So, I have been dipping in and out of embroidering my small tortoiseshell butterfly, however, whilst waiting for my daughter at a swimming party I decided to re-read the book ‘Long and short stitch embroidery’ by Trish Bur, a book I have read many times but not picked up for awhile. It dawned on me that I had got lazy, I had skipped several steps that are there to help me as well as improve the final look of the piece.

Small tortoiseshell rs

If you look closely you can probably see that I forgot to split stitch the edge of the wing before starting, this has meant that I haven’t got a sharp image. I also didn’t bother to mark stitch direction lines so moving from one colour to the next has got a bit confused.

This has been a good exercise in keeping my mind sewing and seeing how taking the time to do these extra little bits of process can improve the image.

Right, I am going to start from the beginning and try not to skip steps.

I am going to use this honeysuckle photo as a start for a new piece, the focal point is a bit confused but i can work with it:

Honeysuckle rs

I started with the drawing, improvising the rest of the picture with some leaf and berry photos:

Honeysuckle sketch rs

I haven’t got my paints out for many, many years but I found this great fun. Acrylics:

Honeysuckle painting rs

I am using a silk/cotton blend of fabric and backing the piece with cotton. To transfer the image onto the silk I use a lightpad, I love this pad, before I had this I would be rushing to the patio doors every time the sun came out:

Honeysuckle trace rs

Then, finally, I have wrapped a wooden hoop with cotton to protect the fabric and stretched the image drum tight:

Honeysuckle frames rs

Deep breath, what to do now, direction lines….