Hello, hello! Sorry for the delay in posting. I am working on that Tassel Tutorial and the Finishing Tutorial, but in the meantime I thought I'd share my own progress!
It was a lovely sunny afternoon today, so I spent a happy few hours with my needle and thread and managed to get the center square finished! Here it is in process:
And here it is completed:
I ended up filling in the centers of the pink flowers with simple upright cross stitches because the outline faded against the yellow Aida. I'll do that to the others too :)
I'm stitching my bookmark in hand rather than in hoop, hence the wrinkles! Argh.
While I was stitching, I decided to take step-by-step photos of the way I worked the Center Diamond, because I think it's a really neat stitch. There is a specialty stitch diagram for it included in the SAL pattern, and most stitchers have already worked it.
But for those who haven't had the time to join, or who weren't interested in the SAL, this is a nice quick stitch that is a lot simpler than it looks and is a striking addition to any stitch repertoire. So I'm going to post the diagram and the photographs up as a guide :) Like all ES pictures, when clicked the large view will open in another window!
I call this a Variation (I continue to be amazed that any happy mistake can easily be called a "stitch variation", LOL!) because it differs from the usual Rhodes stitch in its backstitched border and in the working method. Instead working the laid stitches consecutively around the shape, three pairs of elongated cross-stitches are layered and then tied in the center. Here is the SAL diagram for clarification:
If you have any trouble viewing, please let me know. And if you do stitch your own version of the SAL Center Diamond Rhodes Variation, feel free to share! I think it has a lot of possibilities for use, and that's something I'd like to explore more myself in future. Plus, it's really fun to stitch! The whole Rhodes family is very interesting.
A few months ago, I came across this excellent Rhodes tutorial by Cheryl Fall, the former Embroidery Guide at About.com. Several different shapes are graphed in colour, including the conventional Rhodes Diamond and even a Clover/Shamrock!
Also at About.com, the former Cross-Stitch Guide (Connie Barwick) has a very simple step-by-step Rhodes Square tutorial, and one on the Vertical Half Rhodes.
Elsewhere online, Nordic Needle has a beautiful Rhodes Butterfly and Rhodes Heart (this is the diagram I learned from!). Needlelace's Stitch of the Month Archive has a smaller Rhodes Butterfly, a Half Rhodes with Stitched Bar, two sizes of Rhodes Hearts and an Irregular Rhodes! The sky is the limit with this stitch it seems ;)
When I was designing Spring Garden, I experimented with the order of the stitches, and discovered that the way you layer your stitches can give a completely different look! You can see how I slanted the top-most stitch in each Algerian Cross here:
This is a really fun and easy way to make even basic specialty stitches more versatile!
Now I'm ready to move on to the "brackets" at the top and bottom of the bookmark, and I hope to get some more quality stitching time in tomorrow :)
Confession: I just noticed today that I forgot to draw up a Specialty Stitch Guide for the spacer Lozenges, but the working order is similiar to the Center Diamond and it looks like no one had any trouble thankfully! But I do apologize for the omission.