Thursday, March 15, 2018

Free Block of the Month 7—Primrose

Ahh, spring!!! One of my (Kara) favorite seasons, because of the beauty spring provides after a long and gloomy winter. Unfortunately, she is somewhat fickle in her actual arrival. Here in Germany, we are seeing signs, in between the rain and snow, that give us hope that Mistress Spring is on her way. One of those signs is that the primroses are springing (pun intended) from the ground—even through the snow. 

We are fortunate to live near a beautiful orchard area full of trails. Within that orchard are divisions of the land that are owned or leased by individuals for garden space. The plots range in size, and some have little cottages or potting sheds. It was at one of these plots that I saw my first primrose of the season.

One of the potting sheds 
This plot is all tilled and ready for planting.

Primroses are one of my favorite flowers. At home, I would buy one at a grocery store as soon as I saw them, and I did the same thing here. For me, it's a little reminder that spring won't be long in coming. That is why I chose a primrose to be this month's block.

Cotton Block

When I was selecting fabrics, I decided to use this green hand-dyed and this bright, fuchsia, tone-on-tone print; however, I later regretted these choices a bit. While they were the perfect color choices, the fabrics did not lend themselves well to appliqué. 

The green was like stitching through iron and the fuchsia was almost like an upholstery fabric so it didn't needle-turn very well. Since the colors worked, I plowed through and got them on the background.

This fabric fought my needle turning efforts.

You can see my struggle with getting those petals round and smooth, but with a little embroidery, that can be fixed.

I appliquéd the flowers as one piece instead of five individual petals. Then I marked the petal lines on the flowers with my Sewline Trio™

With a stem stitch, I outlined all the petals with two strands of bright, pink floss and then did the yellow centers with a French knot and some straight stitches. For the leaves, I used a #12 perle cotton and ran a stem stitch down the center and feather stitches for the veins. What a difference the embroidery made!

I have nice, rounded, petals now!

Stitches and Threads Used (Cotton Block)

Weeks Dyeworks floss, Strawberry Fields, stem stitch, 2 strands
Weeks Dyeworks floss, Lemon Chiffon, straight stitch and French knots, 3 strands
Valdani perle cotton, O539, stem stitch and feather stitch

Wool Block

As I gathered materials for the wool block, I found a shockingly bright pink that was a good match; however, it was just a bit too bright for my taste; enter a batch of strong tea. I have tea-dyed other things before, but hadn't tried it with wool.

The tea dyed is on the left.
An overnight soak.

Materials gathered, including the now-perfect pink wool.

Once again, I cut out the flowers as one but used a blanket stitch this time to define the petals. A little, yellow, wool star was perfect for the center. The leaves were done in the same way as the cotton block, but I used 2 strands of a variegated, green floss.

French knots and straight stitches hold the centers down.

The feather stitch is perfect for leaf veins.

The finished block.

Stitches and Threads Used (Cotton Block)

Weeks Dyeworks floss, Strawberry Fields, blanket stitch, 2 strands
Weeks Dyeworks floss, Lemon Chiffon, straight stitch and French knots, 3 strands
Weeks Dyeworks floss, Moss, stem stitch and feather stitch, 2 strands

Hopefully, you will enjoy stitching the primrose this month. If you would like to see and stitch our other blocks, click on the links below. Happy spring stitching!

You can download the Primrose HERE.

To see the other blocks in our Stitch-Along:

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