Who’s ready for the next part of the Garden Bouquet project? I know I am!
If you haven’t seen Part 1 or 2 of the Garden Bouquet project, here they are:
Today, we will be looking at the berries. There are two branches of berries in this design: raspberries and currants.
I embroidered my raspberries pretty much the same way as I did in this project, so I will go over it quickly. If you want more details, you can have a look at Ripening Raspberries, a project where I combined embroidery and pressed leaves.
Embroidering the Raspberries
I didn’t use beads this time, only French knots. I wasn’t planning on using beads anywhere else, so I thought it might look odd to have just one element with beads. So instead I filled the whole berries with French knots without leaving any gaps. I used three strands of DMC #304, #347, and #3831, and tried to distribute the colours evenly-ish. The sepals are made with lazy-daisy stitches, using two strands of DMC #3347.
The branch is embroidered with a stem stitch with two strands of DMC #3346. The leaves are done in straight stitches, angled and placed to create a bit of a jagged edge. I used two strands of DMC #3347 and #3346. These were done rather quickly and without any clear method. I knew that I wanted to differentiate them from the rose leaves, so I used different shades of green, and tried to make the leaves smaller and thinner.
I absolutely love how it turned out! This was one of the easiest part of this garden bouquet and such a breeze after slaving over the wild roses 😉
Embroidering the Currants
Ah, the currants. I had a wonderful plan to cover beads with floss to create a beautiful stumpwork (3D) effect, but sadly all the beads I had were too big or too small. There was no time for an emergency trip to the crafts store, so I had to abort the plan and think of something else.
Not to be deterred in my stumpwork ambitions, I decided to try something else. I really didn’t want to make the berries flat, and French knots wouldn’t really have worked in this case. I remembered seeing “raised” satin stitch around before, and using stuffing or other materials to create a 3D effect. So I went with a cotton ball…the currant berries are so small that I only needed teeny tiny little pieces at a time.
First, I outlined each berry with a small backstitch, to have a good guideline for filling it.
Then, I took what felt like a microscopic piece of cotton ball (I’m using just a regular old cotton ball from the drugstore) and shaped it as best as I could to form it into a little ball. I then place the tiny ball in the outlined shape.
With one strand of DMC #304 or #321 (I alternated between two shades of red), I anchor the cotton ball by taking a few stitches over it.
With a satin stitch, I cover the entire ball, until none of the white shows through. And it makes a beautifully raised little red berry!
Once they were all done, I added a little “end” to really make them look like currants. This was done with one strand of DMC #433, and it’s just a very small straight stitch. I placed them in the direction where it made the most sense for each currant hanging from the branch.
The branch was added afterwards, using two strands of DMC #433 and a split stitch.
And lastly, the leaves!
I had no idea what currant leaves looked like, so Pinterest was very useful here for some reference images. I remember stitching these very late at night, determined not to leave them for the next day, so they’re a bit less refined than the rose leaves. It’s hard to tell though, since they’re well hidden 😉
Again, same approach as before. Outline in split stitch first. Then I used two strands of DMC #937 and #3345, and very messy long & short stitches to cover the leaves. There really was no plan for this, just improvisation and deciding where to add a bit of shading on the spot. Currant leaves also have a ragged edge, so I tried to replicate that a bit all around my leaves by ending the stitches in different spots.
I left some space along the center of the leaves for the stem and veins. Those were stitched with one strand of DMC #734 in straight stitches, again in a very impromptu manner.
I really love how it turned out though (I say this a lot, I’m sorry! But it’s true!). The raised satin stitch with cotton ball stuffing worked wonderfully and I definitely want to try it again!! The currants look very solid and juicy.
And that’s the berries over and done with!
The garden bouquet is starting to slowly resemble something at last. Woo! I hope you enjoyed this part, and I would love to know your thoughts in the comments. What do you think of the stumpwork idea? Have you ever tried something similar? How do you like to stitch your berries?
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this project, where we will tackle the lily. The majestic centerpiece of this piece, a flower amongst flower. I have an idea on how I want to make it, but will it work? It doesn’t involve a lot of thread… Can’t wait to see and share it with you all!
Thank you for following along on this journey, and be sure to connect with me on Instagram too for more progress pics & stitching reels!