Oooh, I like this one even better than the first! I've completed my second embellished block, this time using the classic feather stitch. This block was a little more time intensive, mostly because the stitch uses a lot of thread, necessitating frequent stopping and starting to end off and re-thread the needle. Also, I've needed to use somewhat shorter lengths of perle cotton as it starts to get a little raggedy from the friction of pulling it through the cotton quilt block. But still, only a couple of hours around the perimeter.
I was happy to hear that a number of you liked this treatment and are now considering it for current projects. I thought I'd share the reference books I'm using and why I like them. I have a few embroidery books in my library but these two are my favorites for this project. The Dorothy Bond book is chock full of drawings of basic stitches with many variations and fancy combinations of them. I'll highlight these in a later post. For what I'm doing now, four blocks with the curvy outline, I prefer the J. Marsha Michler book.
Here's why. Do you see that broken guide line behind the stitch illustrations? I'm finding that is key for me as I try to follow my wavy pattern around the wagon wheel. Without it, it's very difficult to eye proportions as the line of embroidery curves up and down. By using the broken line in the drawing as a visual reference, I was able to move along at a pretty good pace, albeit after a couple of false starts.
Of course, there are numerous embroidery reference sites online, Pinterest being a great place to start hunting. I found loads of examples by searching 'embroidery stitches' and 'crazy quilt stitches', although, as often happens, I wasted a good bit of time, trolling endless links, when what I needed was right on my own bookshelf.
This is how the quilt looks so far, though I'm finding it difficult to get an accurate photo of this project. If there's any light on it, the black background washes out and if I darken it up a bit, the white sections and red floss seem to glow. If I reduce the light in the room, details lose definition. The overall look is more subtle. I hope that as I continue to photograph my progress, I'll figure out how to better capture it. As always, you can click any of the photos for a closer look.