Friday, September 16, 2011

A Tiffany Bouquet

I imagine that if there were a bouquet in the window of Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue in New York City, it might just look like this...


What a joy that was to stitch. The leaves took me a whole day and a half because I ruched silk ribbon...then satin-stitched the interior...and then I decided to bead the exterior of the leaves to cover the needle holes from my satin stitching.


That took a pretty long time because of the size of the beads...they were vintage size 20 (which is very tiny).


Jim came home last night and asked what I planned to do for the night.

I knew he wanted me to say that I was going to make wild, passionate love to him...

Poor guy. Instead I answered that I was going to be applying tiny specks of dust to my leaves.

That's what size 20 beads look like...little specks of dust.

Below is a picture of the beads: the pile of size 20 is on the left and size 15 is on the right...


This bouquet is full of lace, aquamarines, pearls, rose montees and vintage sequins from my friend Shirlee (Thanks Shirlee!)...and the silk ribbon I used for the petals is a 2mm hand-dyed ribbon I got from Maureen Greeson (Thanks Maureen!)...


Not everyone carries 2mm ribbon so I'm delighted that Maureen does and for a very good price. Check out her store here. It comes a little crinkly but I just run it through a curling iron and it works like a charm.

Now that I have all that beading and three-dimensional work complete, I basted a piece of tissue paper (with the rough edges turned under) over the whole area so my threads don't snag on the completed work while I stitch the rest of the block...


I also keep my entire frame covered when I'm not working on it...Both of those tricks I learned from taking Japanese embroidery. Once you finish a section of flat silk, you definitely want to cover it so you don't snag it or get it dirty.


I don't always use a frame for crazy quilting, but when I'm applying so much three-dimensional work, I do.

So here's a pic of the whole block so far...


To give you some idea of dimension, it's 8" square. I use a macro lens on my camera which can make things that are pretty tiny seem quite large. Even all the pearls on the black lace flowers are 2mm-3mm small...

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a beautiful, creative weekend!

35 comments:

CREATIVE MIND said...

Waoooo..amazing again :)

Sweetpea said...

Susan, this is all so drop-dead gorgeous I am at a loss for words...! You totally blow my mind. And I've certainly never done any beadwork with size 20's - that photo comparing sizes with the 15's, well, specks of dust indeed!!!!

Suztats said...

Wow! Beautiful! I saw those 'specks of dust' and thought you'd outlined the leaves with stitches in a blue thread. I was marveling how even your stitches were. size 20? I've used size 17's, but never 20's. That's tiny.

MosaicMagpie said...

Your eyes must need a rest from all that tiny work. Why you can hardly see those beads. The covering of the work is a great tip. Even with smaller projects I have trouble with threads catching in the same place over and over.
This piece is over the top gorgeous! What a treat to see it.
Deb

Rachel said...

It's looking truly gorgeous!

Mouse said...

absolutely gorgeous ...... my DD is even impressed (that's high praise indeed ) she loves your alice in wonderland one too and ask's what do you do with them once finished ???? love mouse xxxx

C in DC said...

This piece is exquisite. I'm enjoying following its progress. Do you have plans for it when it's finished?

C in DC said...

Oh, and those beads are so tiny, they look like stitches on your fabric.

Gerry Krueger said...

Gorgeous has already been used in 3 of the first 5 comments, I'll add overwhelming and spectacular before everyone runs out of superlatives. Since you don't have a bell I'll run out and ring mine just for you!!! Ger

Marty52 said...

Oh my... you're definitely slightly mad. It's good to have a new member! ;0) It's really lovely, Susan... man, those beads are TEE-TINY.

I think I'm going to use a slate frame for this Medieval CQ... it just seems to demand it.

Judy S. said...

Awesome, Susan! Those leaves are just perfect with the flowers. However do you thread a needle tiny enough to go through the beads? Wish I could see this for real, but thanks for the whole block shot. You knew I'd ask, didn't you? Have a great weekend!

Lisa said...

Wow! What a stunning bouquet of aquamarine goodness that is!

FlowerLady said...

Amazing, wonderful work.

FlowerLady

Susan Elliott said...

Dear Mouse and C In DC,

What do I do with these pieces when they're finished?

Well, the truth is I haven't made that many of them...The Alice block is hanging in the US corporate headquarters of DMC in New Jersey...and I miss it...and I'm not sure I'll ever get it back.

DMC paid me for that piece so technically, it's theirs.

This piece will stay with me...and I'm not sure where it will take me next.

Already it has led me on a journey of discovery and new ideas...I tried many new techniques that worked...and I expect I will repeat them again in other works. And the subject matter is super appealing to me. It was inspired by the book, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Miss Holiday Golightly. (not the movie).

And it has a story which I'll share when it's complete.

I have completely adopted that story and re-wrote it with my own point of view through my work...and I'm not sure where that story will end. Hopefully, it too will be told somewhere by someone. Or maybe it will delight a few.

But, minus the philosopical mumbo jumbo...

It will most likely hang on the wall in my nursing home room when I'm too old to see and to stitch...

And it will give my Aides pause and provide a hint of who I once was...

Susan Elliott said...

To Judy S.

To thread those tiny beads, I use a size 15 beading needle and size 00 nymo thread which I have to order online because no local bead shops carry thread that tiny.

And...I use a magnifier. And I just got a new eyeglass prescription ;)

Ati. said...

Susan you flower bouquet is AMAZING!!
I look at your work every time and never get tired looking at all the small details. You are such a perfectionist!
AA++
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Claudine brodeuse de perles said...

C'est trop beau ! Bisous et bon week-end

The Blissful Banter of a Creative Crafter said...

It is simply beautiful! Just stunning.

Wendy said...

Absolutely exquisite. In fact, I can't think of an adjective that lives up to the incredible beauty of this piece. YOur workmanship is amazing. Just, wow!

Cari said...

I.AM.IN.AWE.OF.YOUR.WORK. Eye candy for sure!! Thanks for sharing.

Marsha said...

All I can say is WOW. It is just so beautiful.

Carol said...

I am speechless.
I have never even SEEN a size 20 bead.
Won't you submit this piece to somewhere, some publication. It should be seen by more than your ever growing com padres and admirers. Or are you secretly a step ahead?

Allison Ann Aller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison Ann Aller said...

This block is as condensed and full of wonder as Capote's novella, Susan...

maneki said...

Those flowers are just so beautiful! So dreamy and gorgeous!

Elizabeth said...

That is so incredibly breathtakingly beautiful!! I am in awe!!!! How do you thread the needle that will fit thru the size 20's???????????????????????????????

Elmsley Rose said...

Those ruffled leaves are a "touch of perfection".

This is one of the best pieces you've done IMHO, and that's saying something!

Wanda-Maria said...

Hi Susan,
I'm always very impressed by your work of art!
You have golden hands, this is a beautiful and unique!
regards,
greetings,
Wanda

Maureen said...

Wonderful, Susan! I don't think I would have taken on such tiny work even if I could see that well with a magnifier.

Barbara C said...

The dimensionality of this piece really knocks my socks off. Gorgeous work, and of course the scale of it all is also super-human.

Dees said...

Fabulous or Spectacular won't do your piece enough justice, a new word has to be phrased.... SPECTABULOUS!

Createology said...

Oh Dear this is just breathtaking. Tiffany's is turning green with envy at this beautiful piece of art. Brilliant tip to baste the tissue paper over your finished work. I am speechless at seeing this stunning work you are creating...

coral-seas said...

Well, you know that I am loving everything about this block but those leaves are a masterpiece. What a bouquet!

How lucky were you to source some size 20 beads in Grammy Aqua :-)

Crazy Karol said...

Beautiful amazing work. You must have the patience of Job.

Annette said...

oh I so love love looking at your beautiful work. thanks so much for posting and sharing with us.xo

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