Thursday, July 5, 2012

Etsy NEAT Entry - "Sparkles under the Sea"

Happy Hump Day, readers! I have been a busy little bee this week - my parents and fiancé visited for the holiday and we were all super busy playing tourists around Boston, but I made time and finally finished this little beauty! Here is "Sparkles under the Sea," my entry for the May/June Etsy NEAT Creative Challenge.  The theme for this round is "Water/The Ocean," so this should pretty much fit the bill.  :)

"Sparkles under the Sea," designed and stitched by Erin Turowski
"Sparkles under the Sea," designed and stitched by Erin Turowski

This piece is actually quite small and detailed, measuring about 3" x 4" framed.  Here it is next to a credit-card-sized card for comparison:

"Sparkles under the Sea" is about the size of a credit card.
"Sparkles under the Sea" is about the size of a credit card.

This piece consists entirely of specialty stitches and embroidery (no true cross stitches).  The following pictures are close-ups of each area and descriptions of the stitches used to create each piece of sea life.

All of the sea creatures are stitched with two strands of cotton embroidery floss and one strand of Kreinik blending filament in Pearl.

"Sparkles under the Sea" - Seaweed, angelfish, and ocean background
"Sparkles under the Sea" - Seaweed, angelfish, and ocean background
The seaweed is a modified fly stitch in green and yellow.

The angelfish is a series of satin stitches in black and white, with a French knot for the eye.

The water in the background is a slanted straight stitch, in progressively darker shades of teal as the water gets deeper.


A school of white fish and detail of the coral stitch used for the waves
A school of white fish and detail of the coral stitch used for the waves
This school of fish is a simple back-stitched fish shape in white.

The waves at the top are a specialty stitch called a coral stitch in pale blue, which produces a lovely scrolling effect.


Sand, a pink and white scallop shell, and two purple sea anemones
Sand, a pink and white scallop shell, and two purple sea anemones
The sand is rows and rows of half-cross-stitches in a light gold color.

The scallop shell (left) is stitched in coral and white in a simple straight stitch pattern.

The bodies of the two sea anemones (right) are straight-stitched in purple, and their tentacles are a short turkey work stitch (kind of like a fringe, but with loops instead of loose threads).


Treasure chest and starfish
Treasure chest and starfish
The treasure chest is straight-stitched in dark brown with two rows of gold chain stitching.

And, finally, the starfish is stitched in rows of straight stitches radiating outward from a body consisting of five French knots, all stitched in orange and white.

The frame was a Goodwill find that set me back about fifty cents.  :)

I am really happy with how this piece turned out!  It was a lot of intricate stitching, but I really enjoyed creating it.  I hope you all like the final product - maybe the specialty stitches will inspire you to create some wonderful under-the-sea embroidery, too!

4 comments:

  1. Wow, this is really amazing.
    Being new to cross stitch I haven't done any specialty stitches, but I'm curious about learning how about them. Do you know any resources for learning how to do them?

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  2. Here are two great (very comprehensive!) websites that include a ton of pictures and how-to tips for specialty stitches:

    http://www.fidella.com/webstitch/needle_stitch.html
    http://inaminuteago.com/stitchindex.html

    You can also generally Google whatever you want to stitch + "stitch" (i.e., try Googling "leaf stitch") and look through the images to find something like what you want to stitch.

    Thanks for reading! :)

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