Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vintage CQ...Flower #19

Working with Ann Cox's book, A-Z of Silk Ribbon Flowers, has been a revelation.
Not that I have dived very deeply as yet, but there are some key concepts here that are going to change the way I do floral embellishments from here on out.

In the book, she divides her different floral renditions according to the degree of difficulty: easy, hard, and most complicated! (My words, not hers.)
I chose an easy one for my first attempt, the aster.

We have perennial asters growing all over the place and I have always loved that flower, too.

So I gathered my materials here....A small vase of some asters, the book and block, some ribbon, beeswax, needles, threads, Dye-Na-Flow, brush....and off I went.

I normally do not like to mark patterns on my embellishment surface, especially in non-removable gelpen ink! But I was trying to follow the directions for once, so I marked my pattern. (Any marks that would end up showing could be covered with black permanent marker, anyways. An old trick!)

The main stem had nine strands of floss. Ann suggests running them through beeswax to get them to form a cohesive line.
Great idea, I never thought of that! You can use dry soap for this too, evidently.
The stems are couched with a few stitches.

I did not have the 2mm silk ribbon called for to use as the petals. And it would have been more aster-like. But that's ok...this 4mm is from RiverSilks. It is already hand-dyed, but Ann's method--and the part that is SO great to me--is that you overdye the ribbon once it is in place. She gives lots of technical tips for how to do this, too.
Now I want to overdye every ribbon flower I ever make!

In the aster example, she just called for a slightly darker magenta painted from the center to about halfway out the petals' lengths.

It is subtle, but can you see the difference?

For the flowers' centers, she was very specific about starting with three strands of floss, two green one yellow, in a 3 wrap French knot, then graduate to two yellows and one green strand, in a smaller knot, to a single strand of yellow in a one wrap knot.
It makes for a more believable flower, doesn't it?
This was a great first exercise....

My husband loves Shirley poppies. Ann ranks her version at the medium level of difficulty, but I think I will be brave and try them next week...

23 comments :

Kay said...

Lovely! Those sound like amazingly complete directions.

Aida Costa said...

That turned out wonderfully! It's so vibrant :) And I agree that the slight shading really adds something.

I'll have to check my library for this book, it sounds fantastic.

Janie said...

Amazing Ali, and you make it look SO easy!

Deb H said...

Another great job. I clicked on the image to get a closer look, & it was so clear that I tried to remove the cat hair from my screen! I thought it was Broccoli's! LOL

The subtle shading really does bring life to the flowers, & I like the simple method of the 9 strand couched stem.

Conni said...

So beautiful! The shading really adds depth - and I love your knots in the centers. Gotta get that book!

Maureen said...

Those asters are amazing! Maureen

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Gorgeous and the overdyeing does make a lovely difference, but subtle too. Guess I have another book to add to my wish list!

FredaB said...

Hi Allie

You did a great job. the small hints sometimes are what really makes a difference. I saw this book a couple of weeks ago but am trying to hold off so I wil have a few things to put on my christmas list. I have her others.

I miss you posting every day but know how busy you are. Now I look forward to Allie's thursday post.

Hugs

FredaB

Debra said...

Very pretty!

Barbara C said...

Just lovely. I'm going to have to look into getting that book. Blending threads is not something I've seen covered in other cq books I've read.

Jean said...

So, tell us what cause them to look more like "real petals"? They don't look like ribbon like the upper photo... is it because the hand dyeing makes them moist? Or do you hand dye them with pens? They almost look as if they have been pressed some how or another. Wonderful! So sweet!

Plays with Needles said...

I love the idea of painting the petals once the flower is stitched and I could definitely see the difference once you did that. My fave pic is the first one, with the asters as inpsiration and the basket full of blocks...it was nice to see the block in scale compared to the book...I had forgotten how small they are. This book looks absolutely wonderful -- thanks for sharing it.

Rian said...

Absolutely gorgeous! The overdyeing idea is inspired.

Judy S. said...

Beautiful work, Allie. These little asters definitely signal fall to me and to my surprise, were blooming all over the Southwest high desert as we drove from place to place as well as here at home! The A-Z books are so helpful; I have the one on the bullion stitch.

JoWynn Johns said...

It's in the details, isn't it? The final over-dyeing and the number and color of floss strands. Definitely makes for a beautiful result. And what fun to do!

Lisa said...

gorgeous!

Summerset said...

Very pretty - the extra bit of color really lends a nice touch to the flowers.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

My book is in transit, and I'm excited. Wish I'd had it when I did my September CQ heart last year - it's showing on my Freebies blog right now, as 'tis the month. (great color). I did have the 2mm ribbon, and it made it easier.

Anonymous said...

It's my birthday flower! Beautifully done, Allie. We're headed for the coast down the Oregon side of the gorge. I'll wave!

Shogun said...

I love those asters. Can't wait to see the poppies.

Eva Mari said...

How beautiful! Now I have to add yet another book to my ever increasing wishing list.. But that's fine!
Thank you so much for great inspirations!!
Hugs from me :D

meg said...

Gorgeous! I love the way you show the progression. It really pops! So lush, the colors so rich.How goes the book, or should I ask?

Gerry Krueger said...

I just had to order the book and hope it gets here soon. I've had some good results with putting alcohol dyes on stitching and fabric so anxious to see what is in this book. The asters are spectacular...

Gerry Krueger
http://olderrose.blogspot.com