Thursday, June 3, 2021

"In the Garden" Again: Dragonfly and Fern

I (Kara) had always assumed that dragonflies were mostly found near water, until I was walking in the forest in Germany. There I saw them frequently as I was walking our two furry children, and those glimpses inspired this block. Though this block has only five wool pieces, the embroidery, embellishment, and threads take it from simple to elegant with just a few stitches. We hope you have fun stitching this block and this week only use the coupon code FERN10 for 10% off the printed pattern!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

"In the Garden"—Dragonfly and Fern

As far off as it seems now, summer will be upon us before we know it, along with the warmer temperatures. Our gardens will be green (hopefully), and the insect life will be buzzing. Dragonflies are nice because they don't bite, like some of the other summer insects, and they come in all different sizes and colors. They are beautiful when the sun hits them just right, and that's what we were going for with our most recent pattern—the Dragonfly and Fern.

We've used a variegated, shimmer, ribbon-floss from  Painter's Threads for the body, and a little bit of organza for the wings to simulate that little bit of shimmer that dragonflies have. A few little beads to give him some bling, and he is ready to fly!

Here are some tips and pictures to help you make your summertime dragonfly and fern.

First I glued my entire pattern onto freezer paper and then cut out the fern as one piece. Then I ironed it onto the green wool that had been backed with fusible. I don't often use fusible, but because the fern was one big piece with lots of leaves, everything stayed in place better this way. Cut out the wing pieces and the body piece. You will iron the wings onto two different colors of wool, but the body piece will just be used as a guide for your embroidery.

Freezer paper fern ready to be ironed onto wool

Once the fern was ironed onto the background, I whipstitched all the way around the fern. Then I used an angled blanket stitch for the leaves in a lighter shade of green floss with two strands.

I use Weeks Dye Works "Bullfrog" floss as it had some great color variations in it.

With the fern stitched down, I positioned the wings in place. I pinned a piece of organza ribbon over one wing and blanket stitched it down with one strand of floss. Then I carefully trimmed around the excess organza around the wing, being careful not to snip my blanket stitches. It will be easier if you do one wing at a time

Two down and two to go!

The wings trimmed.

Now to the dragonfly body! The tail is made by making chain stitches with the shimmer ribbon-floss. I used the body pattern as a guide for how long the tail should be. My tail was made up of 9 chain stitches at about an eighth of an inch each. After the chain stitches were finished, I added a 7-8 wrap bullion knot—made up of 3 strands of dark teal floss—in each chain stitch.

The effect of the bullions in the tail is subtle, but they add depth.

The rest of the body is made up of French knots using the ribbon-floss. Three bullion knots make the head. 

Use one strand of floss and a straight stitch for the legs.

The final touch was to add some tiny beads to the wings using a feather stitch. Add the bead to your needle as you make each feather.

This block went together rather quickly, and hopefully it will for you too! The ladies in our class enjoyed working with the ribbon-floss and the organza—both of which are included in the pattern when you purchase it.

Lots of happy stitching!

Until the warm days of summer grace us with their presence, we hope you will enjoy stitching this block—and all the other blocks in our In the Garden series. To order your pattern, click here: