is simple, it was fun to do. Let's look at some of the elements.


First, these blue and pink flowers are some of the most common and basic flower types in Brazilian embroidery. The rolled roses are composed of stacked bullions with a bullion wrapped around the bases to make the calyxes. Simple stem and lazy daisy stitches make up the greenery. The blue flowers are a little more difficult. They are composed of lapped cast-on stitches, a kind of knotted bullion. I replaced the French knots the pattern called for with aqua beads for a clean center.

These blue flowers and cactus were even easier. The flowers are just fly stitches and the cacti get their realistic shape from a very clever manipulation and piling of boucle thread. It is a very simple and fun deception.

The same is true of the trees. Boucle thread makes the French knots fuller and more leaf like. It felt like I wrapped a million French knots and was my least favorite design element to stitch, but love how it looks.

The holly hocks were probably my favorite design element. Again the choice of thread, in this case, Lola, the thickest of the smooth Brazilian embroidery threads, made this element both pretty and easy to do. The flowers are composed of detached button hole rings and French knots. So simple, but so effective.

Finally, there is the corn. I am not telling you how it was done, but it is incredibly simple and very effective. I didn't really believe it would look like corn, until I was done and then was utterly surprised at how realistic it was.

The rest of the design elements are made up of stem stitch, couching, and a little satin stitch for the adobe homes' doors and windows. It really could not be much simpler, but it is an effective design.

I saw this pattern completed by a guild member in August and decided that day that I had to embroider it for my parents, to remind them of their Santa Fe vacations. Since they just got 2 feet of snow in western New York, a little sunshine will certainly be appreciated.


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