July's block is completed! I also have to say that it isn't one of my favorites. I can't decide if it should be oriented this direction...
Or this way.
My critique of this block includes the following thoughts. The two light patches are too light. I should have used a much darker element for at least one of them. The little dark green vine helped, but wasn't quite enough to balance with the darks on the rest of the block.
The mandalla motif should have either been complete or left at just half and stayed within it's patch.
The central motif has the two longest branches going off at right angles to one another. It probably would have looked better if the angle had been wider.
On most blocks, I don't tear much out, but I tore out at least three different seam starts on this block trying to make things work!
This is one of my favorite seams on the block. The darker ribbon helps balance the block. I had to add the little flower on the upper right as it was too much of a bare spot and looked glaringly empty.
Bullion knots have never been easy for me, but I keep working at theism. Getting more even, but I need to research how to get more consistent results. I've heard that what direction you wind the thread on the needle should change depending on what brand of thread you are using, but for the life of me, I can't remember what those guidelines are!
This little patch is bordered by a simple fly-stitch seam and a zig-zag chain stitch with beads.
I love this seam! Although it is one that I started with a different color thread that got lost in the fabric, so got torn out and redone. You can also see the couched chenille seam that I did. below it. I hadn't planned on adding beads to it, but the chenille wouldn't stay put and I couldn't come up with another method of holding it in place that I liked.
I left the purple and pink patch until the last as I knew it was going to be hard to balance it with the rest of the block as it was just so dark comparatively. Some lovely sunflowers and a vine gave it just the right brightness against the dark fabric and brought into balance with the block.
The troublesome mandalla - first element I stitched on this block after the rick-rack. I like it but it was really hard to work around and make it balance with the rest of the elements.
The rick-rack seam.
The lower left seam is composed almost entirely of fly-stitch, which is one I rarely use. Love how this turned out, but it's one of the seams that I had to rip out and re-do. I stitched it first in a variegated pink/yellow thread and it just got lost.
A little floral seam using buttonhole stitch to create little bluebells.
These blocks all have a troublesome little corner. Most of the time, I've carried stitching into this corner from another seam treatment, but this time, I added a bit dark orange with a silk ribbon bow.
The center element was inspired by one I saw stitched with wool. I wanted to see how it translated with cotton embroidery thread. I discovered that adding some padding under the outer petals really helped give it more depth and interest.