Garden Path - Jacket - Part V
I'm finally starting the applique process and to begin, I need to start working on the flowers in the back. The hollyhocks, because they are the tallest flowers, in my mind's eye as I see this garden are in the back, thus need to be appliqued first.
So far, I've made a few test hollyhocks. I'm very happy with the petal templates in both sizes and the pink color. The centers are the thing that concerns me the most. The stems and buds seem fine - the bud could be a bit larger and still needs details, but that is an easy fix compared to the flower centers. I still need to deal with the leaves, but again that should be easy.
I'm trying to get the right look for the darker pink centers. As you can see, I have tried thread painting and the Fabricmate dye pens. Each as advantages and disadvantages. The thread shading/painting looks nice, helps to hold the flowers on, and draws the flowers up just a little for dimension, but is very, very stiff even with using a special very thin thread in the bobbin specifically designed to be used in the bobbin. Generally, that's what happens - either with embroidery or very dense quilting - the more thread in the piece, the stiffer and denser it becomes. The pens are easy to use, I can shade exactly where I want to, but would still have to tack the flower down somehow.
Hollyhock with heavy thread shading at center, pen shading at the top in the wrong color:
Hollyhock with heavy thread shading at center, glittery thread and pen (together, a bit much):
I'm thinking the best course of action is to do a hybrid, combining a little sparkly thread to hold the petals down with the pen to add the proper amount of shading. The stitching helps to keep the petals in place, but is not dense enough to be stiff or to be difficult when stitching beads and sequins. Here's the best hollyhock thus far, not shown at the beginning of the post and with scissors for scale:
I'm not 100% with the flower yet, but this is the best one I've made. I've also modified the sequined center a bit and found Swarovski beads at my local bead shop to match the center sequins. It still needs some work before the final version, but this is a good start.
Parting Shot. No Patience. I knew it, as soon as I posted about my poor irises, they sent forth buds. I am not patient enough. At least I'll have flowers, though!