I thought I’d talk about my design process for the Turkish-esque embroidery. I transferred the design using carbon paper. While the design transferred onto the fabric beautifully, it transferred off the fabric just as quickly. This accelerated the decision process considerably, though I didn’t make it through before losing the outlines for a couple flowers.
Supply list (considerably less than $10)
- cloth napkin from a thrift shop
- carbon paper
- leaves, stems: DMC 3808, 3809, 3810, 3811
- flowers: DMC 3830, 3778, 3802, 355
- flowers: DMC Color Variations 4128
Future work: All the large leaves are supposed to have fillings (like the two near the bottom). I’m not sure I like the effect of my current fillings, so I may rethink my approach. I plan to fill in the flowers more, particularly the one on the right, and there’s a missing flower to redraw.
Design principles for this project:
- Keep lights and darks balanced for the blue-green stems and leaves.
- Don’t be too predictable, but repeat some elements throughout the piece so it feels like the different parts of the design belong together (continuity vs variety).
- Emphasize the focus of the design – the flowers (color contrast).
Color decisions: I looked through my stash of embroidery floss, and discovered I had a range of 4 blue-green colors (DMC 3808, 3809, 3810, 3811). I thought these might make a more interesting design with the stems and leaves than a standard green leaves and brown stem. I posted a lot about tertiary colors last week, so I picked some out of my stash (DMC 3830, 3778) for the flower on the right. These contrast well with the blue-greens. I decided on a purpleish color (DMC 3802) and a complementary golden yellow/tan (DMC Color Variations 4128) for contrast to emphasize the big dragon flower. The golden yellow/tan can look brown or golden, depending on which colors surround it. I picked DMC 355 (reddish-brown) for the topmost flower. It only looks red next to the green – otherwise it looks rather brown.
I chose Portuguese border stitch for the stems, in the darkest blue-green. I worked outlines for large leaves in back stitch, stem stitch, and split stitch and worked the small leaves in herringbone stitch. The purple-and-yellow flower center was inspired by kantha embroidery. The yellow flames are in fly stitch.