Venturing into Stumpwork

With the pincushions for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2014, I'm trying to add a little dimension to them.  January had the little butterfly and February had a nice large tactile blossom.  For March, I want to add some Shamrocks!  And that meant that it was time at last to truly venture into trying my hand at stumpwork.  I don't know why the idea of stitching around wire has been so intimidating to me, but it has been and I've industriously avoided it until now.  

Real Shamrocks
There is a pot of oxalis blooming on my kitchen windowsill providing plenty of inspiration, but I knew I wanted the more traditional heart shaped leaves on my pincushion.  

Shamrock template ~ hand drawn
On some natural muslin, I drew out a few sets of leaves with a Micron pen.

Shamrock in Progress
Then I dug around in my crafting supplies to find some 26 gauge floral wire.  Never did I think I'd need wire cutters and pliers to do embroidery!  I shaped the wire around the outline and tacked it down to the muslin with some Nymo beading thread.  Then using 2 strands of DMC cotton embroidery floss, I did a row of blanket/buttonhole stitch around the outside, enclosing the wire.  

One Shamrock!
The insides of the leaves were filled in with more long and short stitches until the surface was completely covered.  

Soon there were two!  And then, there were three!  I added some lighter green veining to the leaves.  Now they are ready to be cut out.  This is the part I'm really anxious about!  But I can't wait to add them to my pincushion!  I decided not to do the smaller ones I had drawn, though I may change my mind later.  I think what surprised me most was how long it took to complete all three of the shamrocks.  In all, it took the better part of one entire day.  Enjoyable time though!  It's always a pleasure to sit and stitch on a project of one's own choosing!  

Miniature CQ framed

I also got one of my miniature crazy quilt pieces framed!  The frame is just 2" square with thin pieces of glass on both sides.  It rather squashes the stitches, but I sort of like the effect.  While I think the little frame is really meant to be used for jewelry purposes, it seems a bit larger than I would feel comfortable wearing that way ~ I'd be sure to break that glass into shards.  Instead, I've hung it on my wall for the time being, decorated with an organza ribbon! 

For the other small piece, I'm doing something a little different, which I hope to share with you soon!


Susan Elliott said…
The shamrocks are wonderful!!! I am thoroughly enjoying my visits here. Both your work and your photography are a joy to behold. It's like drinking a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day...I was happy to see the horned owl lurking about. I find myself wanting him to nest next to you again as well. The pincushions are each so very lovely. Looking forward to all that you create. xo Susan
It was lovely to see your shamrocks in process - stumpwork has intrigued me but I haven't mustered the courage to give it a go. Perhaps you've inspired me!
wendy said…
Your shamrocks turned out wonderful! I too would love to try stumpwork but am a bit intimidated by it all.
Suztats said…
Wonderful shamrocks! I've tried some stumpwork, but haven't yet used wire.
Judy said…
Your work is spectacular, Lisa. Love the shamrocks.
Gerry Krueger said…
Love your shamrocks ... they need a stumpwork ladybug nestled among them... If you back your cloth with fusible tricot KNIT interfacing cutting out is surefire...and when I have to pull wire from wired ribbon I save it to use on stumpwork...

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