Friday 8 August 2014

LE: My Flower Stems

This stitch really appeals to me: it's called a Hungarian Braided Stitch. It looks like a plait and I think it's just perfect for my flower stems. I considered a lot of stitches for the stems and really agonized over my all the available choices. Personally, I think you should select a stitch based on your design and personal taste. The pattern actually has an appliqued stem - and I love that too. In fact, at this stage I plan to applique my stems on my red and white LE. Something about this scrappy style called for embroidered stems in my opinion and I did think about it for a few months before committing. There are so many beautiful LE's being made over in my Yahoo BOM Group that when I started seeing the embroidered stems, they just spoke to me. So I changed my mind. 

I'm combining the Hungarian stitch with free stitching and I'm using two shades for the main stems and the little flourishes and thinner stems branching out.

Mostly I use an embroidery hoop, although I did create a few stems 'freehand' but then it just got too difficult. My zig zag border is precisely pinned to my paper template (below) and ready to be appliqued to this center, but I really wanted to have the embroidery down before I put down that border. I'll repeat here that I used a Pilot Frixion pen to transfer the pattern to my chosen background. I pre-tested this pen before drawing it up.

Now, with the zig zag border, its so important to accurately put it down as there is a lot going on in the center square. Please don't go ahead and 'fill out' your center without the zig zag down first- even though it appears that I am doing that now. I am actually not doing that. I am creating the pattern out of order from the BOM Parts and because of the hoop and handling for embroidery (and potential shrinkage) I wanted the embroidery finished before stitching down the border. The border has to be in place before you place the vases and flowers or else you'll have clashes. I really don't want anyone creating a bad habit because it appears that I am working 'out of turn'.

Each week I select a different area to focus on and I work on whatever suits me at that time; taking into account hand and eye strain. I can afford to do this as I know the pattern very well and am experienced, but if you are working from the pattern I do suggest you stick to the order of the Parts as they are released. There's just so much work - too much- to have to re-do any one part. You don't want to face that discouragement! 

Embroidery stems are not better than the pattern applique stems - they're just different, and whether they will work on your own quilt will depend on the style of your fabrics and your own personal taste.

Here is an excellent YouTube Tutorial to help you learn this stitch, if you are interested in making it yourself.

As for me, I have a lot of embroidery to be getting on with!

If you're making LE and you blog, please consider adding your progress over in the Love Entwined Archive at the top of this blog - it's easy to add a link and it allows quilters in the future to see how other quilters made LE their own.


  1. Dear Esther, I love what you are doing with your LE. That stitch is perfect indeed for the stems. Lovely work! Hugs, Anne Marieke

  2. I really like the texture the embroidered stems add. Too bad I've already appliqued half of my stems down!

  3. I can't wait to try this stitch. thank you for sharing.

  4. Looks lovely, Esther, and it couldn't come at a more timely time, this recommended stitch as I need to do some tiny stems of my second vase and start #3. Blessings, Angie in SoCal

  5. Dear Esther,
    I just had to write and tell you how much I love your blog. Everything is wonderful, even things that I couldn't make, I still have to read all about it. Your work is breathtaking.
    Thank you for all the hours you put into your posts. They are always so interesting and informative. There are several parts of the LE quilt that I love. Would it be alright to just use those parts?
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Best wishes,
    Aunt Bea

  6. Thank you so much for sharing! It is beautiful, as is all your work.


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