Friday, 14 February 2014

Help! My flowers are flat!

It's Friday.  I'm so glad, this week has lasted forever.  I'd like to start out by saying thanks to new followers, it's great to have you along.  I'm still making my way through the Grow Your Blog party participants and trying not to scream at having to type nonsense after a lot of comments...  but I have found some great blogs that I otherwise may not have found, so it's been well worth it.

Now, I have a dilemma.  I'm after opinions and hopefully some advice on how to fix this.  I've been working on my crewel flowers.


As you can see, I've done quite a bit.  The stems are in stem stitch and the leaves are in long and short stitch.  But can you see the problem?


The stems and leaves just look flat.  The wools that came with the kit were in brownish shades of green, with some bizarre bright blue and grey blue leaves.  I decided to scrap the bizarre leaves and do the stems and leaves in a brighter, more natural green.  It seems I didn't pick greens with enough contrast, I was concentrating on blending the shades and didn't think about how flat it would look.


So what do I do?  Do I pick out all the lightest shade of green (to the left of the stems above) and restitch it?  It will be a nightmare to get out as crewel is not easy to unpick and I might ruin the other stitches.

Should I try and stitch over it in places with a lighter brownish-green thread?  If so, how much and which colour?

Is there another solution that I'm missing?

Or do I just sit and cry?

Well that was actually a quadlemma, not a dilemma, but your advice is MUCH appreciated.  One thing's for sure, I'm not starting this for a third time...


I always love these shots that skim the surface on other blogs, so thought I'd have a go!


Previous posts:


21 comments:

Purrfect Lady said...

Hi Wendy, I really like this piece but I can see what you mean about the leaves, now I know next to nothing about crewel work, but would it be possible to add highlights, or even lowlights with a single strand of embroidery floss oversewning the wool?
Lesley xxx

pennydog said...

To be fair I like it as it is, but if you really feel you have to do something, couldn't you highlight the left edge of all of the greenery with a lighter green so it looks like light shining from the left? Or the right if you prefer but I see this as a left light project ;)

Anna said...

They look great for me....
Have a nice day !
Anna

Quilt Musings said...

I don't know how to fix your quadlemma but I did want to say I think your surface skimming photo turned out awesome!!

Chrissie said...

I'd try a lighter shade, as it will be going overtop the other colours, so highlights would look more natural than a shadow shade on the top. Try it one a small section, at the bottom, so if you don't like it you can pick it out without noticeable damage. It is lovely, I'll keep my fingers crossed! Chrissie x

JoJo said...

They look nice to me, but if this were me, and I knew this project was never going to be washed or get wet, I'd use green magic markers or sharpies to 'dye' the greens that are already stitched. It's easier than ripping them out or going back over them with more floss or crewel yarn.

Sarah in Stitches said...

Ok, I know nothing about crewel work, and I had to stare at the pictures for a while to see what you were talking about...and I still don't see it. I think it looks pretty! I like the contrast of the greens against the blues. But if it really bothers you, I'm sure you'll find a good solution!

Sandra :) said...

My first thought too, was a strand of embroidery floss to add texture - then, for some reason, adding BEADS (??!!!) popped into my mind. Weird, eh? I was thinking about those long skinny hollow beads - maybe in a colour to almost (but not quite) match the existing threads, kind of tucked underish the threads ... crazy, I know - maybe I need some chocolate, LOL!

Vera said...

no idea how to fix it. it took me a while to figure out what you actually mean by flat :-)

SoCal Debbie said...

Your crewel stitching is so beautiful! I have never tried this since it looked so difficult to me. Thank you for visiting my blog! I'm a new follower of your blog now.

CeLynn said...

Sorry,I know nothing about crewel. Love the surface skimming photo.

Nancy Lee said...

Hi Wendy!
Maybe you could add a lighter colour of wool just randomly throughout the leaf area. You could also "tweed" a dark yarn with a light yarn (one strand each, blended and threaded on one needle) and randomly add to the leaf. If you don't over stitch the leaf, it will have a bit more texture. Hope this helps. It really does look quite lovely!

margaret said...

they look good to me but I rather like the idea of a bit of embroidery thread added as has been previously suggested. Unpicking could spoil the other stitches as you say it is not easy to unpick

Jessie's Needle said...

I think it looks ok, but how about edging the flowers in black, not very crewel bit it may make then stand out a bit more.
S xx

Jane Galley said...

I think you're being a bit too hard on yourself, they do look good, but from experience, if you're not happy with it then you need to do something.The easiest is probably to highlight on the one side as has been suggested

Celtic Thistle said...

I vote for the one-strand highlighting option too, although I think you are being hard on yourself too :)

Jillayne said...

I'm on the highlight side as well... i would do it by thinking of the plant as the sun hits it - the top and "outside" areas would get the sun first so I'd start there. Don't freak out at the first, second or third stitch - you really have to go all in to get the effect. If it comes out too light, add some dark in the back bits...
And finally, think about where you might put it when it's finished and go put it there now and decide - making decisions when considering the viewing distance is so important! If it won't be viewed from a distance f five feet, stand closer and make your decisions accordingly...
It's a beautiful piece Wendy, and well worth taking the time to get it how you want it to be - Bravo!!

moira said...

can't offer any advice as I have no idea about embroidery but it looks good to the untrained eye (I know that doesn't help!)

Kerryp77 said...

I think it looks really great, If you're really not happy, I'd go for the highlighting too.

sophie said...

Don't cry. I understand what you're saying, but the work you have done on this is beautiful. One thing I noticed is that the quiet quality of the leaves and stems is a nice contrast for your glowing flowers and I kind of like it. My first inclination would be to add highlights with floss. Even something as subtle as outlining the leaves and stems with white or a very light color on one side and black or another very dark color, would make it less "flat."

CathieJ said...

I don't think the stems and leaves look as bad as you think but if you must adjust I would find a color that would highlight one edge but do so with a light hand. I have only completed a few crewel pieces but that is what I would do for cross-stitch.