Flowers – and an Eye

August 20, 2016 at 8:08 am | Posted in Embroidery, Patchwork | 5 Comments

I have finished embroidering the French knots on my Mexican Bird project, and was wondering if the flowers need a little extra as well. In the original painting, the pink flowers have a white highlight in each petal:


Since I painted the petals with a flat pink, maybe I should try to recreate this in embroidery? So I took my sample and started to experiment:

Mexican Bird - Test embroidered flower

From left to right:

  1. Nested chain stitches – doesn’t scale large enough
  2. Outlined in backstitch, then worked over with a horizontal satin stitch. Visually the right effect, but too heavy and way too slow to stitch.
  3. A bunch of straight stitches – not strong enough for me
  4. A dense herringbone stitch – going in the right direction
  5. Back to chain stitch, working them close and opening them up, I think this looks best visually.
  6. Another try for something similar with a feather stitch variation, not dense enough I think.

So, if I’m doing anything, it would have to be with number 5. Since the colouring is a bit different on the real quilt, I decided to try this out on one flower:

Mexican Bird - tryout for flower

I saw that it’s very hard to get a consistent form out of this, and looking from a distance, the effect just isn’t there against that pretty light pink background. In conclusion, I decided that putting in all the work needed to fill all the flowers wouldn’t make enough of a difference to the impact of the quilt to be worth it. I took the sample stitches out and called the quilt finished.

Oh, not quite finished! My bird’s still missing an eye! I had decided very early on that the eye is the perfect size for a spangle and bead solution, so now I just had to figure out the colour. Diving into my bead stash, I tried out different possibilities:

I’ve made my choice – which one would you choose?



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  1. I like the eye at top right; it gives the brightest eye which doesn’t ‘jump out’ too much.

  2. I prefer the yellow / gold ones at the top. It’s looks beautiful.

  3. I also prefer the eye in the top right photo. I reads well as an eye from this distance without overwhelming the overall piece. ☺

  4. Top right, definitely!

  5. […] Some decision making […]

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