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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Winter Birds Table Topper Start

After the Samurai, I wanted a project that had large components, a bit free-flowing and involved no counting,  preparation or construction. I settled on a kit for a table topper, bought, of course, on sale.

I bought this because it is so cheerful. I like the colours, and the style reminds me a bit of Hungarian embroidery, which I admire. I also like to have some projects on hand that require no finishing once I've finished stitching and I rather liked the edging on this one.

The thread is 5 Perle - solid and fast, and the instructions consist of a large diagram and a sheet of stitches. Basic.

I began on the red berries and really enjoyed the freedom after the cross-stitch effort of the last weeks.

I moved on to the pine needles, and decided to couch them rather than have long loose stitches as in the diagram. That seemed to work well.

I then decided to experiment a little on some of the larger leaves, trying some of the lattice techniques that Mary Corbet has been writing about in her blog.
I needed the filling fairly dense, so used two shades of green with the framework lines fairly close together. It was possible to get the lines intersecting so the colour is all light at the tip and all darker at the base and a mixture in between. It gives a textured effect that I quite like.

It doesn't look so good, however, with the gold veins in place.

Next I played around with the cream-coloured blobs that I take to be snow. Not having a lot of experience of snow, I don't know whether birds actually choose snow rather than exposed branches to sit on, and I would have expected the thread to be white, not cream - but I am out of my knowledge base and may be too literal.

Rather than large blobs of satin stitch, I tried layers of couched lattice - a layer on the straight and couched down overlayed by another set at a 45 degree angle. It would work well for a nest, but probably isn't the best effect for snow.

The photo also shows how the gold veins for the satin-stitched leaves sink into the work, while those on the latticed leaves stay on the surface. Looks like satin stitch wins for the leaves.  I want to try something else for the snow (assuming that's what it is!). It's good to be working on something I can easily play around with.


katherine said...

Always good to have something a bit simpler to work on. Love the design but I prefer the satin stitch leaves better too.

margaret said...

good to see you are adding your own ideas to this project I am sure it will come together beautifully

Monica said...

You know I tend to be somewhat literally minded too! You're right, if it is snow, it should be smooth. No, it shouldn't be cream, either. But I think it's main purpose in the design is to provide contrast and definition to the robins.

I do rather like your textured leaves, though. It might be nice to keep them, and then they will be a foil to the satin stitched snow.

I admired this project in the catalogue, so I am glad to see you doing it!

Jillian said...

Thanks for your comments, friends. I'm so pleased you admired this one, Monica. Your snow comments are helpful. A progress post later today.