The snowflake cushion top is finished...
...but I’m not sure I’ll use it for a cushion. Perhaps a seasonal wall hanging. I stopped short at the border of French knots and straight stitches, I felt it was gilding the lily.
This was an interesting project, a mix of history, materials and technique. You can read my earlier posts about candlewicking here. I used this kit as a practice piece, playing with stitch lengths and really getting a feel for stitching with cotton string on plain muslin.
Like they are found in nature, each snowflake I stitched is different – some feature tiny backstitches for the straight lines:
Others have longer straight stitches for more dramatic lines (those tiny backstitches were getting a bit tedious!):
I need to rinse this piece a few more times to dissolve the water-soluble blue pattern lines. But you can still see the rustic effect of string and simple muslin fabric. I suspect the exact same pattern with traditional embroidery floss would have a much smoother finish and overall delicate look. I wonder which I would prefer?
I was desperate to complete this kit so that I could move on to something I really wanted to try: candlewicking with a contemporary design, on fabric of my choosing. I had some vintage French linen towelling fabric in my stash, so I cut a small hand towel size and hemmed the edges. Then I doodled a familiar pattern:
You might recognise the style – these are some of Carina’s blossoms, from her book Stitched Blooms. But these little pretties are a far cry from the book’s bright palette:
Carina is the Queen of Colour, but since I first saw this book I was curious to see the flowers in simple cotton whites.
I love the textures! I used a tight grouping of French knots for the centre of the flower, stem stitch for the tendrils, and back stitch for the petals and leaves. The tactile weave of the linen, the soft, thick outlines of the cotton string...the neutral colour really plays to the overall effect.
Now this is more my style...I’ll finish this and try a few more of these “contemporary candlewicking” projects!
What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!