Monday, 6 October 2014

TAST #132 Kiko's Flower

Sharon Boggon is always giving us such a great variety of stitches to learn in her Take A Stitch Tuesday online stitch course. This week is no exception, TAST #132 Kiko's Flower is a beautiful stitch. Go to Pintangle and learn.
Sharon says she got to know this stitch through a Japanese lady (called Kiko, I presume), who had no official name for the stitch. After doing a bit of research I found it in Sadako Totsukas's  Totsuka Embroidery Stitch Book 8, Lazy Daisy stitch variation #56, a Japanese stitch dictionary.

As always Sharon's example is beautifully made, but I found it at bit tricky to get that neat look.
First on Aida, I made some petals, a flower and a butterfly.
Especially the Bullion knots look uneven and 'wormy'. Hmm...

On my sampler I had another problem.
You can see on the three petals (top right) how the last loop of the Lazy Daisy chain is creeping up over the Bullion knot.
After consulting the directions in Ms Totsuka's book I saw that the Lazy Daisy stitches should be anchored in each top corner after the Bullion has been laid down:

The two blue flowers look better than the red and pink petals. So, one problem solved. Now for the wormy Bullions.

Look at the two blue flowers again, and see how the Bullion stitches look different.
The light blue flower on the left has straight wraps, but on the flower on the right the wraps appear to be slanting.
I dug out all my embroidery books (about 12) and found that in half of them the instructions is for wrapping the thread anti-clockwise around the needle, the other half favour a clockwise wrap.

Personally I like the look of the blue 'worm' with its slanting wraps. 
Stitch oracle Mary Corbet has written in great detail on this subject here.

How do you make your Bullion stitches?

24 comments:

  1. I'm left-handed and it feels natural to me to wind the thread clock-wise for bullion stitches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That might explain my inconsistency! I am right-handed but often try to do things, although not stitching, with my left hand, for training. I must have wrapped the thread in both ways without realising it. Thank you for your valuable comment.

      Delete
  2. this stitch has a lot of potential once mastered, thanks Queenie for the tip to anchor down the lazy daisy, needless to say I have not had a go yet!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your stitches look great and I particularly like the light blue version. Sometimes though, I think it's the thread/colour that make all the difference. I'm currently doing a lot of bullion stitches, and even though I think I'm doing them the same way every time, there is some inconsistency in the final appearance. I wrap anti-clockwise by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are quite right about how different threads can affects the look of the stitch. I am probably an inconsistent person and have wrapped my Bullions inconsistently in the past. Time to amend!

      Delete
  4. I thought of you Friday when with the sewing group ... many beginning stitchers working on a class project. The teacher was there too and I wondered what you could have taught HER.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If she is Japanese, I am sure she already knew Kiko's Flower stitch, so maybe I can teach her a typical Swedish stitch, Anundsjö stitch!

      Delete
  5. Aha, so I need not be ashamed of my helping stitches - although I made them unseen....
    Thank you for this wonderful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wouldn't surprise me if Sharon made her perfect stitches without helping stitches. I wish I could do that! As I can't, I'll join you in the 'Unseen Stitches Club'.

      Delete
  6. Kiko's flowers looks great for a butterfly! Thanks for sharing the info from your embroidery book, it's good to know how it's supposed to be stitched. I'm glad the stitch need some anchoring, because my TAST 2010 sampler has some bullions like yours after so many years. It doesn't look as neat as on my original photo anymore! O, and I think I wrap my bullions clockwise, but this always confuses me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is hard to know how a stitch is 'supposed to' be made. Over the years instructions must have changed a lot, and it is hard to know who initially invented a stitch, I guess. As you know stitches often have several names.
      I was also confused about clockwise and anti-clockwise wraps, but if you imagine looking straight down the needle's tip and wind the thread around the needle from 6 o'clock, to 7, 8, 9, 10 o'clock you are doing it the clockwise way.

      Delete
  7. your kiko stitches with the bullion stitch are wonderful. I wrap them anti-clockwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this is a stitch I need to practise more to get the look I want.

      Delete
  8. I've not noticed if I do mine the same way each time but I don't think I do as they don't come out the same each time. Great butterfly, makes a change from flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another reason for the stitches looking differently could be the twist of the thread (as pointed out by Chris Richards, see comment below).
      The stitch lends itself to butterfly wings, but I have seen lovely leaves made up of Kiko's Flowers, too. Just let the imagination flow!

      Delete
  9. I'm not into "perfect" really. Your stitches are lovely and so versatile. great work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I am into 'perfect' because it does not come easily to me; do I enjoy the struggle? I LIKE sumptuous surface embroidery and free form, but want to be able to control the needle and thread perfectly, for when that is required. I mean I want the skill but not necessarily use it!

      Delete
  10. This stitch so intrigues me Queenie, your flowers are really pretty !
    In my own research on the bullion, I found that the direction of the winding depends on the 'Twist' of the thread itself........on close inspection, one can actually see which direction the thread has been twisted in it manufacture and then GO with that direction when doing a bullion knot ! All very technical I know........Best to try both ways on scrap fabric first to see which looks better !
    hugs
    Chris Richards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for pointing out the S- and Z-twist issue of the thread. I am so used to using perle I forget that many other threads are twisted the other way round and would need to be wound the other direction around the needle for making great looking Bullions. Mary Corbet also points out that there is no 'right' way, you might want a straight or slanted look for your wraps.
      Linda Calverly, see comment above, was happy to see the butterfly wings and I think this stitch has the potential to form many other things, too. How about a cap for Father Christmas?

      Delete
  11. This is a very useful stitch for flowers, I haven,t seen the bullions used in this way before so I will be giving it a try!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are familiar with the Lazy Daisy stitch and the Bullion Knot you will have no problem pairing the two of them up. I am sure they would look great on you knit embroidery.

      Delete
  12. I really like this stitch although I haven't found anything to use it on as yet but I'm sure I will eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stitches don't run away, there will always be a time when we can use them. At the moment you need to concentrate on other more urgent matters.

      Delete

Thank you for dropping by and adding a comment.


Says Google: European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.

As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies.