Monday, March 22, 2010

BDEIG RR and TAST 2010

The next Round Robin that I received was from Maureen.  She had found a very cute embroidered pillow pattern that she she thought would be nice done in BDE instead of flat embroidery.  Here is a photo of  the way the original  pattern had been done.   The pitcher and flowers were colored with crayons and then outlined in chain stitch, with just a couple flowers done in dimensional embroidery.

She asked that we add all of our flowers with BDE.   When I got Maureen's project, two other participants had added some wonderful flowers.  They had added wonderful flowers.  I wish I'd written down the names of them so that I could share them with you.  Most were pastel shades, but there were some tiny deep wine ones, too.  I decided to add flowers and leaves in the area that had the large flowere on the original pattern.  I decided to use a deep wine and a pink to balance out the color of the small flowers in wine.  The flowers that I added are called "Joan's Rose".  I found the directions to make it in the book, "Brazilian Embroidery 101" by Cheryl Schuler.  This flower is made using bullion stitches to make the center with cast-on petals surrounding them.  I made mine with Lola and the leaves with Iris.  I improvised a bud that I thought looked good with the flower.

This is how they fit in with the rest of the project.  I liked the way they looked with the flowers that had been added previously.  I then added a vintage button for the row at the bottom. I look forward to seeing the entire bouquet of flowers once it's completed.
I finally got time to work on the second TAST 2010 challenge from Sharon Boggon.  The stitch was the knotted Loop Stitch that she'd found in the book A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2.  I first did the stitch as the directions stated.  I tried it in a smaller, closer scale and liked that.  Trying it in a circle was interesting, but I didn't keep my stitch dimensions too even.  I think it might be easier on regular fabric, rather than on Aida cloth.  The wavy sample might work for great seaweed or something.  My very favorite was repeating the one side of the stitch in the same hole.  This produced a fan shape that would make a wonderful seam treatment or, if done on a larger scale and embellished, will make a great motif.  I'll try these two on a crazy quilt patch and post it at the end of the month.

If you'd like to find out more about Sharon Boggon's TAST ( Take a Stitch ) for 2010 check out her blog

Thursday, March 18, 2010

BDEIG Round Robin & TAST 2010

I'm involved in a few things right now and I'll try to post the progress of all of them in my blog. As I've mentioned in a prior post, I'm involved in this year's BDEIG Round Robin.  I've shown you one of the projects that I've worked I'll show you the second one that winged it's way to my doorstep. This one belonged to Kathie W.  She sent a denim vest that she'd apparently used as her RR project last year, too, because there was already some beautiful work done on it when I got it and I was only the second person to work on it this year.  Here are some of the things that had already been stitched on it.  What lovely work!
All of these flowers were done using pretty basic BDE stitches....It's fun seeing how these stitches are combined to make so many different flowers.  I especially loved the flowers on the left side of the picture.  Here is a little closer picture of them:
I later found our that they had been added the year beforeby Jan K. who comes before me in this year's RR.   She does lovely work.  If you click on the picture, you
will be able to see that beads are added into the stitches that make up the outer petals of the flower.  I loved that!  Her additon to the vest for this year was added to the left front of the vest.  Again, she added beads into the flowers....this time pearls.  What a wonderful look! 
I contacted her to find out the name of the flower and she told me it was "Dingle Berries".  She said she'd
learned it in a class at last year's BDEIG seminar while doing a design called "Spring Blossoms into Summer" by MBE Designs.  It sounded very familiar to me, so I looked through my patterns and (what are the chances) I had it and the instructions for the Dingle Berries!  I was so happy.  Now I can't wait to work up that design soon! 
I decided to add my addition on the opposite front side of Kathie's vest.  What could I add that would balance Jan's wonderful additon.  I started searching to see if I could find another flower with beads added to it.  I'm sure more experienced BDEer's could figure out how to add them to just about any flower they want to, but being rather new to this form of embroidery, I felt that I needed some direction in this effort.  Well, I found it.  The BDEIG sends out a wonderful newsletter to it's members called "The BE Wrap-Up" and there are several wonderful educational pages in it each month where designers offer patterns and instructions.  I look forward to getting my "Wrap-Up each month to see what new techniques have been offered.  Well, in the May 2009 issue, Patricia Carefoot of Patricia's Brazilian Beauties gave us the instructions for Pat's Flower.  At first, I thought it might look too similar to Jan's last year's addition on the back of the vest, but after a closer look, the flowers were different enough in the way they were made.  What fun I had making this spray of Pat's Flowers. The flowers were made using Iris rayon thread by EdMar Threads.  There were already a couple bullion roses in this area of the vest that had been made by a past RR participant, so I decided to use similar colors so they could blend. The stems and beaded leaves were made first and then the flowers were  made by adding several cast-on stitch petals around ivory bullion stemans.  Beads were added into the stitches on the outer petals.  You can probably see this better in the close-up picture.
I think that my "Pat's Flower" arrangement balanced the pazzazz of Jan's "Dingle Berries" on the other side, while still leaving room next to them for someone else to add their magic, too.   Don't you? 
I hope Kathie likes my addition to her vest.  I'm pleased with it.  I can't wait to see what everyone else adds.
I'm wondering what everyone is adding to mine, too!

I've joined the group participating in Sharon Boggon's TAST 2010.  This stands for Take A Stitch Tuesdays.
Sharon Boggon, who is a fantastic textile artist from Australia, who unselfishly shares her extraordinary talent with each of us on the net by way of her blog "Pin Tangles", her stitch dictionary, and by starting the online group, Stitchin Fingers......a message board for all types of textile artists...of all levels of expertise.
She offers some type of challenge on her blog each year to push and inspire all of us to "stretch" ourselves.  This is the second year she has offered the TAST.  Each Tuesday, she offers the instructions for a stitch and encourages those participating to work the stitch and then try using it in different ways....experiment with it.  She started her new TAST on the first Tuesday in March.  We were on vacation, so I'm just now playing catch up as she has just introduced the 3rd stitch.   I've decided that I will work each of the stitches from this month, try them a few different ways, and then at the end of each month show how I've used them on some project....probably a crazy quilting project.  The first stitch for week 1 was the Diamond Stitch.   I found it to not be a difficult stitch....once you got the hang of the looping the thread over and under your needle to make the knots.  I made my samples on 25 count linen with #12 Finca Pearl cotton. On the left, is the first row that I did.  Not very even, but I was just getting the hang of it.  I then tried it around the side of a small circle that I drew with an air erasable pen....that has some possabilies that I'll explore more.  I wanted to try it in a smaller scale....I liked it, so I tried it again, but increased the width of the stitches and then decreased them again...making a stylized diamond shape.  I can really see repeating this in a row to make an interesting crazy quilt seam treatment. 
Tonight, I'll try the Week 2 stitch and post my results tomorrow night, as well as one more BDEIG RR project addition.  I'm going to try to link this to Sharon's site, but if I can't figure it out, here is her blog address

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

As many of you might be thinking that BDE is too hard or too detailed for you, I thought that I'd post pictures of my very first BDE project.  The one below was done during my first BDE class that I took at a Crazy Quilt Retreat in Omaha a couple of years ago.  It was taught by Rita Goff.  I had done embroidery since I was young, but I fell in love with the beautiful look that the rayon threads give BDE and the way wonderful combination of stitches become beautiful flowers.  Let me assure you....if I can do it, so can you!
After taking that class, I decided to join the Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery International Guild.  Unfortunately, there are no local chapters in our state.  I found a cyber chapter on line, but it wasn't very active.  Rita Goff to the rescue.  We convinced her to lead an online class where we would all do the same pattern, while she would be there to answer questions and help us along.  The kit was "Circle of Flowers".
This is my finished project.  I added a stylized "S" in the center of mine.  Remember, you can click on any picture to see more detail.  I hope I'm "wetting your appetite" to try BDE!

BDE Round Robin - The first Robin to land

The first "robin" that I received was from Jan.  She sent a blue blouse that she'd added BDE Cast-on stitch flowers with lazy daisy outer petals  and lazy daisy leaf sprays on the collars. Her flowers were in mauve, dusty pink, violet, and a deep blue. Her only request was that we try to keep our additions to the blouse in these color families and not go below the bust line of the blouse. 

I decided to add a spray of bullion roses to the upper right bodice area.   If you've never made bullion roses, there is an excellent tutoral at  as well as general stitch directions on the BDEIG site.  Just remember that the direction that you wind your stitches is reversed when you use rayon "z" twist thread than when you use "s" twist thread like cotton, silk,or note what thread is being used in any instructions or videos. If you wrap your threads the wrong way, the twist of your thread will unwind and flatten and not make a pretty stitch.

I first stitched the stems using the stem stitch.....again lifting the thread above my stitch line, because I was using rayon.  Leaves were added next.  I then made dusty rose colored bullion roses of different sizes by adding more or less rows of bullion stitches, adding more wraps as the petals increased in length.  Tiny buds were added and then calyx.  Fine growth was added with couching stitches and then small blue beads for little accent flowers.  I decided that I wanted to bring some of the violet color into the composition, so added a butterfly made with cast on stitches to finish my addition to Jan's blouse before sending it on it's way to the next person in the RR.

Here is a picture of the blouse with Jan's original work on it and mine.  I was pleased with how they blended, but were still individual.  I hope she likes it as much as I did.

I sure enjoyed working on Jan's project.  I'm fairly new to BDE and being part of a Round Robin is a great way to "stretch" yourself.  It brings you new challenges each month and makes you work on items that you may never have thought of doing yourself it teaches you to adapt to new situations.  You improve, too, as you want to do the very best that you can on someone elses items.   If you haven't tried should!  Round Robins are offered in all types of needlework and quilting.....even cyber RRs on ElectricQuilt designing cyber quilts!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A BDE Round Robin

I am finally getting going on this blog! When you get to be my age, anything technical takes 10 times longer to accomplish! Now, give me a needle and thread and I'm off to the races! So, as I work out more of the bugs, I thought I'd blog about a BDE Round Robin that I'm involved in.

For those of you that don't know what BDE stands for, it's Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery. This is a special type of hand embroidery that produces wonderful dimensional effects, especially when stitching flowers. It was developed by a woman in Brazil in 1960, but isn't really a Brazilian needlecraft. BDE is most often done using rayon embroidery threads like those sold under the EdMar name brand. Their threads come in eight different styles and weights and are "z" twist difference to the "s" twist of silk and cotton embroidery threads. There are purists out there that believe it isn't BDE unless it's done with rayon ...... they may be right. The illumination and sheen of the rayon thread produces that special quality that BDE is known for. That said, I will, also, say that all of the techniques and instructions for BDE can be done in other threads like silk, cotton, and wool.......they will just not have the luster that rayon thread produces and any instructions must be modified to allow for the difference in the twist of the thread.

A good place to find out more about BDE is at the Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery International Guild site There are instructions for many of the stitches, as well as samples of finished pieces and some free patterns. Click on the information about the upcoming seminar to see some beautiful samples of finished pieces offered as classes this year. Great eye candy! More samples of project can be found by looking at the finished items of kits and patterns being offered by a variety of BDE designers at BDE is a nice additon to many types of projects such as crazy quilting, sane quilting, clothing, and home decor.

Now that you know what BDE is, I'd like to share some projects that I've worked on the last few months while participating in a Round Robin with a group through the Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery International Guild. There are eight of us in this particular Round Robin group. Each of us had to decide on a project we wanted to have the other ladies work on. It could be anything that BDE could be done on.....within size and weight restrictions due to postage and mailing. Items like shirts, vests, pillow covers, wallhangings, etc. are popular items. The project is then sent from person to person to be worked on, until it finally returns to it's o
riginal owner....thus the name Round Robin!

Since this was my first BDE RR, I wasn't just sure what to send. I had a purse pattern that had an interchangable flap. I decided to send a flap around for a blue denim purse and another one in natural colored denim. Each of us were to do some stitching on our own project and then send it on to the first person on our list. I decided to work on the natural colored denim purse flap. I wanted the other ladies to help me produce a summer flower garden across the flap. I began the garden with a group of Hollyhocks in the center. They were made using buttonhole stitches and detached buttonhole stitches to produce dimension to the flowers. It will be fun seeing what flowers the other ladies "plant" in my purse flap garden as it makes it's round.