Saturday, 15 February 2014

A Bed of Roses

Today I would like to share with you an embroidery project I recently completed - one which gave me much pleasure to work as it incorporated basic stitching techniques, beautifully coloured variegated thread and a flower design.  Anyone who knows me by now will understand my undisputed love of flowers - any flowers - and this rose floral design was something I just couldn't overlook because it was discovered at a time when I had just bought a new doona cover and pillowcases for our updated bedroom and you guessed it .... the bed linen set consisted of roses - antique roses to be precise.  My creative imagination immediately knew it would make a perfect addition to the bed as a rectangle cushion.  And so the fun began.

The pattern is one of Aunt Martha's hot iron transfers where the design is cut and placed on fabric to your own specification.  My choice of hand dyed Australian threads from Cottage Garden Threads were Wattle Blossom (309) - gold, Ash (201) - green, Grand Ridge (411) - purple/brown and Dahlia (909) - pink. These were worked entirely in double strand over the whole design and as you can see by the following close-up photos, the variegated thread helped create an interesting and natural colour blend.

I chose to stitch the roses (Dahlia) and bird (Wattle Blossom) in stem stitch and the rose leaves (Ash) outlined in a small blanket stitch with vein detail in backstitch. The daisies (Grand Ridge) were worked in a very fine chain stitch with satin stitch centres and straight stitch for the detail and the daisy leaves (Ash) in satin stitch.  The rose stems (Ash) were also stitched in stem stitch.  

All was stitched on a natural cream homespun fabric and as I had found a perfectly matching length of rose design fabric, decided to use that as the backing for the cushion and used a couple of pretty buttons from my stash to secure the flap after placement of the insert.  

I guess it only seems appropriate to highlight a project depicting roses so close to Valentines Day, but this beautiful cushion adorns our bed each and every day of the year and is a constant reminder of the many hours of relaxation that went into its creation.


'Earth laughs in flowers' - Ralph Waldo Emerson