I did it! Finished my #PeaceForUkraineSAL, I mean :)
I didn't get much stitching or blogging done for last week -- had so much to do. But I worked extra hard on the poppy over the last few days so that I could finish up and share the completed stitchalong pattern. (Designed by Nat, a Ukrainian embroidery artist found at EmbroideryArtByNat )
I started this last motif rather slowly, beginning with the centre and the little bud. I then moved on to the split stitch outlining, which took forever -- I'm not great with split stitch. Forgot to take many in progress photos with this one, as I had it set up in the stand and was just taking a few stitches whenever I could fit them in - photos slipped my mind!
The poppy is then mainly filled in with four tones of long and short stitch. I looked at a few finished ones by others and realized I liked the ones with the lightest colour just lightly applied. So I tried my best to balance it so that the darkest red was most in evidence. Again I wasn't sure about it halfway through, but once the darker shading was in it looked good. And when the black was added it all came together for me!
I left the poppy until last because I was worried about being able to do all the shading. But after all the practice on the other motifs I think it turned out well. All that's left is taking it out of the hoop and finding a suitable frame for it. This one is going into a proper glass front frame; I'll share photos once I have finished that.
I have really, really enjoyed stitching this piece. I've tried to listen to Ukrainian podcasts & audiobooks, sometimes music, while I was stitching so that it would feel like it was a learning experience in all ways. I really love the podcast UkrainianSpaces and recommend it. And I've been reviewing some of the books on my book blog, with more to come, if you're interested.
There are many other great patterns by this designer, I encourage you to check her out on her website and/or Instagram. This pattern is still easily available on Nat's website along with many others, both images related to Ukraine and many other floral and nature designs, too.
And please keep paying attention to what is happening in Ukraine, and help where you can. There are many local charities that need our help.