This is part two in our Grub Roses tutorial. I know some of you are following along and doing very well! And others like Patsy who so much wants to embroider roses will have to follow later as she and her husband are helping others recover from Hurricane Matthew. Sorry about the timing Patsy!
Ok so last Wednesday we covered the basics of the needle to use, dividing your thread, practicing French Knots and Bullion Stitch. I personally do not use embroidery hoops but you can do that or try both ways and see what you prefer. An embroidery hoop is not needed on thicker things like towels but maybe helpful on very fine fabrics so your work ends up sitting flat.
The week before I spoke a bit about some of the things I used Grub Roses for... it is never ending really. I added just one little rose to the outer side of some little socks for Harper. These look so sweet. And just doing something like the you have a little gift!
This week I am talking about formation, placement and colour.
Knowing your stitches the next thing is forming them into a rose. This takes some practice in the same way learning the stitches does. Really there are no rules. I am just telling you what I usually do.
Mainly I start with a nice plump French Knot. This is the centre of your rose. Now you can work your roses in different colours. Often I will do a deeper shade of pink for the knot, then change to a middle shade of pink for the first round of bullion stitch petals... and then to a really light pink for the next row of petals (if I do a third row). If you do this you want to choose three shades that are just lighter and darker versions of the same colour.
After the french knot I work three bullion stitches around this knot. You want to get them in close. At first attempts sometimes you have a gap where you can see fabric in between your petals. Just keep going until you get them to sit snug and you don't have these gaps. When you were practicing Bullion stitch they were like little straight lines! But they will curve... and you can nestle them into a gentle curve and work them to sit nice and snug right where you want them to go. Coax them into position!
As you can understand the inner petals are smaller than outer petals.... to achieve this I work my billions with FIVE wraps each. And on the first round I work THREE bullion stitch.
On the next round I will work SEVEN wraps on each bullion stitch and work FIVE bullion stitch around my rose.
If I do a third round it will be NINE wraps and there will be SEVEN bullion stitch.
As you work each round be careful to overlap you bullion stitches so they do not line up. It is the over lapping that makes it look like a rose. Think how a brick layer lays bricks... overlaps not rows!
These are my general rules which are handy if you need a guideline. But I don't always adhere to it and sometimes there will be a gap and I will just go ahead and fill it in. It is quite forgiving and I always look at how is my rose looking? If it looks thin on one side I will add a stitch ... you want it to look right to your eye. So feel free to do what you think looks nice!
With groups of roses I always stick to odd numbers. So I will have one, three, five...
You can use French Knots and larger and smaller roses as you like. I often use just a fine thread to fill in little stems and leaves or you can work Bullion Stitch in green to form leaves as well. You do not have to be botanically correct... like painting you are creating the suggestion of things and these do not have to be perfect.
You can form a rose bud with one or three bullion stitches and a couple of green leaves or a stem.
Adding a few French Knots is lovely and a delicate effect.
The next issue is placement. If you look at the top pictures these show what I mostly do... I will work one corner on a wash cloth or handkerchief and place the rose right over the seam line in the corner. Then it covers the "structure" and stitching. Overall I think in terms of making it looked nestled in rather than "on top" or to look like a little kiss rather than a large feature.
Sometimes when you are working up close on something it is not until you put it down and walk away from it... come back and look at it like everyone else does... from a normal distance away that you think !!! hey it looks nice!
Just practice. You will soon be very happy with your Grub Roses. I use them such a lot.
Over time we might get on to some simple ribbon embroidery. All these things work in well together! Each new stick and different kind of cotton, wool, ribbon, glitter thread etc adds a dimension to what you can do. It is really kind of addictive.
Work rows of roses this week and if you are happy with them try to use a fine strand of green to suggest some little stems and leaves.
These really are half the ability to do the basic stitches then half formation and colour etc.
I hope to see lots of your roses in show and tell in a couple of weeks!
Next week we need to get right onto Christmas! I made two big Christmas cakes yesterday and later this afternoon the next lot of into the oven. Before then I am doing my tax return which I will be glad to have over and done with! (another job to tick off the list!)
I hope your week is going well! See you on Friday! xxx