I did it! Look at these beautiful “Poppies and Santa Barbara Daisies” created with stumpwork embroidery. This is the most intense project I have committed to, yet, and I am thrilled with how much I learned! Stumpwork embroidery is just cool, and I have a lot of ideas. Will any of them come to fruition? Ha, you know as well as me – but it is inspiring, for sure. I love that it is historic (mainstreamed in the 17th century if I understand rightly), and I love that it is sculptural. So, without further ado, this is my piece, using a pattern by Celeste Chalasani available through her Craftsy course: Stumpwork – Raised Embroidery Essentials.
Celeste is a fabulous instructor. She presents the information calmly and clearly with easy expertise. I reached out to her when I ordered the kit and asked about needles. As I mentioned previously, I can’t tell up from down with needles other than pointy-ness and eyehole size. She willingly sent me labeled needles in my kit that helped my understanding of embroidery. Sure, you can “hacksaw” your way through with whatever your favorite needle is like I generally do, but now I get why certain needle sizes are best. I also now understand different threads (photos of embroidery cannot capture the true sense of thread sheen and personality so my interwebbing didn’t make the importance of thread type clear). I also have never worked with silk or organza before and, wow, stunning results! I didn’t just learn 3D embroidery with this course; I upped my game from self-taught beginner to intermediate trainee. The way she taught the course put confidence in my hands and heart to pull this off. I’d love to thank her in person one day! For reals!
No knots were made in the making of this garden snippet. I followed directions, folks!
I was unclear how to finish the piece (she leaves that up to you), but made a temporary (which is probably permanent, lets be real) choice to wrap a cheap canvas board.
I wrapped it in a thin natural batting so that the wires wouldn’t press against the silk for all of eternity. I just used quilting thread and zig-zagged around the board and repeated the process for the silk.
On the backside, I wanted to sign and date it, but also for historical sake, I wanted to give credit where it was due so I included Celeste’s name and title of the piece: Poppies and Santa Barbara Daisies. I absolutely love that this looks all chunky and kindergarten-y considering how formal and precise the front is. It is like a surprise and shows some whimsy.
I attempted to capture how three-dimensional the piece is. [My camera’s battery failed and as I await the replacement, Boy is letting me use his fancy schmancy camera that I can barely operate but I think I did alright, don’t you?]. Felt padding raises the daisies off the background a wee bit. There is also some padding under the bud. Those are both difficult to see here. But obviously the full-bloom poppy, it’s blooming counterpart, and the bee jumps off.
I spent so much time eyeballing precise stitches. I know that with practice, this can be accomplished! I think I did swell. I also perfected my satin stitch. And that bumble bee bottom? Adorably puffy, like I stuck on a pompom ball, but no! You’d be wrong to think it! It is all thread work, Turkey Work to be precise.
While the style is formal, flowery, and generally not my thing, this is by far and above one of my favorite self-made projects in the history of my work. I need to find a frame solution that will allow glass to keep dust off of it (and not press against the piece), but I know this will be displayed in my house for many years to come! Super duper proud!
A huge thank you to Celeste, for her “Poppies and Santa Barbara Daisies” stumpwork embroidery course! I will definitely try stumpwork embroidery again.
This is utterly inspiring! I came across your post by sheer accident and love the way you’ve presented it, with all your thoughts on the different stages and photos to accompany. Well done, and thank you. I love doing stump-work as I like creating things in miniature. I’m a long way off doing anything like this, but I’ll keep trying.
Thanks, Evelyn! I’d love to see some of you work. Miniatures are also one of my favorites!