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Week Eleven: Spot Sampler Area 17 (w/c June 22)

From the DJ Sampler we will cover Band 11B Drawn Thread Work: Dragonfly.

Layout for Week Eleven

Designed by Lorna Law

Reference: DJSampler Instructions : page 16

Another very beautiful Drawn Thread Band, and like last week, recommended for those with more experience in this technique and to be the focus of a workshop for those of us who needed guidance and support.
Working ‘Dragonfly’ on the Spot Sampler has proven to be an excellent way to become familiar with this motif. It did add another level of complexity for the Design Team as the instructions for this Band for the Diamond Jubilee Sampler needed to be expanded for the Spot Sampler to include the Darn-back Method for finishing the Preparation stage.
If you haven’t already, download the “Whitework Hints for the Spot Sampler‘ file as the extra instructions, written by Lorna (thank you!), are included in this document.

Stitching Area Seventeen

I continued to use DMC Ecru Perle 12 for the borders and DMC stranded cotton for the Dragonfly itself and I am very happy that this final motif fitted very nicely into the last remaining gap on my ground.


Preparation: Step 2.  Work the Four-sided Stitch








Preparation: Step  3. Withdraw Threads and use the Darn-back Method to finish the edges

I actually worked the Darn-back Method from the back of my work and also cut each of the ends from the back as well.

I found that the threads once withdrawn, are quite short and can get fluffy. This means they can be a little fussy to deal with. I found myself running the needle over and under the side threads first then threading the eye of the needle before pulling the thread through. Definitely turn your embroidery to make this task as straightforward as possible. I did 10 threads at a time to keep things under control and it involved a lot of persuasion – I talked nicely to the threads (most of the time), they got twisted if that helped control any fluffy outbreaks and a bit of saliva was generally needed.


I did swap to  a #24 Tapestry needle to do the darning as the larger eye was easier to thread. I have been using a #26 Tapestry needle for most of the Spot Sampler.




Preparation: Step 4 Bundle threads with Coral Knot Stitch.

The bundle groupings for the Spot Sampler (assuming you have 14 Four-sided stitches of 3 threads each) are (from left to right) 3 – 5 – 3 – 3

The bundle groupings of 3 are neatly gathered together by working the Coral Knot Stitch as instructed however I found the bundle of 5 puckered the ground fabric if I pulled the Coral Knot too tight. Having checked this with our Whitework experts, it is more important to keep the ground even and without puckers than it is to tightly gather the bundle so this grouping does look much looser.  Seeing as the Dragonfly body covers this it isn’t a problem.

(FYI: If  I had wanted to be able to pull this as tight as the others then I would have needed to increase the depth of the motif to more than 20 threads.)

Decorative Stitch: Woven Dragonfly Wings

Using a single strand of DMC Stranded Cotton the wings were woven in two sections as per the Instructions.

To my delight it is relatively easy to finish off a thread into the back of the woven thread.




Decorative Stitch:  Dragonfly Antennae and Body

Similarly using a single strand, I worked Butttonhole stitch as per the Instructions to create the body of the Dragonfly then whipped a stitch to create the antennae.




And now I am done!

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Happy Stitching!

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