July's Block for CQJP 2015

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. 

French knot grapes or they could be clusters of flowers too!

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.  


NickiLee said…
Lisa, Your stitching is insanely beautiful! I love the little red flowers - really set the block for me. Are you still keeping your journal of stitches? That my friend is worth its weight in gold!
Beth in IL said…
Nice job! Love this block.
Anonymous said…
Regarding your comment about the proper direction to wind a bullion knot: I believe the determining factor is whether you are using an S or a Z twist thread. The Brazilian embroidery threads are Z twist, and most other threads are S twist. But I have not worked with bullions or Brazilian threads enough to understand which thread should be wrapped clockwise or which should be wrapped counterclockwise. In any case, your block is very nicely done. I particularly appreciated your critique of your own work. It revealed considerations that did not occur to me. --terryb
Mãos e manias said…
This are the most beautiful blocks i´ve ever see! Great stitches! Excelent work! This is a inspiration for me! whaouuu!
Another fantastic block, so many different stitches, so interesting.

I like the 'grapes' thought they were flowers, like wisteria, and the red ribbon flowers too.

Bouillon stitches are hard. When I first tried them, I could not figure out how to make them by reading directions. I asked DH what I was doing wrong. Gave him the book, he then picked up the needle and thread and proceeded to create one. Bless his heart! He was an artist and loved creating in many mediums.

You asked about the placement of the block. To me the first picture looks right, as the 'grapes' and red flowers are pointing more or less down, and the medallion is at the top. It looks like the sun, shining on the flowers below it.

Happy Stitching and thanks so much for sharing and writing up your post for us all to enjoy and be inspired by.

Marilyn said…
Hi Lisa. Here is a link to a page with the explanation for which way to wind the stitches. http://www.brazilian-dimensional-embroidery.org/stitch_instructions.htm
Hope it helps
SallytotheMax said…
So beautiful! I particularly appreciate your thoughts on your own work. It helps me in the learning process, and I'm learning so much from your work!
Anonymous said…
Magnifique comme toujours, tout est parfait, rien n'a l'air d'être laissé au hasard,
chaque détail est soigneusement étudié, J'adore
traderslostart said…
Absolutely ❤ it Lisa . . . But then there isn't anything that you create that I don't love.
Your stitching is magnificent and this block is stunning.
God Bless you always
suz said…
Your work is breathtaking! You give so much thought to what you add and everything you do ends up just perfect! You are a remarkable artist.
Gerry Krueger said…
The multilayer seam is my favorite also... Whenever I do bullions I think of watching Sharon Boggins do them in seconds... I find for me the thread makes a huge difference. My favorite for bullions is the pearl cotton from Thread Art. This series is such a joyous celebration of color...

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