As promised Buttoneers, it is a double whammy ’27 before 27′ week this week, so I can (hopefully) have enough time to squeeze the pretty little felt embroidered flower brooches before the end of the challenge.
You can read about the challenge here
As St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner on Monday, I wanted to create a brooch with a nod to my Irish friends and family and a beautiful little shamrock would be a bit different to my usual flowers.
I found, in my felty goodness stash, a gorgeous emerald green felt which would be perfect for this little shamrock and began dreaming of finding my pot of gold!
I studied the shape of the shamrock and hated every full shamrock I tried to cut out of felt. I don’t know why I tried to do this because as soon as I broke it down into three simple heart shapes, it occurred to me that I should have just looked at it like any of my other felt brooches!
I started by sewing a simple little running stitch around the hearts in different shades of green to trial which looked better.
I found it a bit too simple so added the other colour and created the Pekinese stitch. For those of you who follow, you will have realised that I am little obsessed with this pretty stitch as I have used it here, here, here and again here. It’s just so pretty!!
I just couldn’t choose between the two colours so decided to make the central section in the mint green with the brighter green running stitch and the neighbouring two sections in the brighter green with the mint green as the running stitch. I love the three green shades together as they really seem to build up the colour intensity and add different tones to the overall shamrock.
I then cut out a stalk out of the emerald green felt and used the mint green Pekinese stitch on the brighter green running stitch to match the middle section of the shamrock and to be a continuation of the colours.
I then had to start thinking about finding a button or centrepiece to help hold the sections together and bring them together visually too. I found this lovely teal coloured earring in my pretty bits and pieces jar (you can see these here)
I placed it in the centre to see if it fitted and I loved it more than I thought I would. I set out to find a green button or centrepiece but actually found that I loved the teal one a lot more because it was different. It stood out but held the greens together at the same time. I love it when a plan comes together!
The plan came together beautifully, until that is, I began to put it all together. When snipping around the felt on the outside of the pekinese stitch, I got distracted and managed to cut the wrong part, into the thread and the whole brooch fell apart and was pretty irretrievable. I had cut through the thread in the middle of the stitches and it all began to unravel in front of my eyes. I was devastated. I had worked so hard mastering this embroidery stitch and taking time and care over each of the sections. I was at a real loss as to what to do. I walked away from the studio, made a cup of tea and tried to breathe.
As much as I wanted to carry on walking away from it all, feeling like a total idiot for messing it up, the thought of not completing my blog challenge and more so, not being able to show you all my brooches made me take a deep breath and walk back into the studio, sit down at my desk and pick up the emerald green felt and the embroidery threads in different shades of green…and start again from scratch. My biggest fear was not completing it in time for the lighting to be just right for the photographs (I find mornings are best) and that I would be rushing and not doing my best but I carried on. It was a really cloudy day and the closer to the end the more I was worried. Then as if by pure ‘Luck’ the creative fairies were on my side once again and the sun came out!
So, I guess this brooch really is ‘Lucky’ as it fought through the odds to be created and I actually really love it, despite the stress it brought! But, I have learnt a valuable lesson – always concentrate on the task in hand! I may not be so ‘Lucky’ next time.
So, there you go. Brooch number 11 is complete and I have 16 left to go! I am still excited about this project, despite the struggle this week and I am looking forward to dreaming up more design ideas for future brooches.
What do you think? Are you glad that I persevered? What do you do to get back on the horse after a fall? I would love to hear all about it!
Meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below. I’ll click the kettle on!