Summer is finally here, which means it's time to enjoy some Summer Bloggin' from a few wonderful guests! If you're anything like the &Stitches team, you probably enjoy a bit of other needlecrafts along with your embroidery; today, Allegory from A Thousand Needles will share a fun way to combine patchwork and embroidery. Thanks for joining us, Allegory!
Allegory isn't sure which she has more of: Halloween fabric or to-do lists. And no matter how much time she spends in her studio, both keep growing.
Normally, if anyone asks what I do, the word 'quilter' is the first thing out of my mouth; but there is no denying that I love needlework. I try to always have an embroidery and a cross-stitch project in the works at all times.
Although my love of needlework gets pushed to the back burner during most of the year, it becomes my foremost obsession during the summer.
I love how portable it is. I love the look of bright stitches in the sun.
And (living in the Southern U.S.) I certainly love not being smothered under a layer of batting during any part of the embroidery process.
My favorite project this summer starts with a bit of quilting but the embroidery makes the project shine.
Dresden blocks are beautiful but I've always felt like the basic method of applique was a wasted stitching opportunity. Why hide stitches when I could feature them?
I started with a black and white Dresden leftover from a previous project:
For projects like this, I like to use Perle cotton. I'm a fan of chunky stitches. Three strands of embroidery floss would work just as well. Pick three (or more!) of your favorite colors. I used rose, orange and a variegated aqua.
Stabilize the Dresden with a couple of standard pins.
I chose a herringbone stitch to run along every other seam to start. I'm using the seam as my bottom guide line of stitching for this piece. You could center the stitch as well.
For variety, I alternated each row of herringbone with a standard running stitch.
French knots work perfectly in a piece like this as well. You can see in the photo above that I filled my center circle with knots instead of appliqueing a fabric circle.
My favorite detail is the knots that secure each point of the Dresden. I started the knot by bringing the needle straight up through the point. Then when anchoring the knot you tuck your stitch just over the edge of your fabric.
Using embroidery stitches on a Dresden block has endless possibilities. For my piece, I used only three stitches but I see many more embroidered Dresden pieces in my future:
A different stitch for every seam.
Smaller Dresden plates with embroidered stems to create flowers.
Or even a Dresden made out of solid fabrics with the Garden Path Sampler stitches used to fill each wedge.
I think I need to sew up a few more Dresden plates...
If you stitch up a Dresden of your own, don't forget to add it to the &Stitches Flickr Group! Thank you to the lovely &Stitches ladies for having me over to guest post. Happy stitching!