Finished edge embroidery of wings.
Finally finished embroidering the wire outlines on the dragonfly wings. Now to embroider the veins inside the wings. This is a little more delicate than the outlines. It is important to take tiny stitches because the sheer fabric shows everything.
You can use the same thread as the outline but it can be more fun to use a metal thread. Black is also a good choice but is very stark against the organza. For my dragonfly I decided on a fine silver thread from DMC. It is tempting to take some seed beads and sew them to the wings for a stained glass type of effect. Maybe next dragonfly!
So I used buttonhole stitch on top wings but it came out looking rather random. So for the bottom wings I tried a sort of ray like structure and put a silver plated seed bead on each. Just have to get those beads in somewhere.
Embroidered veins on wings.
Next comes the really unnerving bit, it is a good idea to have a bottle of fray check handy. I don't like to use it because it can change the work color or harden the fabric. But it can save your work! Take the organza out of the hoop. With good lighting and a pair of small sharp scissors cut around the wings as close to the edge as possible.
Cutting a wing out of the organza.
You can breathe again! Once all the wings are cut out is is time to get the second frame ready.
Here is the outline on my base fabric. Those are flower shapes not kidneys.
The base fabric should be pretty and strong. Many embroiders choose a silky or satin type of fabric. I chose a poly/linen white fabric. You will also need a piece of muslin. Stumpwork is embroidered through both pieces of fabric. So you can either tack the fabrics together working from the center out or if you have a really good hoop just place them together. So with the outline on the top piece you can now embroider the dragonflies body.
Starting with the abdomen you can choose a fiber or use beads, I found a long silver tube and stitched it to the fabric with the silver thread. Remember avoid knots and lock the thread by making a small stitch and bringing the needle up through the stitch. I also added pincher's at the end but they didn't show up.
Abdomen added to fabric.
Now it is time for the wings. Separate the wings into left and right.then bend the wires 90 degrees, push the wire through the fabric where you drew the wings. If getting the wire through the fabric is difficult use an awl or large needle to punch a hole first. Once the wings are where you want them bend the wire flat against the back of the hoop. Next sew the wires to the back of the fabric. I used a heavy quilting thread, wrapping around the wire and biting into the back of the fabric. The wires should be attached to the fabric but should still allow the wings to move a little. Move the wings to the shape and angle you want. Now with a chenille thread embroider the thorax. This will stabilize the wings. Use a needle that is just big enough for the chenille. I stitched three straight stitches across. Then two stitches from the top of the thorax to the bottom. Finally two stitches on the diagonal, I think it looks cute and bit furry, the color was accidental because it was a multi colored piece of chenille. The color couldn't have come out better if I planned it.
Wings added to fabric.
Thorax added to fabric.
Now for the head. I like bead heads especially the iridescent ones. My dragonfly looked good with a pearl finished size six seed bead and two size 11 metallic rainbow teal beads for the eyes. I used heavy quilting thread to sew them on.
Seed bead head and eyes sewn to embroidery.
We are almost done! Finally to embroider the legs. I used a thick black wool and straight stitches. I did need to move the wings a bit to get the legs embroidered. Done!
The finished dragonfly is 1.5 inches by 2 inches.