Wednesday, September 5, 2012

blossom smile some sunshine

Our plucky heroine has files of inspirational images, and the motifs on this stenciling tutorial were particularly tasty... Index cards are scattered hither and yon around Acorn Cottage, always handy for notes and sketches. Some doodles of possible neckline embellishments, and the lefthand one seemed like just the right one...

Traced the center front pattern piece and sketched out the central motif, as well as some stylised cherry blossoms. The initial sketch had a blossom located in an unfortunate position, which necessitated a second sketch, after some cut and past of the initial design elements. Added some circles to fill in and balance the motifs...

Have discovered that it is entirely possible to use wax paper instead of tracing paper, at a substantial savings. The only drawback is that it is not possible to sketch with pencil on the wax paper, but for many applications that is not necessary; what does work is to trace designs using a sharpie marker, the alcohol based ink dries fast and does not smear.

The design translated well into the chosen fabrics. Using freezer paper stenciling, the motifs were painted black, then running stitched in grey around the edges. Then it was somehow necessary to add detailing around the center of the blossoms - iridescent bugle beads were just what was needful! Once all that was stitched in place, most of the painted motif was cut away, carefully, leaving about 1/8" border


The mystery plant seen on the beach this past weekend turns out to be Grindelia stricta (Puget Sound Gumweed), a west coast native. The plant apparently also has medicinal uses, particularly in treating poison oak. I love the internet, when my own search-fu is unsuccessful, there is always someone out there who knows more than I do... in this case I availed myself of the Flower Forums flower identification message board, and in less than two hours had the answer to my query...


  1. Beautiful and subtle! Really nicely done :-)

  2. Thank you, my desired effect was to be subtle, which is why I was a bit startled when the t-shirt demanded to have sparkly beadwork, which is not my usual style at all, but in this case I think it works.