During the past 2 weeks I have done some work on the crewel work design, slightly hampered by a sore thumb, a busy couple of weeks and the record breaking hot weather we have enjoyed over the past week. However, I did manage to do some of the work most of it being done twice! I started with the leaves at the base of the tree using a mixture of stem stitch and chain stitch. When I came to doing the branch for the robin to sit on I hit a couple of problems - firstly, the mixture of colours I chose was wrong, too light and too similar to the leaf on that side, secondly, I wasn't sure how to stitch around the feet of the bird. I managed to sort out the colours myself but left the rest of the stitching until I could ask for advice from the tutors - now I know what to do. The trunk of the tree is stitched using raised stem stitch - here you can see the base stitches which it will be woven on.
I also tried to do the upper petal on the flower, filling it with the trellis pattern but realised when I had done it that it looked too heavy, too solid and the columns of stitching looked wrong - so out it came and again I waited until I went to Rugby to ask advice about how to position the stitches to get a more balanced effect.
When I was in Rugby we looked at how to finish the flower on the right - I worked the upper trellis to get the positioning correct, started to fill the end petals with pearl stitch, the pink solid petals with fishbone stitch graduating from dark to light at the tips. The small outer petals are edged with a dark green thread which is couched down, then a row of scroll stitch fills the inner shape of the petal.
Here you can see the flower in more detail.
It is surprising how slowly it takes shape - I have lots of works to do for homework in order to finish this flower, the branch the robin is sitting on and then to start the other flower. We are also talking about adding a third, smaller flower at the top of the design to balance it more. Now it's back to the stitching ...