Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hand Embroidered Applique

I think I've mentioned before how much I love Michelle Carragher's work in embroidery.  She uses not only thread, but beads, rings, crystals and other embellishments to make the most incredible designs. So I thought I'd give it a try myself.

I started with a quick sketch of an eagle in flight. After all, animals are easy, right? Wrong.  Categorically wrong.

Then I fastened a piece of black organza over the top of the sketch to an empty cardboard box. I simply used straight pins and pushed them through the cardboard to hold the two layers together.  Use lots of pins, because organza likes to slide around when you're tracing.

After that, I used a Fons & Porter chalk quilting pencil to trace the sketch onto the organza.

A really good pencil sharpener can put a nice point on a chalk pencil if you're careful not to break the chalk.  Good thing I have a nice collection of sharpeners.

Once you have your pattern traced, you can put the organza into an embroidery hoop and get started.  On this fabric, it helped if I put a black fabric on my lap so I could see the traced lines easier.

Here's the start of the wings.

Wings, tail, and head finished.  For the inside of the wings, I used one strand each of two different colored embroidery threads. Don't ask me which colors.  These are vintage embroidery flosses that I've had for a lifetime.

Chest and feet complete the thread design.

Some seed beads added to the wings, chest, and tail.  Seed beads make up the claws and the eye.  Ideal? No, but it's what I had on hand.  A trip to the bead store is a half hour and if I remember correctly, I was doing this at about 2am.

Then I coated the entire back side of the design with Alene's Jewel-It using a paintbrush.  I don't know if you can even get this stuff anymore, but it is my favorite fabric glue.  Stays soft and flexible, which is perfect for something like this.  And then I cut away the organza.  Very, very carefully.

And that's the finished applique.  Ready to be stitched to your garment of choice.  I haven't decided what to do with this one yet.

1 comment:

  1. Words escape me... gorgeous! incredible! just... WoW!!!!