Advent Calendar 2019 – No. 9

Shepherd (2)

The embroidery starts with the hair. Because I want thick, coarse hair, it is worked with Slanting Wide Stem stitches (coton à broder No. 16). First, all strands up from the part point are worked.

Then additional strands are worked between. Next the facial outline,

the outlines of the hand and of the shoe, and the underlay for the stick were embroidered (all with coton à broder No.16).

The Chain stitches were covered with Satin stitches (2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton). The shoulder of the outer coat was worked with Satin stitches (2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton). All remaining outlines were embroidered with Slanting Wide Stem stitches (coton à broder No. 16).

Limet grids were established (staggered) in both the sleeve and the coat.

The coat got a filling pattern (coton à broder No.20) similar to filling pattern 469, but this time with Rose stitches between the Satin stitches instead of Double Back stitches.

The sleeve was embroidered with the pattern diagonal step over one plot (Wickelstiche page 22).

Advent Calendar 2019 – No. 8

Shepherd (1)

No hair is seen on this shepherd. So embroidery starts with the hat, to be more precise the brim of the hat. It is worked with Slanting Wide Stem stitches (coton à broder No. 16).

Then the crown of the hat and the facial outlines are stitched.

So that the filling pattern of the coat can line up in both sections on either side of the stick, one horizontal thread reaching into both sections was withdrawn.

From there the grid will be established later.

As an underlay, Chain stitches (coton à broder No. 20) were worked in the stick. These stitches will be covered with Satin stitches (2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton).

The outlines of the hands were stitched with wrapped Back stitches (2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton),

and the outlines of the coat were worked with Slanting Wide Stem stitches (coton à broder No. 16).

From the previously withdrawn thread, the Limet grid was established.

It may happen that the small thread ends remaining under the Stem stitches were withdrawn by accident. This compromises the stability of the Stem stitches. To avoid this, the thread withdrawing is done along the same line only in both sections to the left and to the right of the stick.

In both the adjacent sections of the coat

and the sleeve section threads are withdrawn staggered to the adjacent section one or two threads. The same is also valid for the withdrawal of the vertical threads.

All sections of the coat were embroidered with filling pattern No. 549.

To familiarize yourself with the pattern, it is good to start with long rows and to fill small sections later.

The unobtrusive pattern is well suited to the coat of a shepherd. If one does not like it, one can also use the One-pattern (Wickelstiche).

The shoes were embroidered with Blanket stitches (coton à broder No.16). The brim of the hat was filled with Satin stitches (2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton). The crown of the hat was embroidered with close 1-thread weaving (Early Schwalm Whitework).

Advent Calendar 2019 – No. 7

Sheep (2)

For the standing sheep, again begin with the ear. Here I underlaid the Satin stitches with Chain stitches (coton à broder No. 20),

to get a padded appearance. The legs were filled with short and long stitches.

After getting its fleece, this sheep looks good.

On another sheep, I outlined the legs with Stem stitches and filled only the hoof sections with some stitches.

This variant is also acceptable.

In a third sheep, I outlined the legs with wide Stem stitches (coton à broder No. 16).

This version is too coarse looking.

As you can see, there are many different possibilities in the arrangement of the flock of sheep.

Advent Calendar 2019 – No. 6

Sheep (1)

When embroidering the sheep, begin with the ear using Satin stitches (2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton) – work from the bottom of the ear to the top.

Next, the facial outline and the tail are worked.

Depending on whether the sheep should get thick wool on the head or something else, one starts outlining directly on the face or at the back of the head.

If a leg is visible, the lower leg is covered with Satin stitches (2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton).

Next, we must work its fleece. I have embroidered the same motif as a wall hanging before. At the time I used curved Bullion Knot stitches (Early Schwalm Whitework). This time I want to use the finished piece as tablecloth; Bullion Knot stitches would be too dimensional for this purpose.

So I used Lazy Daisy stitches.

Starting with the area around the ear, the stitches are randomly embroidered; they are stitched in all directions, sometimes narrow, sometime wider, more or less open, some short and some longer, sometimes with a little distance from each other, then overlapping. In this way, the stitches give a woolly appearance. One must not fret over how to place the next stitch.

Even if some parts do not seem to be absolutely to your liking during the process, keep on going – the overall effect will be charming in the end.

I was not satisfied with the appearance of the leg. In my mind it was not sufficiently discernible from the fleece. So I embroidered it again with Satin stitches running horizontal to the leg. I like that better; however, I did not remove the previous stitches but used them as underlay. But now the leg appears too padded.

The sheep covering their legs with their body do not cause these problems.

Now one just has to decide to cover the head with thick wool or not.

If one wants to use curved Bullion Knot stitches for the fleece, one has to use a fine thread and not make too many wraps.

Advent Calendar 2019 – No. 5

Tall Angel

Similar to the little angels, embroidering starts with the hairstyle. The hair in this picture was stitched with wide Stem stitches (2 strands of the 6-ply stranded cotton). It makes sense to start at the top with the middle strand.

Next the facial outline and the neck was worked. The collar of the dress was stitched with Coral Knot stitches.

Many characters of the wreath design have straight or relatively straight edges. These edges allow one to easily and quickly outline the shapes using Stem stitches. In addition to being decorative, Wide slanting Stem stitches have additional functions; they secure the fabric while withdrawing fabric threads and cover the thread ends. Therefore it is not absolutely necessary to work additional Chain stitches next to the Stem stitches at the outlines. So, I decided to use Stem stitches for outlining the shapes (I wanted to have it ready for sharing in the end of November!).Chain stitches would be used only if one wants to use openwork patterns, and if one is not always carefully in thread withdrawing .

In the design the dress has two tiers at the skirt hem. I decided to delete one to get a somewhat longer effect for the dress.

The wings got an alteration similar to the wings of the little angels – a line separating the points from the remaining part of the wing.

This time the points were filled with Blanket stitches (coton à broder No. 20).

So that the filling patterns in both wings can line up, one horizontal thread reaching into both wings was withdrawn. From there the grid was later established.

The dress got a star filling pattern (coton à broder No. 30) – Rhombi of Four Rose Stitches and Little Stars (Pattern 15 Stars). The skirt’s hem was embroidered with Rose stitches (coton à broder No. 30).

For the underskirt, fabric threads were withdrawn in one direction only and with seven fabric threads remaining between.

The underskirt was embroidered with extra wide Satin stitches (coton à broder No. 16).

The wings got the Limet filling pattern Scales (Limetrosen I).

This is a very bold pattern. So it is difficult to work it around the hair. So, no fabric threads were withdrawn around the hair. (Using a more modest pattern, it would not be a problem to develop this area.)

In the opposite wing, one must stitch the pattern mirrored as shown in the picture below.

Around the hair section, the pattern was formed as seen in the picture below.

The filling pattern adjusts well to the shape of the wing.

Only the neck section I did not like. So I removed the outline a small step and worked it along the finished pattern.

Once the blue lines are gone, it will look attractive.

Already a major part of the design, the “heaven” with all its stars and angels, is finished.