May 3, 2010

BaRK (URU: Update)

Lot's going on here at the Lily patch.....  work continues on the kitchen of the Lily patch, a 55th birthday weekend, trying out screen printing methods for putting designs on fabric, and lastly, the Plum trunk was put in over the weekend.

We stayed up late last night to finish work on the Ume trunk.  I can't believe how much adding this feature has changed the whole piece.

Details on how I worked the trunk - step by step:  Used my handy blue pencil and drew in various cracks and crevices.  Twisted up a whole bunch of 2:1 medium twist.  Used a ton of colors and none of the twisted threads were one color - they were all mixed.  Here's a shot of the spools although I think there were 3 next to my awl when this was taken....
Chose to pretwist as many threads as possible so that I could just stitch putting in the shading where my eye chose instead of stitch then twist, stitch then twist, etc.  At first I laid in the cracks and crevices with a darker shade including some grey.  Due to placement of the tree I actually sitting at the top of picture below and working darkest to lightest and bottom to top.
I filled in the bottom of the trunk first.  I used a packed outline stitch as my technique of choice.  Mentally I divided the trunk into three parts of dark/medium/light stitching.  The bottom is the darkest and worked first:
Middle was medium and the top worked lightest.  My focus was to really concentrate on the shading as the there is so much shading on Uguisu and the Ume blossoms.

As you can see by the pictures, had lots of needles going at anyone time.  URU looked awfully hairy but it was great to be able to pick up and work a section in one color, park it, work another.

I think I'm going to add the use of thicker and thinner twisted threads for future trees/bark.  The cracks should probably have a thicker twist which will replicate a bumpy appearance.  The flat parts a thinner twist which will make it look finer.  I think what I've stitched works well on URU though.

Here he is this morning:

Almost finished:  Need to put in a couple more floating petals and then the stamens.  Ah, the stamens unless you think the Ume do not need them...

Hope you have a great stitching week!

Christa, Lilystitch and


  1. Wow, it just gets better with each element. The trunk really does make a difference, it anchores that side of the design (hark at me, sounding like I know what I'm talking about!).

    I think there is great movement up the branch along Mr Uguisu, then the cord to the fan. Carefull placement of some more floating petals will enhance that. Do you take a photocopy and doodle on that before deciding where to place them?

  2. Fabulous. I've said before, I can't belive such a sophisticated design came out of our simple JE deign challenge. I love how the trunk has turned out, you could also add a mix of katayori and ordinary twists for future branches, that would add to the texture.
    I think the ume are fine as they are without stamens, I've seen them with and without so you could leave them out.
    Great work.

  3. WOW! Looks great! This is a well - thought out piece. The colors compliment each other and the design is balanced. Great work!
    Happy Stitchin'...
    An encyclopedia of needlepoint stitches…

  4. Just lovely and working the trunk with so many needles! Great idea!


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