I first saw this design completed while attending the BDE Seminar in Oregon last June. It totally mesmerized me. Although I have been learning BDE for the past four years, I still consider myself a student of the art and this piece was
absolutely gorgeous and looked very difficult. My attention was captured and before I knew it,
I had purchased said product. I have looked at this package several times in the past year, but
never mustered up enough courage to open it.
Our magazine's fearless Editor, Nora, has goaded me into saying that I would take this
project as an on-going work of art and share my progress with you readers. Please don't expect any
quickness of deed and don't judge my stitching too harshly. As I said, I am still learning.
With shaking hands and a very fast heart beat, I opened the package.
Now, that wasn't too difficult....lol... Next I sat down to read cover to cover the
instructional booklet inside. I was welcomed to the Art of Brazilian Embroidery by the author,
Maria H. Freitas.
A brief explanation of the seven weights of Edmar threads was given, followed by a list of
threads and materials used in this design. I have a considerable stash of Edmar threads, but when
starting a designer's project, I just order the entire suggested list and I am sure to have the
correct threads and the amount necessary. When the threads arrive, I place them in a 16-slot
plastic thread organizer. This lets me keep things together and is easy to carry with me for stitching
when away from home. I prefer this method to ordering a "kit" because the kit only gives you the threads
as individual strands instead of in skeins.... then you have to separate these by colors and the
number of strands listed. I hate doing this and also fear running out of a color. Not all dye lots
are the same.
The booklet goes on to teach you how to open and store skeins, explains which needle to use with
which thread weight. Some very neat tips are listed on how to "handle" these Edmar Rayon threads.
The stitching sequence is given as a guideline on how to plan your project along with a neat graph
defining the parts of a flower.
Next comes the explanation and graphics of BDE stitches needed to complete
Verana. These include
Straight, Stem, Couching, French Knots, Pistil, Satin, Buttonhole, Wrapped Buttonhole, Bullion,
Turkey, Cast-On, Cast-On Double Stitch, Feather, Lazy Daisy, Knotted Lazy Daisy and the dreaded
Detached Buttonhole Stitch (at least, I dread it).
Now we proceed to the instructions for the elements of this pattern. Here you find pictures of the
different flowers with drawings and explanations. I found these easy to understand, now,
if I can stitch them!
Some very good advise on stitching the face is given along with the suggestion one do this stitching
first....it seems you can significantly change the expression of the face with very subtle changes
in the lips or eyes. Mrs. Freitas suggest one stitch the face first, if you aren't satisfied with
the expression, you won't have lost all the many floral stitches this design calls for. We are
taught that you never split the plies of the Edmar threads. For this facial area, they are asking
you to take Glory, which is one of the finest Edmar weights at 2 ply and split them, using only
one ply for the eyes, nose and lips. WOW! I have never heard this request. Too, you have to be
very careful not to damage the fabric in this facial area, as the very slightest damage will appear
as a blemish on the face. Once stitched to your satisfaction, protect this area by covering it
with a swatch of fabric basted along the edges. Now I am REALLY nervous about starting this
Mrs. Freitas gives very thorough instructions on how to wash this project. This is to be done on a
completed project only....you never pre wash the threads.
OK....take a deep breath and here goes.....since I have to wait for the threads to arrive, I will
go over this booklet again, and practice a couple of the flowers in this design. I have the perfect
way to do this, since I am making a sampler of BDE Flowers and these will fit in nicely. Meanwhile,
I have put the design on stretcher bars and until the threads arrive, shall work on building my
courage to stitch this beautiful project.
to be continued..................